Thurs. Dec. 16 7:00 PM-Ryan Stadium Rebuild-Zoom Meeting

Thursday, December 16th, 7:00-9:00 pm,  please join us at an important Zoom Meeting regarding the "Rebuilding of Northwestern's Ryan Field


City Manager Survey Open - Last Day Today

Do you have an opinion about what it takes to be Evanston's new City Manager?

If so, ... now is the time to be heard.

If you have not completed the on-line city manager recruitment survey, today is your chance.  Friday Nov 12 is the last day of the Evanston City Council public survey. 

It does not take long. Follow this link to answer the five questions:

City of Evanston City Manager Recruitment Public Survey

Per the city ..."Collected information will be used in designing interview questions and assessment activities that will assist in determining whether candidates possess the attributes being sought."

Joint 6th-7th Ward Budget Meeting Tonight

Councilmembers Tom Suffredin (6th) and Eleanor Revelle (7th), collectively representing most of the Central Street Neighborhood, are hosting a virtual joint ward meeting tonight, Thurs., Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. to discuss the 2022 proposed City Budget with the City's chief financial officer Hitesh Desai and Budget Manager Kate Lewis-Lakin. As with much during the past two years, attendance is virtual only.

If you already have Zoom as an app or desktop application, use Meeting ID: 865 8882 1921 and Passcode: 425471.

If you don't have Zoom, use this link from your browser. You may be prompted to "choose an application" but you can close that window and simply click "Launch Meeting."

Finally, there is the option to join by phone only at 312-626-7699.

The City of Evanston is in the end-of-year process to pass its budget for FY 2022. The City has proposed spending over 1/3 of a billion dollars for this municipality of approximately 22,000 households, or approximately $16,000/household, although other sources besides residents contribute to the revenue side (just as Evanston residents and businesses contribute to other communities when they spend money, invest, or do business there).

The City's general budget page is available online.  A copy of the latest version of the proposed budget can be viewed or downloaded here.

Redevelopment of Ryan Field

A recent email from Northwestern Athletics was forwarded to CSNA last week by one of our members. It contained a link to a video regarding the redevelopment of Ryan Field as well as a link to a survey which appears to be available to those who subscribe to the Northwestern Athletics mail list. We thought it would be of interest to all neighbors in the Central Street area. A paraphrased version of the email is highlighted in blue text below:along with the linked YouTube video (click the image).

Date:  11/3/2021

From: Northwestern Athletics

Subject: New Ryan Field - We Need Your Feedback!

"Please watch this video from Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Dr. Gerrick Gragg regarding the new Ryan Field"


"Your feedback is much appreciated. Go 'Cats!"

Additional background can be found in a Northwestern Now article dated September 22, 2021  titled "The Patrick and Shirley Ryan Family makes new $480 million gift, ..." The article describes many new initiatives that will be enabled by the Ryan family gift.  The excerpted section titled 'Redevelopment of Ryan Field' may be of particular interest to our members.It's in blue text here below.

Redevelopment of Ryan Field

The transformative gift from the Ryans also provides the lead gift for the redevelopment of Ryan Field, creating an enhanced gameday experience for students, alumni, fans and the surrounding community. Additional philanthropic gifts will be raised to complete the project. 

An important goal of the redevelopment is to exceed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and make the stadium exceptionally accessible and welcoming to all attendees. The project also will focus on environmental sustainability opportunities.

The multi-year construction process will provide an economic boost for the City of Evanston through job creation and increased revenue. Northwestern is committed to transparency and collaboration with Evanston neighbors throughout the construction process. The University will conduct listening sessions with community members before releasing design concepts and more specific plans.

“We deeply appreciate the Ryan Family’s enduring dedication to our student-athletes,” said Dr. Derrick Gragg, Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation. “The impact of their visionary generosity on past, present and future Wildcats is truly incomparable. The rebuilt Ryan Field will be a world-class venue befitting this institution’s pursuit of excellence in all areas.”

Originally constructed in 1926 and expanded in 1949 and 1952, Ryan Field underwent an extensive renovation in 1997, supported by a leadership gift from the Ryan Family. Northwestern football has won two of the last three Big Ten West Division championships and four consecutive bowl games including the 2021 Citrus Bowl.

“Shirley and I believe in the power of sports to develop the whole person — mind, body and soul for all students. This holistic approach prepares Northwestern student-athletes to be the leaders of tomorrow,” Pat Ryan said. “And as long-time fans of all Wildcat teams, we have seen firsthand how powerful Northwestern Athletics can be in building community.” 

The Fifth Ward TIF needs more work

Position Statement from Central Street Neighbors Association

On proposed Ordinances 65-O-21, 66-O-21, and 67-O-21, collectively establishing the “5/5 TIF” district


The Board of Directors of Central Street Neighbors Association (CSNA) urges the Council not to approve the ordinances establishing the proposed TIF district. Too many concerns and questions have been unsatisfactorily addressed, including:

  • The TIF district’s budget turns on tripling area’s assessed value, but current 5th Ward residents desire not to be driven out of their homes, and there has been no housing impact study
  • The TIF area, to which funds are limited, excludes most 5th Ward residents who need help staying in their homes
  • The TIF district inappropriately includes more public property, university property, and already-developed property than any previous Evanston TIF district
  • Strategies such as selling the Morton Civic Center run directly counter to public sentiment as expressed strongly in referenda

We agree with one community advocate who wrote, “the council is pushing this too hard and too fast without completing the necessary work to ensure success.” We also are disturbed by the lack of detail about how the money will be spent.

Earlier this year, after years of unhappiness at City decisonmaking processes, a new mayor and four new council members were elected on platforms of increased transparency and citizen involvement. In a first major decision, we seem to be headed in the opposite direction and toward an increase in the tax burden without clarity as to goals, methods, and impacts.


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