We asked both candidates: "If elected, will you maintain the no-lights status quo, protecting both Lincoln Park's residential neighborhoods and the character of its most cherished public space?"
Both candidates have pledged in writing to uphold the no lights status quo.
Michele Smith wrote: "Yes I will. I was proud to have worked together with the neighbors and Francis Parker School over a series of months to craft an Ordinance and a community agreement prohibiting the construction of permanent lights on the field and the creation of the Francis Parker Neighbors Community Relations Committee, which has been meeting successfully since 2011 to discuss neighborhood issues of concern. The ordinance and the community agreement was the result of fair and good faith negotiations among the neighbors and the Francis Parker community, and I wholeheartedly support them."
Caroline Vickrey wrote: "I am a strong champion for the community's voice in decisions that impact our quality of life, especially that of neighbors who live closest to the proposed development or activity. I support the no-lights status quo at Parker. I am very aware of Francis Parker Neighbors' extensive efforts to prevent the use of lights on the field and its impact on the quality of life in the surrounding buildings and stand by the City Council Ordinance to that effect."
Is there any reason to imagine that Parker will again press for lights? We hope not. But we got to this point only after 18 months of difficult and contentious negotiations.
And Parker insisted, over the objections of its neighbors, on putting conduit under their new artificial turf field bigger than needed for ordinary electrical outlets -- big enough to accommodate stadium lights.
Parker wanted to keep its options open. We need to assure that the lights option stays closed.
Francis Parker Neighbors