On April 10th residents who reside in DeKalb township will have a historic opportunity to participate in one of the only remaining forms of pure democracy that still exists and it only happens once a year. If you are a registered voter in the city of DeKalb, you will have the opportunity to vote to place three very important advisory referenda questions on the November general election ballot.
- “Shall the City of DeKalb continue to operate as a City Manager form of government?”
- “Shall the City of DeKalb continue to be a Home Rule city?”
- “Should the DeKalb Public Library become a library district instead of a municipal library?”
All three of these issues have been intensely discussed by the citizen’s of DeKalb and DeKalb Township for quite some time, but local leaders, including DeKalb Mayor Kris Povlsen have chosen to ignore the discussion. The irony is that Mayor Povlsen constantly insists that he wants to hear from the public on important issues affecting the city, but when citizens come forward at city council meetings and express an opinion that he disagrees with, Mayor Povlsen will often ignore or lecture the speaker. Too an extreme, a few weeks ago, he had representatives from the NIU center for Black Studies escorted out of the city council chambers by police. A travesty!
Two weeks ago, after the Mayor became aware that the citizens of DeKalb township were considering putting these advisory referenda on the agenda for approval at the April 10th Township Annual meeting, he resorted to name calling in an unsolicited angry E-mail sent to me from his official City of DeKalb e-mail account. This conduct not appropriate for a sitting Mayor.
Last week, the mayor also indicated he was having the city attorney look into the validity of these referenda – A waste of city time, resources and taxpayer dollars. He also referred those who seek to have these issues heard are “a group of obstructionists”. This mayor clearly has his head buried in the sand. We need to send our mayor and city council a message.
I would like to encourage every registered voter in DeKalb to come to the Annual Township Meeting at the township offices 2323 S. Fourth St. (R. t23) on April 10th at 7pm and vote ‘YES’ on these three referenda.