Editorial: Runoff voting key to quality of next City Council

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April 2, 2015.

“Six weeks ago, 32 Chicago aldermen were elected in the first round of balloting. But the voter’s job isn’t finished.

On Tuesday, in addition to the mayor’s race, runoff races will be held in 18 wards. They’ll feature candidates who didn’t get more than 50 percent of the vote the first time around but placed first or second.

EDITORIAL

This is our last chance, Chicagoans, to shape a City Council that will address our city’s most pressing issue: four vastly underfunded public pension systems. Those systems must be put back on sound footing promptly if we don’t want to see them crater within a decade or two. It’s also a chance to create a Council that is more independent and more focused on public safety and jobs.

To see all our endorsements, consult our accompanying “palm card.” Meanwhile, here are five aldermanic races where voters should be paying especially close attention. Collectively, they represent an opportunity to really upgrade the competence of the Council.

2nd Ward

Near North Side, North Side

Voters in this heavily gerrymandered ward — it runs through the Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park and Bucktown — have a chance to put a particularly thoughtful and independent voice on the City Council, Alyx S. Pattison. Opponent, Brian Hopkins, chief of staff to Cook County Commissioner John Daley, is capable, but since filling out a Sun-Times candidate questionnaire he has changed his mind and now opposes extending sales taxes to services, which could bring in extra money for cash-strapped governments.”