The local media has generally done a good job of covering the Evanston mayoral race, but they dropped the ball on questioning Ald. Tisdahl’s often repeated scheme to “break the water contract with Skokie.” The Alderman has built her mayoral campaign’s economic plan around a daffy idea to hire a lawyer to break an existing water contract between the City of Evanston and the Village of Skokie. The Alderman has suggested that if the City of Evanston -- presto -- could break its water contract with Skokie and sell water for four times the current rate, it could make more than $9-million annually. That’s an astounding claim from a candidate, especially one who supports a Climate Action Plan that seeks to REDUCE the amount of water the city uses and sells. You can’t have it both ways. But what’s worse, the Alderman, who often boasts about her contacts, never bothered to call the Mayor of Skokie, George Van Dusen, to discuss this reckless notion. I know this because I called Van Dusen myself, and he said >>
* No one from Evanston called him to discuss breaking or renegotiating the water contract
* Skokie and Evanston have a binding water contract
* He opposes breaking the contract and would challenge any such effort in the courts
* The Village of Skokie has invested funds in the joint water partnership with Evanston
So it turns out the that Alderman’s big economic idea is totally bogus, would likely COST the city legal fees, and has very little chance of ever becoming reality. It was nothing more than campaign fodder for the Alderman to float during the campaign forums, since she has no other ideas for how to manage the city’s budget and create new revenues.