Ald. O’Connor vists GRO meeting

Ald. O’Connor (Ward 40) spoke about developments in his ward at Tuesday’s meeting.

Come the ward boundary changes in 2015, much of the territory making up the Greater Rockwell Organization’s service area will move from Ward 47 to 40 .

As a welcome gesture, Ward 40 Alderman Patrick O’Connor visited the group Tuesday night to give an update on developments in his ward, and address concerns of members.

O’Connor let residents know that the shopping center at Lincoln and Peterson will soon be home to a Chipotle and a Potbelly’s — however, O’Connor lamented that the business close to his heart would not be setting up shop: A Krispy Kreme.

He also reported on the requests he has received for tree planting in the ward, saying that unfortunately much of the city’s tree budget has gone toward inoculating existing trees against the emerald ash borer beetle and cutting down dead trees that were impacted.

“The city is kind of moving out of the tree-planting business,” he said, adding that planting would likely pick up again in the spring.

He praised the Peterson Garden Project, which has gained immense popularity. He has hopes of further expanding the project.

“The program director lives in our community and it’s a project that has really grown legs,” he said. “It’s been wonderful.”

O’Connor said the city purchased a motel property on Lincoln a couple years ago, and he hopes to use that space for a lot. He asked neighbors to let him know if they are aware of additional potential spots.

He talked about a charitable organization in the ward called Goldie’s Place, which offers homeless, unemployed women access to work-appropriate clothing as well as a dental program.

“They were in Rogers Park but they re-located to Lincoln Ave and Fairfield,” O’Connor said. “They’re accepting donations for men’s AND women’s clothing. It’s a charity we’ve embraced.”

In other news, GRO announced some upcoming events including a food drive the weekend of Oct. 18-20, as well as a Rockwell Crossing clean-up day from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. Those interested in helping can meet outside Beans and Bagels before that time.

The organization also voted in a new board, including:

  • Patti Huetteman, president
  • Emily Carruthers, 1st vice president
  • Meryl Williams*, 2nd vice president
  • Bea Tersch, secretary
  • Tracy Bartholomew, treasurer

*Full disclosure: Meryl Williams manages and edits 60625.

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