Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=175920
Story Retrieval Date: 5/23/2013 12:01:29 AM CST
Headquarters for challenger Miguel Sotomayor on North Milwaukee Ave.
Challengers focus on expenditures in 35th Ward race
Finances are a campaign issue in the 35th Ward aldermanic race – both the ward’s and the incumbent alderman’s.
Candidate Nancy Schiavone a 24-year resident of the ward, said that Ald. Rey Colón has not been efficient with ward expenditures. Schiavone, who lives in Logan Square, said ward spending needs to be more transparent so it can be monitored by the community.
“There are major concerns that there is no disclosure of where the TIF money is going and what projects are getting approved,” she said.
Tax Increment Financing is a public financing method that is used for redevelopment and community projects in many cities.
Schiavone cites ward personnel and trash pickup as areas of spending that could get costs under control.
“If we used a grid system for garbage pickup, we could save approximately $29 million a year,” she said.
Colón couldn’t be reached for comment, but his website focuses on his community involvement, transparency and preserving the community’s historic landscape.
Republican committeeman Walter Zarnecki, who was knocked off the ballot by a challenge, pointed to an investigation of Colón’s campaign finances as a concern.
“We have never been given a sufficient explanation about that, and I hope those things get resolved,” he said.
Aside from finances, he said ward issues are graffiti and rats and insufficient services from the alderman’s office.
The ward encompasses parts of Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Avondale and Independence Park, serving a number of different communities.
There are two other candidates in the race, Miguel Sotomayor and Jorge Zavala. Neither could be reached for comment.