Last night’s first 47th Ward Council meeting wrapped up after 90 minutes with no specific directives or issues posed by Ald. Ameya Pawar, but instead focused on logistical issues, a speech from Pawar on his vision for the Council and Pawar answering some questions about ward issues.
Conducted in the basement of the Ravenswood United Church of Christ, 2050 W. Pensacola Ave., thirty five Council delegates selected from block clubs around the ward were arrayed in a official-looking semi-circle while about a dozen onlookers were seated in an “Observer’s Gallery.” Pawar invited everyone in the meeting to speak, but after introductions, less than ten Council members spoke up while Pawar took the lion’s share of the meeting discussing his plans for the group and the ward.
Nonetheless, council members said they were happy with the first meeting.
“This was largely what I was expecting,” said council member Eric Sinclair. “I think tonight was largely discovery. It’s going to take four to six of these to find out how it goes.”
“It was an informative first start, I think. We established the groundwork. But we didn’t get into the nitty gritty. It’s still open as to how we’re going to approach that. Maybe we’ll get there in the next meeting,” said council member Yvonne Law.
Pawar told the group that he hoped it would focus on running emergency preparedness seminars, organizing block club meetings and parties, informing him on priorities for ward menu money spending, help abate flooding problems across the ward and help create a zoning and planning priorities document for the ward.
One council member spoke up to say that twelve council members met before the meeting and determined they wanted to focus on revitalizing schools, gangs and graffiti, pedestrian safety and ward cleanliness, including rodent control. Pawar responded that the council should create committees to focus on these and other issues, but no action was taken in the meeting to create those committees.
During a question and answer session, Pawar responded to a number of questions from the council about current ward issues including:
Pawar suggested, and the group assented, that the council meet once a month. The next meeting was set for December 1, with the location to be determined.