Sullivan, Candidates Address Bridgeport Village Homeowners Association
Last night at Polo Cafe, during the first event of the campaign season attended by all three candidates for 11th Ward Alderman, the questions flowed like beer from Polo’s cash bar.
Addressing a gathering of the Bridgeport Village Homeowners Association was Maureen Sullivan and her election opponents John Kozlar and Patrick Daley Thompson. The event planned 20 minutes for each candidate to deliver remarks followed by questions from association members.
After drawing straws, Maureen led off, letting the homeowners know why she’s running for office:
“There are many reasons why I’m running for Alderman, but the number one reason I’m running is because my neighbors demanded it. For the past ten years, I’ve been a highly visible community volunteer stepping up to improve our neighborhoods by providing leadership, creativity, experience and successful community organizing. Time and time again over that ten years, I have been asked ‘why don’t you run for Alderman? We need you. You already do what the Alderman is supposed to do.’ This year was the year I finally gave in and stepped forward.”
Questions for Maureen included how she would shape the business development in the neighborhood. “At Archer and Halsted,” she said, “there should be commuter-related businesses such as a day care, and we should consider a drive-through coffee place. I envision Halsted Street and Archer Avenue as walkable small business districts, that look inviting.”
After remarks by Kozlar including a round of applause for his work with the Canaryville Little League, Patrick Daley Thompson took the stage to present a very different vision for Halsted’s business district and its shuttered storefronts. He said retail wasn’t the right focus.
“You don’t need as much retail on Halsted. You shop on the internet now,” said Thompson.
On Alleys And Designation
The Q&A for Daley Thompson got a little fractious. Feeling neglected by Jim Balcer, current Alderman, Daley machine appointee and office-mate of Thompson’s, association members pressed Thompson on issues including the arrangements in the development for garbage pickup. One homeowner said he had been asking the Alderman for eight years to have city garbage pickup arranged in Bridgeport Village’s alleys.
“That’s easy to do,” said Daley Thompson. “We have to create a designation for the alleys.”
The crowd, familiar with the process but having gotten no response on it for years from Alderman Balcer, did not like that answer.
“If it’s so easy to do, why hasn’t it been done?” shot back another homeowner.
“You’d have to talk to Jim Balcer,” responded Daley Thompson.
(Above: The office on 37th St. where Patrick Daley Thompson and Alderman Jim Balcer have desks.)
(Photo credits: Planet99.com, HGJones.org)