32nd Ward Lincoln Park candidate forum anything but relaxed

24 Jan

The 32nd Ward aldermanic forum participants were (from left): Brian Gorman, Bryan Lynch, David Palik and—distancing himself from the others—Ald. Scott Waguespack. (Photo by Jennifer Schanz)

By Jennifer Schanz

Following the previous Thursday’s mellow, candidate forum for Vi Daley’s aldermanic seat in the 43rd Ward, Lincoln Park’s sister ward, the 32nd, produced anything but a laidback event for residents.

Those in attendance Thursday evening expected the evening to be informational, including Kim Schilf, president and CEO of the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the forum.

“Development issues, efficient constituent service, and taking the concerns of the 32nd Ward into city council to make tough decisions” seem to be the topics heavy on the mind of  32nd Ward residents, said Schilf. And incumbent Scott Waguespack—challenged by David Palik, Bryan Lynch and Brian Gorman—seemingly is a shoo-in for re-election.

Attending what can only be described as a 3 vs. 1 rhetoric boxing match, refereed by the Better Government Association’s Bob Reed, was not anticipated. It was held in DePaul University’s Student Center, where tension and personal attacks overshadowed several constituent concerns.

First in the ring was Waguespack and Gorman, who began on a sore note after Gorman spent his opening address calling out the current alderman for lack of transparency and fueling the city’s political machine.

“It may surprise you all that four years ago, I worked for the man who endorsed a dead beat dad and notorious abuser, Scott Lee Cohen… and failed to outright stand against Joe Berrios of the Chicago political machine.”

After an eye roll and a smirk, Waguespack stood up, walked noticeably away from his three contenders, and said “What you’re going to hear from these three tonight are a bunch of myths.”

Tension arose again over public parking, when Gorman, Lynch and Palik scolded Waguespack for his stance on the city’s parking meter lease two years ago. Gorman even went as far as to call the incumbent’s actions “criminal,” to which Waguespack responded “ridiculous.”

From questions of mobile food trucks, the addition of a big box corporations like Wal-Mart, to an increase in the ward’s liquor licenses, the trend continued. Gorman, Lynch and Palik were on one side of the ropes, and Waguespack on the other.

Who do our feuding candidates support for mayor?

All but one refrained from name dropping; Rahm Emanuel has the vote of Gorman, as well as most of the aldermanic candidates a week earlier in the 43rd Ward forum.

So what’s next for Lincoln Park?

In this split-ward neighborhood, voters apparently can count on two things: little support from the other candidates for Waguespack, but more for Rahm.


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2 Responses to “32nd Ward Lincoln Park candidate forum anything but relaxed”

  1. Matt Lassiter January 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Question to the Alderman – How is calling you “the man who endorsed a dead beat dad and notorious abuser, Scott Lee Cohen… and failed to outright stand against Joe Berrios of the Chicago political machine” a myth? You’ve admitted that that’s true. The only myth is you pretending to be a reformer. Or that you’ve taken care of our ward.

  2. Austin Milbarge January 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Matt, had you been listening or done your homework like a smart constituent- you’d know Ald. Waguespack withdrew his support of Cohen immediately.

    As for your statement about him not taking care of our ward, prove it. I live in the 32nd and I see his positive impact ALL THE TIME.

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