City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz plans to ask the newly re-elected Evanston City Council tonight to start giving him some direction about what issues the city should focus on during their four year term.

He’s prepared a list of 39 issues the city might try to tackle.

They include five “current major initiatives” — none of which have yet taken final shape.

Those projects include building a new ice rink facility at the Robert Crown Center, finding new uses for the lakefront Harley Clarke Mansion and the city’s former recycling center, reviving the Noyes Cultural Arts Center and helping fund an office building on a privately-owned site at Chicago Avenue and Main Street.

Economic development issues include how the city spends its economic development resources and what to do about workforce development and strengthening neighobrhood business districts.

And the city manager also identifies projects in the areas of long-range planning, public safety, planning and zoning, community services and infrastructure, among others.

As another discussion-starter city staff has prepared a 20-point SWOT-analysis of the city’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

That lists the city’s location as the first strength, taxes and affortability as the top weakness, vibratn economic development as the first opportunity and the preception of safety and crime as the top threat.

Bobkiewicz says he hopes the aldermen will schedule a special Saturday meeting on June 15 or 29 to continue the discussion.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Lowering taxes, reducing

    Lowering taxes, reducing spending and staying out of citizen's personal liberties.

  2. Lower Taxes by reducing spending

    The city could easily lower taxes by reducing spending. Stop spending money to create new bars on Howard street. Don't spend any more money to bribe grocery stores to move into evanston. Some of these stores would have paid more money to get the ok to move into Evanston. 

  3. Cut spending, lower taxes

    The budgets should be examined with a fine-tooth comb, even existing spending plans be built from the ground up -i.e. zero based budget] and reduced.  Every attempt should be made to reduce taxes.  One place to start would be to reduce the size of the Council [each represents a fraction of the residents that Chicago does], cut the special commissions and Boards and in general get the city government out of everything they have to business in—esp. harassing business and residents.

    The power of the Council to pledge financing, loans, gifts, etc. to any new or existing business should be totally done away with.  No special favors.

    Speed up the zoning process so that potential business's don't give up and pull out of plans to come to/expand.

  4. How about reducing crime?

    How about reducing crime? Crime is out of control what is the Mayor doing about it?

  5. Cut spending

    Reduce the ability of the council to spend money. They just can't resist funding bars and bribing grocery stores (well put OneSmartGuy)

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