The Groundbreaking for Park 526

The alderman sent out a notice yesterday afternoon that the official groundbreaking for Park 526 at Devon & McCormick would take place today. Yes, today, at 2:00 p.m. As one resident commented to me, you’d think the alderman would know about such an event well in advance so she could notify the community earlier. Well, yes, you would. I figure that Ira must be back in town. Her office grinds to a halt when he’s in Springfield.

On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that our disinterested alderman simply wasn’t aware that the groundbreaking had been scheduled.

In any event, her announcement included a drawing of the park that differs from the one she presented months ago. The Arboretum greeting visitors at Devon has been modified, and the three benches formerly along the pathway are not in evidence. The two fitness stations have been moved, and the “passive green space” looks more like an athletic field, its southwest end free of trees and shrubbery. There’s no sight of the fence on the western border that is so clear on the original drawing.

No word yet on an official name, although I’m sure the alderman has already selected it; “Park 526” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Of course, we won’t know what we’re getting until we have it. The alderman’s penchant for secrecy guarantees that nobody will know anything about how this turns out until the ribbon-cutting, which will occur just in time for the 2019 election campaign. Between the park and the new library, the alderman will be able to claim two major building projects on opposite ends of the ward–just in time to point them out to voters. It worked after the first term.

But will it work again?

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One thought on “The Groundbreaking for Park 526

  1. I don’t know what kind of political strategy at this very local ward level holds that keeping information concealed from neighborhood constituents is a wise policy and good for community solidarity. Or perhaps Ald. Silverstein just isn’t really part of city government.

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