Updated: Fiske, Tivador on the issues: Your 1st Ward candidate cheat sheet


Manuel Rapada/Daily Senior Staffer

School superintendent Edward Tivador (left) and Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) will face off tonight in two on-campus forums focusing on their upcoming election. Tivador is challenging Fiske in the race for 1st Ward alderman.

Manuel Rapada, Breaking News Editor

Evanston’s 1st Ward alderman needs to digest opinions from several viewpoints: Northwestern students, businessmen and preservationists, to name a few. The ward encompasses most residential halls west of Sheridan Road, while those living east of Sheridan Road live in the 7th Ward.

The Daily has spoken to both Fiske and Tivador throughout the campaign about their ideas for the ward and how they would respond to questions from constituents. Here’s a breakdown on the two candidates, who is endorsing whom and their views on key campaign issues:

Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) — incumbent alderman and owner of Fit + Frisky, a Davis Street pet supply shop

Off-campus lighting: In her interview with The Daily, Fiske maintained the 1st Ward was not involved in a city-University partnership that eventually led to lighting improvements in the 5th Ward. Fiske said lighting on Sherman Avenue and other streets near NU are at the maximum lighting level possible.

Student safety: Fiske said she had no knowledge of plans to hire private security to patrol the area around campus in golf carts. However, Fiske outlined a “safe routes to campus” project that would improve the Chicago Avenue sidewalk en route to downtown.

Interacting with NU students: Fiske said she treats students “as adults, as equals” and would like to increase engagement with the students in her ward. That engagement needs to take place off campus, though she admitted a student’s time commitments are already stretched thin as is with other organizations and projects.

New visitors center: The visitors’ center location was “unfortunate,” Fiske said, with the chopping of trees and the use of city land for the building’s fire lane. She would have liked the University ask for input from residents, especially those that have worked on the city’s Lakefront Master Plan that required more than a year and a half of planning.

Off-campus housing: Changes to the over-occupancy ordinance must be practical while also discouraging landlords from trying to make changes to their units before any reforms are made, Fiske said.

Climate at City Council meetings: Making an inexplicit reference to the Kendall development project that has generated repeated concern from Feinberg Prof. Padma Rao and her mother B.K. Rao, Fiske said those residents have a right to speak at the meetings. However, Fiske believes they are using the City Council meetings as a forum for themselves and they know what they are saying is wrong.

Betsi Burns: After University President Morton Schapiro and senior vice president Gene Sunshine spoke publicly about the landlord licensing committee, there was a conflict-of-interest that prevented then-assistant dean of students Betsi Burns  from serving on the panel, Fiske said. With a conflict present, she did not want Burns to be sent to the Board of Ethics if she had served on the committee.

EV1 Liquors: Complaints about Evanston 1st Liquors, 1019 Davis St., were neither “aggressive” nor targeted at Northwestern students, Fiske said, but rather addressed safety concerns she received from residents. The store apparently became a hotspot for 14- and 15-year-old students to get their hands on alcohol, she said.

Why she’s the better 1st Ward representative: “I know what the issues are, and I am working very hard to work on engagement. I don’t talk down to students. I really consider students to be my equal, and I want to have that kind of relationship with them,” she said.

Her opponent says: “The idea that somehow running a cat store provides you with a better sense of business perspective than someone who has been managing multi-million dollar budgets … I think it’s just dismissive smoke screens.”

Endorsements: Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl

Edward Tivador — superintendent of Northbrook/Glenview School District 30

Off-campus lighting: Though any proposed lighting should complement surrounding historical housing, Tivador said in February he would advocate for adequate lighting for students. “Bottom line: Lights provide safety for students,” he said.

Student safety: After saying he would never condone underage drinking, Tivador said it would be naïve to not consider social drinking part of the college experience. He proposed a plan in which residents would put Wildcat decals in their window, identifying their residence as a “safe haven” for students having trouble on their way home from partying.

Interacting with NU students: Foregoing labels such as “the students” or “the neighbors,” Tivador said he would hold forums to generate meaningful dialogue among all members of his ward.

New visitors center: Tivador said he recognized both the importance of a visitors center to the University and the concerns of residents who did not approve of tearing down trees. He would have voted with the City Council on their vote to overturn the Preservation Commission’s decision, though.

Off-campus housing: The “brothel law” is neither sensible nor practical to enforce, Tivador says. Whether or not a dwelling’s residents are related should not be relevant when determining the amount of people that dwelling can safely hold.

Tax increment financing districts: As a district superintendent, Tivador said he has seen the other side of TIFs and how they could negatively affect schools. There needs to be a consistent rubric followed when developing TIF districts so they are not arbitrarily extended beyond their useful life, he said.

Similarities in running a school district, leading 1st Ward: Both positions require the leader who can embrace controversy, listen carefully and find common ground, Tivador said. Also, there is a need to ask “Why aren’t we doing this?” more often than “Why are we doing this?” on issues.

Concerns over not having enough time to adequately represent the ward: Most people in a CEO-level position, including school superintendents, serve on boards and have active roles in their communities, he said. In today’s “very busy world,” Tivador said he has a high level of energy to manage both leadership roles.

Why he’s the better 1st Ward representative: “I think that Northwestern students will see me as somebody that is a collaborator, as somebody that is willing to sit down and challenge their ideas as much as accept them,” he said.

His opponent says: “Somebody may come to you and say, ‘I may give you whatever you want,’ but unless you know all of the moving pieces of this, that will not come to fruition.”

Endorsements: Ald. Coleen Burrus (9th), Evanston Fire Fighters Association Local 742, former mayor Jay Lytle, former mayor Lorraine Morton, former state Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston), former 1st Ward alderman Cheryl Wollin