Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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One Year Later, City Moves Forward To Fulfill Strategic Plan

By Megan CrepeauThe Daily Northwestern

This month marks the first anniversary of Evanston’s Strategic Plan, the long-term effort aimed at “determin(ing) where (the city) should be going so that all organizational efforts can be pointed in that direction,” according to Evanston’s Web site.

The Strategic Plan was in development for nine months before the City Council approved it unanimously. The plan consists of 13 goals in three “value areas”: economic viability, strengthening community and environmental sustainability. These in turn are considered along with the city’s vision of creating the most livable city in America.

“It’s a good measuring stick for the types of projects we’re starting or finishing,” said Ald. Cheryl Wollin (1st).

Those projects account for most of the city’s recent actions, including measures like the Youth Engagement Initiative, the new City budget and city actions on affordable housing and environmentalism, Wollin said.

The city’s new budget, which the council passed Monday, is aimed at completing the first goal, to “create and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy, which results in a vibrant and diverse economy for the City of Evanston,” and its fourth goal, to “create and maintain functionally appropriate, sustainable, accessible high quality infrastructure and facilities.”

The new budget represents a radical change in the way Evanston is organized, with two departments being completely eliminated and many city services being outsourced to outside organizations.

The Strategic Plan’s ninth goal is to “more effectively utilize Boards and Commissions” within the city. The city’s Web site posted a resident survey to aid its “review of the function, responsibility, and structure of all the City’s Boards and Commissions.”

Housing has been a longtime issue for Evanston. After years of debate, the council had hoped to implement a new inclusionary housing ordinance that would make housing more affordable for low-income Evanston residents. But Evanston Mayor Lorraine H. Morton vetoed the measure, saying it was unfair to make developers include affordable housing in all their projects.

Wollin said the council remained unfazed by Morton’s veto and was working on rewriting the ordinance.

“I expect it to go forward and withstand a veto,” she said.

The Strategic Plan expresses a wish for Evanston to become known as “the Green City,” and its fifth goal – to “protect and optimize the City’s natural resources and built environment, leading by example through sustainable practices and behaviors” – is aimed at making that happen.

Evanston’s efforts to become more environmentally friendly were rewarded in January when Clean Air Counts gave the city its silver rating for its efforts to become more green.

City Manager Julia Carroll said she supports the plan and thinks it will benefit Evanston.

“It lays out all the vision and values of the city,” Carroll said.

Reach Megan Crepeau at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
One Year Later, City Moves Forward To Fulfill Strategic Plan