No TIF dispute at ward forum; candidates meet again next Thursday

Candidates at Wicker Park Committee forum (posted by Ald. Joe Moreno)

By Tom Tomek

Candidates for alderman agree that tax-increment financing should be used more in prioritized areas for well-needed projects such as schools, not a tool for developers to profit.

Hopefuls from the 1st and 32nd wards addressed parking, crime and other issues in a forum Wednesday. All candidates in the Feb. 22 primary had a great opportunity to voice their positions and concerns to a packed Fellowship Hall at the Wicker Park Lutheran Church, 1502 N. Hoyne at LeMoyne. An e-mail from the sponsoring Wicker Park Committee claimed 180 people in attendance Wednesday.

Another forum for 32nd Ward candidates is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at Hoyne Avenue Wesleyan Church, 900 N. Hoyne. Marc Dimond of the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association said the event would follow a similar format.

On Chicago parking meters, the consensus was that any future plan to take city services or facilities private must be reviewed more thoroughly.

Asked about the city's community policing program, candidates said neighborhood safety is imperative and officers should not be lost from the ward precincts.

Other topics were bike lanes and the parking garage on Milwaukee Avenue.

Appearing from the 1st Ward were Ald. Joe Moreno and challenger Deborah Lopez. The 32nd Ward was represented by Ald. Scott Waguespack, David Pavlik, Brian Gorman and Bryan Lynch.

Moderator Ed Tamminga, president of the Wicker Park Committee, let each candidate give a short introduction and political statement, then posed prepared questions that each candidate answered within 5 minutes.

Incumbents Moreno & Waguespack were able to state their accomplishments in office while the challenging candidates proposed how they would improve the wards.

A few audience questions were taken on the possibility of reversing the Chicago parking-meter contract, neighborhood landmark issues and Polish Triangle development.
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