Aldermanic endorsements: Wards 49-50; Clerk and Treasurer
January 29, 2011 12:20AM
Updated: March 1, 2011 1:20AM
Today we wrap up endorsements in contested aldermanic races and present our choices for city clerk and treasurer.
Far North Side
Veteran Ald. Joe Moore is facing a spirited race in this Rogers Park ward. Opponent Brian White runs a community development organization and boasts thoughtful ideas on ways to move the ward forward. But Moore deserves re-election. He is an outspoken voice in the City Council for progressive causes — though we urge him to work harder on producing results — and, after a tough battle in 2007, he has refocused on ward matters. With new aldermen expected to join the City Council, Moore’s experience and history of independence will be assets.
Far North Side
Challengers in Ald. Bernard L. Stone’s 50th Ward argue it’s time for a change, and we agree.
The West Ridge ward’s commercial streets have noticeably declined. Stone, in office for 38 years, attributes that to the bad economy, but residents chalk it up partly to his lack of responsiveness to service requests.
We prefer Debra L. Silverstein, an accountant with a record of community involvement and a thoughtful platform. She is the wife of state Sen. Ira Silverstein, the ward’s Democratic committeeman, and while we don’t like the nepotism, she has a keen understanding of issues such as public safety and the need to revitalize the commercial streets.
Attorney Michael Charles Moses and architect Greg Brewer have been active in the community and are good candidates as well. Community organizer Ahmed Khan is young and articulate, and we hope he remains in public service.
The very need for a city clerk’s office has been questioned by mayoral candidate Gery Chico, who says the city could save millions of bucks by getting rid of it.
Chico may well be right, but while the position still exists, state Rep. Susana A. Mendoza, a Democrat, is the right person to fill it.
The self-described “tech geek” has ambitious plans to overhaul the office’s website and use social media such as Twitter to make it easier for Chicago residents to track what’s happening in the City Council. She also gets points for her intriguing idea to sell advertising on city stickers to generate new revenue.
Where Mendoza really seeks to set herself apart from previous city clerks is by using the power of the office to set policy, as she has for the last decade as a particularly effective state representative.
Mendoza said she would, for instance, introduce an ordinance preventing city employees who have been fired for ethical violations from being hired by other city departments. She is endorsed over Water Reclamation District Commissioner Patricia Horton.
In her first term, City Treasurer Stephanie Neely has launched several initiatives to increase the financial literacy of Chicago residents, and her office, which operates on a $2 million budget, has brought in more than $400 million in investment returns for the city.
Neely, who is running unopposed, has earned a second term, though we think it’s time she gave up her taxpayer-supported security detail.