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5th Ward Report Spring 2011
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4th Ward Alderman Shirley Newsome

April 13, 2011 in Hyde Park Herald

In my first report to 4th Ward constituents, I'd like to assure you that the 4th Ward is alive and well. Services are being handled by staff in the same manner and timeframe as in the pat. Meetings are covered by me and staff, and required followup is addressed. I am told by city staff an my colleagues, that the ward is being well served. I appreciate the vote of confidence on their behalf and trust that you feel the same.

There are many events taking place in the ward in the coming weeks. We continue to see residents on our usual second and third Thursday evenings between the hour of 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. No appointment is required. We are currently gearing up for the annual Clean and Green on Saturday, April 16. supplies can be obtained from the street adn Sanitation Ward Office located at 44th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue between the hours of 7 a.m. an 3 p.m. This is the opportune time for neighbors to get together and clean up the winter crud left behind in our parkways and alleys, and any vacant lots that are on our block.

The Cook County Board of Review will be assisting taxpayers in the Appeal Process during a forum on Tuesday, April 21 at the Kenwood High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Taxpayer must bring their tax bill. This service is being provided in conjunction with Commissioner Larry R. Rogers, Jr.

The January snow storm was forecast to be one of historic proportions and that certainly proved to be the case. The Streets and Sanitation office staff, along with outside help and equipment sent in by Commissioner Thomas Byrne, CDOT, worked feverishly around the clock to clear off streets within a reasonable period of time. This was done in spite of difficulties encountered by reason of abandoned cars and narrow streets that would not accommodate heavy duty equipment. Special equipment had to be brought in by private contractors due to it not being a part of the city's regular fleet. Our ward superintendent even responded to our request to send in teh garbage trucks to track the alleys to allow residents to dig out of their garages. It is not the city's policy to clean alleys or sidewalks. While we may have been inconvenienced for a few days, when we hear and see what happened on the East Coast and in places like Japan, we should count our blessings and be grateful that things were not worse. We now hope to address the aftereffects of the harsh winter -- pot holes! And yes, we know that they are everywhere, and in some instances of "killer" proportions, as one resident put it. Lake Park Avenue is due to be paved between 47th and 51st streets starting this month. Parking wil be restricted along Lake Park Avenues, and possibly some of the adjoining side streets. We do not have an official start date at this time. We ask your indulgence and caution you to slow down and drive carefully around them, or over them is there is no other option.

Lastly, please be advised that the ward office is in transition at all levels. As the present alderman, it is my responsibility to assist incoming alderman Will Burns to provide for a smooth transition. This is no small task, but residents of the ward should not be directly affected. That said, change can be disruptive and difficult to accept. Please bear in mind that this premise applies to all of us. I beg your indulgence.