Fellow aldermen acknowledge Jane Grover’s contributions to Evanston at her final Council meeting

Elena Sucharetza, Assistant City Editor

City Council members thanked Ald. Jane Grover (7th) on Monday for her six years of service at her final council meeting ahead of her resignation at the end of the year. Council also heard updates on the nuisance premises ordinance, which works to address problematic properties in the city.

Grover’s resignation came with her Dec. 4 announcement that she had been selected as the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s new outreach principal, a position she begins Tuesday.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl will appoint the next 7th Ward alderman, which is the standard practice for alderman resignations. Tisdahl said she will hold a Ward meeting Jan. 12 for any residents interested in addressing qualities they would like to see in a new alderman.

As outreach principal, Grover will lead engagement initiatives around the Chicago area that involve different civic groups and elected officials. Council members remarked that Grover’s new position will still benefit Evanston indirectly through her ability to affect regional initiatives.

Grover said she would miss serving the 7th Ward, but due to the obligations of her position to serve the interests of the Chicago region as a whole, it was necessary for her to resign her council seat.

During her tenure on council, Grover spearheaded the transportation initiative banning hands-free cell phone technology while driving and facilitated conversations about pedestrian safety.

Before assuming her position on City Council, Grover served on Evanston’s Mental Health Board. Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) said she took note of Grover’s professionalism and thought she would be an excellent council member before she even won her election.

“In particular Jane you were incisive and instructive to us in our deliberations, so when I heard that you were running I thought you would be a great addition,” Wynne said. “Our loss really is CMAP’s gain.”

Grover said she will continue to live in the 7th Ward with her family. She said she still hopes to be a part of discussions in City Council and asked for council members to reach out to her if they ever needed a voice on issues.

“(Evanston) is the place to do good municipal work, and I’m grateful for that,” Grover said. “I don’t think people understand that as a part of council you have to be in an extended conversation whether at the gym or grocery store. You’re on 24/7.”

Evanston police Chief Richard Eddington also made 30-day update remarks at council about the city’s nuisance premises ordinance — which addresses properties with high reports of violence, drug activity and noise complaints — and 11 properties designated as such around the city.

He said the Evanston Police Department had met with the American Civil Liberties Union to learn how to fairly apply the law when dealing with nuisance policing and gave an update on each of the properties’ complaints. There will be further comment about revisions to the ordinance at council in mid-January, city manager Wally Bobkiewicz said.

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