Recently several posts have discussed the future of Evanston, what the city needs and doesn't need. Does our city government itself know where it is going? Here is the city's mission statement, which you can find on the city's web page under "strategic plan':
"The City of Evanston is committed to promoting the highest quality of life for all residents by providing fiscally sound, responsive municipal services and delivering those services equitably, professionally with the highest degree of integrity."
How can anyone disagree with this statement? We can all agree with this vision because it is really saying nothing other than we'll try to do our best. Evanston's mission statement is so general that it does not, in any meaningful way, chart out a distinctive path for our city. The recent struggles over the downtown plan and the skyscraper make it clear that two diametrically opposed visions are being promoted for this city. It is also clear to many of us that the pro-high-rise, develop-everything-now vision is the minority vision. Now that an election is approaching, we are at a very important juncture that will allow us to ensure that the responsible development vision -- expressed by many of us, by CSNA, and by the Evanston Coalition for Responsible Development -- is adopted by the city as soon as possible and articulated clearly in its mission statement. The first step is to ensure that in the elections scheduled for next year we elect a mayor and aldermen who clearly articulate, are committed to and openly embrace a responsible development vision. Once elected, we should encourage the new mayor and council to amend the city's mission statement to reflect a responsible development perspective. If we do this we can prevent future meaningless battles that waste the city's resources and resident time and energy.
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