There was a candidate debate at Haven school recently . State Senator Candidate Dan Biss decided he had more important things to do, so he sent Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl to stand in for him in the debate. He’d have been debating Glenn Farkas, an impressive and passionate candidate fighting an uphill battle.
It wasn’t lost on me - and others I have talked to - how inappropriate it was for Tisdahl to be a surrogate for Biss. It just feels, well, yucky, for a mayor who we thought should be a mayor for all of the people to engage in this kind of support for one party and one candidate. Apparently, she didn’t get the memo that as mayor, she needs to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and blatant partisanship.
But, wait. It gets worse.
During her final remarks in her role as Dan Biss, she decided to put a plug in for 17th District Candidate Laura Fine, whose greatest credential is that her husband lost an arm in an accident. (If that qualifies one for office, I should be president: my son, Seth, died tragically 7 days after his 21st birthday.)
Taking an obvious dig at the Republican candidates on the stage (me, Glenn Farkas and Kyle Frank) the mayor commented that only Democratic candidate Laura Fine had shown the interest of coming to talk to Tisdahl about .
Okay, I thought, this is an invitation from the Mayor. So, I sent her the following email:
"Mayor - at last night's debate I mentioned crime rates. Here is a link to a Patch article I posted following the murder of Dajae: http://.patch.com/blog_posts/in-dajaes-memory-lets-talk-about-crime-in-#photo-11481591. It included tables I found on line comparing crime rates per 100,000 for a large number of cities: including our neighbors on the North Shore and Chicago.
"I am realistic about Evasnton's problems and am anxious for real solutions. Evanston is different from the lake-side town in which I was raised. We have tall buildings, liquor sales and more restaurants to eat at than Fannie's and the two B&G's. And, we have urban crime.
"Study after study shows how joblessness is a major contributor to urban crime. So, once again fixing the state and local economies are a part of the solution. I was hoping to get the opportunity last night to point out that the University of Wisconsin reached out to me to be part of a group of businessmen that mentors young entrepreneurs. But, there has been no similar reach out to me from my own home town.
"You seemed to be extending an invitation to Republican candidates to meet with you - as Laura Fine did - and discuss . I would enjoy doing that at your earliest convenience. I would particularly like to brainstorm with you an idea I have for bringing jobs to Evanston. (And maybe a few moments talking about our dogs!)
1328 Washington St.
Well, I am sure that you can guess the rest of the story: Mayor Tisdahl has so far refused to respond to my email. Frankly (or the true-true) is that I am kind of shocked. That is not the kind of behavior I was taught as a student at Oakton, Nichols and ETHS.
My friend Glenn Farkas, who is running against Dan Biss for State Senator, told me that he has contacted Tishdahl several times requesting a meeting and has not even had the courtesy of a response.
On her website, Tishdahl boldly proclaims: “I feel like a symphony conductor, taking all the talents of this incredible community and making them work in concert. With that amazing resource, there aren’t any problems our residents can’t solve.”
Apprently, Tisdahl's orchestra doesn't include anyone who dares to believe in democracy and challenges the status quo in Springfield. Only a select group can play the tunes in Tisdahl's orchestra.
It is a sad state of affairs. And, quite the opposite of what I think the good and just people of Evnston expect...no demand... from their city government.
Candidate for State Representative