Evanston firefighters, Schoenberg back Tivador over incumbent Fiske in First Ward
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:12AM
EVANSTON — Ed Tivador has received a boost in his campaign to unseat incumbent Alderman Judy Fiske in Evanston’s First Ward.
Tivador, a school superintendent in Northbrook/Glenview District 30, has won backing from the Evanston Firefighters Local 742 and former State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-9th), the Tivador campaign announced Thursday.
The ward is one of the city’s most diverse and includes residential neighborhoods around downtown and portions of Northwestern University and the lakefront.
Fiske, drawing heavily on grassroots support, won handily over her 2009 opponent, Cheryl Wollin, who also had the local union’s support.
Tivador said in a release that he was honored to receive the endorsements.
“In my race to offer real leadership in the First Ward, I’m reaching out to thousands of residents, business owners, elected officials and community institutions, and asking for their insight on our community and support for my candidacy,” he said. “The First Ward is a unique part of our city and I’m looking for a diverse set of opinions and supporters in my effort to give real representation to our residents.
“... I’ve relied on (Schoenberg’s) counsel in my official capacity and today I’m personally touched to have his support for my Aldermanic campaign,” he said.
He said he was equally honored to be endorsed by Local 742, whose members “help keep our residents safe, our city secure, and our property protected. The Evanston Fire Department and their union leadership offer unparalleled service and sacrifice to Evanston. To endorse a challenger is never easy, but it is greatly appreciated.”
Jason Hays, Local 742 PAC chairman, said Tivador’s focus on public safety and security to move Evanston forward were major factors in the group’s endorsement.
“We agree with his stance that Evanston cannot grow and prosper unless its businesses and citizens are secure, and that maintaining resources and training for police and firefighters is essential in accomplishing those goals,’’ Hays said.
In a statement Thursday, Fiske said she has supported the firefighters “in every possible way while I’ve been on the council.”
Her advocacy included backing Fire Chief Greg Klaiber – popular among firefighters – for the top position when it looked like the city might go to an outside candidate.
Hays, in a follow-up interview, indicated the alderman’s support on a pension funding issue also was a key factor in the endorsement of Tivador.
Fiske joined the majority on the nine-member City Council late last year, voting down an additional $700,000 allocation toward the city’s pension contributions.
Council members opted not to include the additional contribution after the city administration warned the change could cause loss of jobs. The city is playing catch-up on the pension issue, at one time ranking near the bottom of all municipalities in Illinois in meeting their obligations for firefighters and police retiring in the future.
Hays said piecemeal pension funding was what got Evanston into a hole in the first place and speaks to the issue of resources firefighters “need to do our jobs and keep the people of Evanston safe.”
“When you pay the minimum amount on your credit card, the bill never goes away,’’ he noted.
Schoenberg resides in the Sixth Ward and left the senate to work for the Pritzker family. Fiske has been a critic and called for tougher standards on Bed and Breakfast establishments, which are being developed in the First Ward by James Pritzker, one of the members of the billionaire family.
The municipal election is April 9. Early voting starts March 25.