Wicker Park resident Carol Tyler said she is worried the city’s debt will eliminate the necessities to which she and her neighbors have become accustomed.
“The city’s out of money,” Tyler said. Trash pick-up, recycling and road repair are city services she said would lead to a stronger community and translate to more people moving there and staying there.
At a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Wicker Park Committee last week, many residents said they were concerned about the potential loss of city services in the 32nd Ward.
“You still have to have a functioning ward,” Tyler said. “[Aldermen] have tighter budgets, but you’ve got to do with what you have and make sure that’s OK before you take on some of the bigger issues.”
Elected in 2007, Ald. Scott Waguespack represents the ward spanning Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village and South Lakeview. Three other men, Brian Gorman, Bryan Lynch and David Pavlik, are vying for his job.
Another hot button issue: development. South Lakeview resident David Duggan said development in the 32nd Ward, once a hot spot during Chicago’s business and real estate boom, has slowed.
“If you have vacant lots and abandoned houses, those just become breeding grounds for rats,” Duggan said.
Business licenses in the ward dropped 60 percent between 2007 and 2010. According to the Department of Business Affairs and Licensing, 2,557 business permits were filed with the city in 2005. In 2010, that number fell to 1,007.
Similarly, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, 1,860 properties exchanged hands between January and November 2008. In that same time period in 2010, transactions fell to 1,237, a decrease of 33 percent.