BEVERLY — Anne Schaible said she learned a lot in her last race for 19th Ward alderman.
Schaible plans to implement those lessons as she faces off again against Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) in the February aldermanic election.
"I just need to get out there and talk to people," said Schaible, who has been going door to door since Aug. 24 surveying neighborhood residents about their concerns.
Schaible finished second among five candidates vying for 19th Ward alderman on Feb. 22, 2011. She received 6,526 votes or 28 percent of the total. O'Shea received 14,426 votes or 61 percent of the total.
A lifelong Beverly resident, Schaible realizes that unseating an incumbent is difficult. But that's not going to stop her.
Schaible has been a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology for 23 years. Her husband, Keith, is a neurosurgeon and partner at their medical office in nearby Evergreen Park. The Schaibles have three sons, Matt, 23, Mike, 21, and Pete, 18.
Schaible practices medicine part time and said she'd give up the position if elected alderman.
Pensions and taxes are among the top concerns Schaible said she's heard while canvassing the Southwest Side neighborhood.
"There should be no discretionary spending until the pension problem is solved," Schaible said Wednesday.
She was also critical of O'Shea's voting record, as well as the voting records of all of Chicago's 50 aldermen. If elected, she promised to post all of her city council votes online, along with her reasons for voting the way she did.
"All our aldermen have voted in lock step with the mayor," she said.
Schaible also believes 19th Ward residents are concerned about public safety. These concerns are further fueled by reduced staffing levels throughout the Chicago Police Department.
Schaible worries that this scenario frequently pulls police officers out of Beverly and into higher crime areas, thus leaving the 19th Ward unprotected.
"No one can tell you that we are fully manned in the 22nd District," she said.
Crime is a personal issue for Schaible, who fell victim to a break-in in 2011. While she and her husband slept, robbers snuck in through a window and stole her her television, purse and other items.
"To this day, I look to see that the TV is still there every morning when I wake up," she said.
Separately, an ice rink and gymnastics center at 115th Street and Western Avenue is now under construction in Morgan Park. This Chicago Park District facility is perhaps the biggest neighborhood development in O'Shea's tenure.
Schaible wouldn't say if she'd have pursued the project. But she openly wondered if the money slated for the indoor ice rink might have been better spent improving existing parks. She specifically mentioned the sagging roof at Ridge Park in Beverly and aging windows at Mount Greenwood Park.
"$15 million goes a long way," she said.
Commercial development is another priority for Schaible, particularly along the Western Avenue business corridor. She hopes to pursue changes to the liquor laws in this area, which Schaible believes would attract more restaurants to the high-traffic strip.
On the education front, Schaible has noticed a shift within the neighborhood. While still a stronghold for Catholic schools, she believes an increasing number of residents are opting for public schools in the wake of the recent recession.
Residents "are liking what they've found in public schools," she said.
Following this trend, Schaible said she'd like to further increase the number of neighborhood students accepted into the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Mount Greenwood.
In response, O'Shea said neighborhood students were already given preference at the Ag School. He also noted that his voting record — along with that of all Chicago aldermen — already is available on the city clerk's website.
O'Shea said pension reform continued to be a priority for the City Council but required legislative action from Springfield to move forward.
Schaible's campaign headquarters are at 3135 W. 111th St. in Mount Greenwood, but she said she enjoys getting out into the neighborhood to talk with residents.
"I am loving have these conversations because I am learning," she said.
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