2017 Candidate Positions


We know that many people care about Harley Clarke, and we believe they deserve to be informed about the views of candidates for public office on the issue.  With that goal in mind, we requested each candidate for office respond to an ELHG survey.

The responses of the candidates who will appear in the February 28th primary are below. All other candidates have until March 10 to complete the survey.

The responses below are unedited.


Candidates for Mayor

> Steve Hagerty

This candidate chose not to participate in the survey.

Mr. Hagerty responded with a letter that he asked us to publish. That letter appears below unedited.

Dear Friends of Evanston Lakehouse,

Thank you for all the work you have done to try and find a viable solution to the Harley Clarke Mansion. I admire that you are solution focused, particularly given the current state of the mansion (i.e., that it is boarded up). Every time I drive or walk by the mansion, I see opportunity. The question becomes how do we bring that opportunity to life?

As the former Chair of the Harley Clarke Citizen Advisory Committee I know all too well the current condition and challenges posed by the mansion. Like you, I have always insisted and believed that the beach and dunes should remain in the public domain forever. The question is what to do with the facility?

At the conclusion of the Harley Clarke Advisory Committee each member wrote a 1-2 page position statement. My statement is attached. Three out of the five citizen members concluded that if the community wants to save the mansion, my preferred choice, the only viable alternative is by allowing some sort of private investment.

When the City Council stalled on reaching a resolution, I wrote an Op Ed piece to the Roundtable on September 23, 2015 proposing a Path Forward.

http://www.evanstonroundtable.com/main.asp?SectionID=6&SubSectionID=6&ArticleID=10985

This path forward envisioned as a first step a competitive process to gift the mansion to a Foundation or private non profit with the financial soundness to invest the capital necessary to renovate the mansion.

Because we have many more needs in this community than we do money, I do not believe we should put Evanston taxpayer money into the mansion. The mansion needs millions of dollars in renovation so that it can have an operational use. I do like the idea of a lakeside ecology center, a restaurant and/or cafe, etc, however, it all comes down to how the capital is generated to renovate the mansion. The Path Forward I proposed in the Roundtable was focused on the issue of generating capital to renovate the mansion.

Lastly, if the mansion is to be gifted to a group, I think it should be done in a competitive manner with fair and open competition and that any proposal accepted by the City Council must be submitted by an organization that has the capital and experience in place to renovate and manage such a facility.

Should I be elected Mayor, I will work closely with Eleanor Revelle and your group to understand where your efforts stand. I am committed to us making a determination on this mansion as I think we owe it to the community to bring this to resolution.

Sincerely,

Steve Hagerty

P.S. Due to the fact that the campaign is in full swing and the survey came just before the primary, I did not have a chance to complete your survey. I would appreciate you use this email as my statement on the mansion. Thank you.

> Mark Tendam

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

Yes

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Yes

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Yes

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

Yes

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

My biggest concern for the Evanston Lakehouse proposal or any other proposal is that there is adequate time and reasonable goals for fundraising. I believe the mansion, especially the interior, is a fine example of craftsmanship rarely seen in today's Evanston and a failure to meet fundraising goals for the renovation and operation of the building would suggest, to some, that the building should be removed form the site.

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

No answer

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

It's very important that the recommendations of the Harley Clarke Planning Committee be implemented. The appropriate boards and departments are represented in the make-up of the committee and I am confident that they will determine the best possible use(s) of the property based on city-wide needs. The direction going forward must be clear and the next mayor must take the lead putting the plans into action.


 

Candidates For 1st ward Alderman

> Lee Cabot

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

Yes, a plan needs to be determined and in place as soon as possible. Setting a deadline is a good way to do that.

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Yes, I support public use of the building. As shown in a recent poll of Evanstonians, the most popular option was for the City to retain Harley Clarke for public use.

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Yes. I would want to ensure the money is used wisely and put toward a restoration plan that is public, fair, and lasting in its benefits to the space and our community.

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

Yes. The themes highlighted -- environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events, and financial sustainability -- are all commendable areas of focus that I believe would benefit Evanston if successfully pursued. The City on its own cannot afford to renovate Harley Clarke, so private or alternative funds would be necessary. As others have publicly acknowledged, it’s important to remember the $250,000 the City approved is not nearly enough to restore the mansion. As Alderman Wilson put it, the amount is a minimum required to keep the space from further deteriorating.

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

I would work with ELHG, the City Council, and any other relevant parties, both inside and outside of Evanston, to find the best use for the property. In doing so, I would do my best to ensure any planning and decision-making is transparent and seeks creative, innovative solutions (if there was an easy answer we’d have it already).

The need to find the money to support any solution is, of course, critical to the effort. I have experience doing that for previous boards on which I served, and would bring that experience to bear, as well as City staff who are practiced at finding grants and other support for projects.

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

I support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision.

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

I would work collaboratively with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee and approach each discussion with an open mind. I respect Alderman Revelle and the groups involved, and know careful thought has gone into creating a plan to restore Harley Clarke in a way in which the community at large approves and understands the financial constraints of the City. It would be my goal to build off their momentum toward a financially sustainable, highest use of the facility.

> Judy Fiske

This candidate chose not to participate in the survey.


 

Candidate for 2nd Ward Alderman
(UnOpposed)

> Peter Braithwaite

This candidate chose not to participate in the survey.


 

Candidates for 3rd Ward Alderman

> Alex Block

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

Yes

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Yes

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Yes

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

Yes

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

As a founding member and Director of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens, I will be a strong proponent of the organization's vision to transform the Harley Clarke estate into a fully renovated, multi-purpose venue for environmental education, community events, and cultural programming. I will not stop fighting until that vision is realized and until the Council approves a public-first option for the Harley Clarke park and property.

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

I support ELHG's vision.

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

I look forward to receiving the Harley Clarke Planning Committee's report. If their recommendations provide for the preservation and restoration of Evanston’s only public lakefront estate then I will work diligently to see that plan to fruition.

> Alex Morgan

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

Yes

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Yes

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Yes

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

Yes

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

If elected I will meet with ELHG to discuss actionable next steps toward our shared vision

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

I support ELHG's vision.

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

I'll review the findings of the committee and work with my colleagues and community stakeholders like ELHG to discuss actionable next steps

> Melissa Wynne

This candidate chose not to participate in the survey.


 

Candidate for 4th Ward Alderman
(Unopposed)

> Don Wilson

This candidate chose not to participate in the survey.


 

Candidates For 5th ward Alderman

> Carolyn Murray

This candidate chose not to participate in the survey.

> Robin Rue

This candidate chose not to participate in the survey.


 

Candidates for 6th ward Alderman

> Virginia Mann

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

See below

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

See below

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

See below

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

See below

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

(No answer)

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

(No answer)

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

I believe that we should wait to hear what the Harley-Clarke Planning Committee finds before coming to conclusions about what should happen to this property going forward. That's why a committee was formed. I prefer not to undermine their work by taking positions on key issues prior to their report.

> Tom Suffredin

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

Yes

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Yes

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Yes

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

Yes

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

I have been attending Harley-Clarke Planning Committee meetings and want this project to succeed. I share everyone's concern about ongoing revenue and realize that component is going to be the key to success. If event rental is going to be a major component, the build out will need to be high quality enough to support that business. I will work with ELHG to ensure that any fundraising campaigns are publicized and positioned for success. I'll work to ensure that the $250,000 is forthcoming, but am only willing to commit to that amount. As I said, I want this to succeed, I will work with you to help it succeed, I just think that the City's direct financial contribution in this time of uncertain finances should be capped at the agreed-to $250,000.

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

(No answer)

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

As I said previously, I have been attending Harley-Clarke Planning Committee meetings. If elected, I will continue to do so, but with an official purpose beyond "interested 6th Ward resident". I am mindful and respectful of the great deal of work that many people have put in on this. I want to help, but not be in the way. Ultimately, the recommendation will have to succeed on its own merits. Harley Clarke and Robert Crown are both important projects that will face this council during its four-year term. I hope to see them both succeed. Access to the lakefront for all Evanston residents, particularly children, is a critical component of living our City's claimed value of inclusion. During my campaign, I've spoken about this being a "look ourselves in the mirror" election rather than a "pat ourselves on the back" election. Robert Crown and Harley Clarke are related to each other because they are happening at the same time. One presents and opportunity to tear down and start anew and one presents the opportunity to preserve the past while adapting to the needs of the future. The Evanston I grew up in and want to raise my family in has the capacity to do both. If elected, you will have a committed partner in me.


 

Candidate for 7th ward alderman
(Unopposed)

> Eleanor Revelle

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

Yes

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Yes

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Yes

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

Yes

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

I am working with Evanston Lakehouse leadership to refine the ELHG proposal for presentation to City Council.

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

(No answer)

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

I chair this committee.


 

Candidates for 8th ward alderman

> Rob Bady

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

All of my responses regarding Harley Clarke (HC) are incomplete because I need to respect the current HC Committee's (HCC) work. It is my understanding that the HCC work is scheduled to report their findings/opinions in June '17. I certainly do not want my particular perspective to adversely affect their service to our city. If elected or not, I fully support our community's deadline to finalize the HC plan by December '17. As 8th Ward Alderman or as a citizen, I will work diligently to assist the HCC and others to finalize a plan. We simply cannot allow HC to remain in it's current deteriorating condition.

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Please refer to my HCC reference above. I want to remain open to the HCC's recommendations and timelines. For example, if their work discovers the above public use could include partnerships with for profit group(s), I want to remian open to their suggestions.

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

When I am elected as Alderman of the 8th Ward (optimistically oriented), I believe it is my duty to honor the previous City Council's decision. However, as stated above, my focus and energy will be on the HCC's product and suggestions.

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

The key aspect of this question is financial sustainability. I cannot imagine our community supporting a plan for HC that financially drains limited resources--both private and public. For example, if the actual cost to renovate this beautiful structure requires $20M before occupancy threshold is reached, I woukd be remiss in committing Evanston property taxes toward such a large investment. However, if the HCC discovers a significantly less costly renovation model that our new partners can manage (feasible business plan), then I can certainly support such a vision.

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

As stated above, I want to fully collaborate with the HCC plan that will be presented in June '17. I will offer my time, resources, and ideas throughout the agreed upon planning/implementation process--as an elected city leader or as a volunteer citizen.

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

It is difficult for me to know about the plan prior to the HCC's June '17 report. I fully support the notion of keeping open public space in the public realm; how exactly we will use the HC mansion remains to be the key question.

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

As stated above, I commit to working closely with the HCC and any partner in the HC vision. I believe every ward and every citizen has vested interest in helping our city's assets, especially open/public spaces, to flourish.

> Ann Rainey

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

There are many competing interests and projects in the city and in my ward. I would encourage those who wish to work on finalizing a plan, but I do not see myself as being a part of a working group or serving on a committee. I recall having served on a Harley Clarke committee.

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

I certainly support public use of the building.

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Absolutely, the 250,000 is dedicated to the improvement of Harley Clarke. I would object to any effort to reverse that decision

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

So far that sounds good – I especially like the part about financial sustainability.

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

I want to be very honest with you. I do not see myself being a Harley Clarke activist. I support Ald. Revelle’s interest as I believe she supports my vision to make a theater happen on Howard Street.

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

Answer

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

That depends on what Alderman Revelle and her Harley Clarke Planning Committee recommend to the Council in June 2017. There will not be time for the new council to work with the HC Planning Committee prior to its recommendation report. I am looking forward to the report.


 

Candidates for 9th Ward Alderman

> Cicely Flemming

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

Yes.

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Yes.

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Yes.

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

Yes.

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

(No answer.)

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

(No answer.)

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

I plan to review the commmittees plan and work to ensure that future use of the space is in the best interest of the entire community both recreationally and financially. Understanding the potential future shortcomings the city may face, we have to do all we can to make sure that private partnerships are welcome and maximized.

> Shawn Jones

Will you work to finalize a plan for the restoration of Harley Clarke by no later than Dec 2017?

I will listen to and expect to follow the reconmmendation of Ald. Revelle's planning committee.

Do you support public use of the building, either through a partnership with a non-profit or continued City ownership?

Again, I turn to the planning committee. While I prefer a public use, I could see a public-private partnership working.

If elected, will you ensure that the $250,000 that was unanimously approved by City Council in the fall of 2016 remains dedicated to Harley Clarke and can contribute to the ultimate restoration plan and match other private fundraising and grants?

Yes.

Do you support the vision of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens for a public-private partnership focused on environmental education, outdoor recreation, community events and financial sustainability?

Yes.

If you support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, how would you work to help make it happen?

I will review the recommendations of the Committee, study their work, and unless their vision deviates greatly from the Lakehouse vision, and I don't expect it will, I will support the Committee's recommendations.

If you do not support Evanston Lakehouse’s vision, what alternative plan do you propose?

(No answer.)

The Harley Clarke Planning Committee that currently consists of the 7th Ward Alderman, Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Committee and the Parks and Recreation Department. This committee has been studying future uses for the building and constructively engaging with Evanston Lakehouse and other community groups. They have been tasked by City Council with providing a recommendation for the future of Harley Clarke in June 2017. If elected, how do you plan to work with the Harley Clarke Planning Committee?

As noted, I will review their recommendation and fully expect to support it. If they deviate radically from the vision described above, I will study and review their recommendation closely before determining the next course of action.