Verbic believes he is best prepared to lead DeKalb as Mayor

    Mike Verbic

    The citizens of DeKalb will hire their next Mayor on April 9th. The Mayoral position is critical to the organizational success of the City of DeKalb and the welfare of its citizens. Our City, much like any business or other public entity, relies upon the vision, experience and character of its leader. All three meld as decisions are weighed and actions are taken.

    Mike Verbic for Mayor of DeKalb
    Mike Verbic for Mayor of DeKalb

    Our leader must not only be able to determine the best course of action in support of the organization’s desired mission but do so in a manner where stakeholders are truly heard and fiscal checks and balances are weighed alongside the needs of the organization.

    DeKalb not only deserves but needs a Mayor that is well prepared for and committed to this great responsibility. This responsibility requires that our candidate not only has the proven ability to build consensus among elected officials and community members but also the demonstrated capability to appropriately oversee our valuable tax dollars while protecting the vital services our neighbors rely upon. In short, we require a candidate with elected leadership know-how founded upon extensive experience in successful governance. I, Mike Verbic, am that candidate.

    I am the only candidate for Mayor that provides proven results in leading an elected group of public officials. Those results include: establishing policy toward raising achievement of the children in our schools for eight straight years; planning and oversight of a $110 million capital improvement project that came in on time and on budget; responsibly balancing a $60 million plus operating budget; raising the credit rating of the School District #428 prior to issuing bonds and substantially growing the partnership among our School District and Northern Illinois University – all while actively engaging citizens for their opinions and direction.

    The far-reaching benefits of these optimal results give DeKalb the upper hand in; attracting new business and industry; providing optimal facilities for teaching and learning; saving taxpayers millions of dollars in interest while bonding for our new high school, new elementary school and other school improvements and gaining an advantage for our school children and educators while they work with NIU professionals and teaching candidates. Moreover, all of these benefits were attained while carefully matching expenses with revenues to protect our public education resources.

    The merit of my candidacy for Mayor of DeKalb stands not only in governing elected bodies to successful ends but also founds itself on business proficiency. In 1992, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from NIU. Most of the twenty years since earning that degree were spent in leadership positions in small businesses, much like the ones owned by our families, friends and neighbors. Blending a business-based formal education along with real-life small business experience allows me to offer considerate and invaluable understanding. This unique perspective will benefit the heart of our business community. Moreover, I effectively negotiated with developers and corporations, such as Target, to share in the responsible growth of our Community. Small and large business endeavors facing our City will not only benefit from my accomplished experience, but also the employees of our City. My School Board tenure provided me with the opportunity to negotiate successful contracts with the four bargaining units of our School District. Like the City of DeKalb, each bargaining unit provides unique and valuable services to its customers; the taxpayers. Each must be met and negotiated with accordingly. Moreover, my business skill-set provides an equal footing to work with and prudent capability to oversee the City Manager.

    Governing experience and strong business skills alone do not make my candidacy for Mayor unsurpassed. I would be remiss not to discuss the importance and pride in the successful relationships I have built. These relationships define me and the character I will bring to the office of Mayor. As a member of the DeKalb School Board, I established strong relationships with our neighbors in Cortland and Malta. These bonds will help maximize the resources of our region. Moreover, I served on the Governing Board for the DeKalb County Special Education Association for 4 years to ensure the education of our students with special needs. Beyond my role as a public official, I support neglected and abused children through volunteer efforts for CASA DeKalb County and I volunteer as a girls’ softball coach for our Park District.

    It is, however, my personal relationships that provide the greatest insight. I am a 4th-generation resident of DeKalb. I am fortunate enough to share my life with four other generations of my family right here in DeKalb. Why is that important in the selection of a Mayor? It shows that I am committed to our City and to you, not just in words, but in actions. My wife Jennifer and I have been married almost 20 years. We met during college and have chosen DeKalb as the best place to live and raise our children Michael (16) and Grace (12). When we are not volunteering or attending our children’s various events, we spend time with family and friends. Many of these friends attended the same elementary, middle and high school as I did. Some friends are new. They come from such far away places as Sycamore or from across the world to make DeKalb their home. Each adds not only to our life but our community. We are truly fortunate.

    DeKalb has a lot at stake for my family and yours. The future of DeKalb is best laid in the hands of an experienced leader with business know-how and a life invested in our Community and you. That leader is me and I ask for your vote on April 9th.

    You may read more about me and my ideas for our great City at and


    1. In regards to TIF funds. How much do you support TIF funds being used or given to small local businesses that may be struggling versus TIF funds being used or given to large chain businesses that do not necessarily need funds. Or to what extent do you support the use of TIF funds?

      • Thank you for asking Tammy!

        I support the use of TIF funds, with regard to economic development, when the level of private capital investment exceeds our public capital investment. I don’t support the use of TIF funds to provide incentives to new businesses when we already have similar businesses in our City. They need to pay their own way and/or negotiate with the property or land owner they wish to locate with.

        In Sycamore, for example, the property owner of the Hyvee Shopping Center received $150,000 in assistance from the City of Sycamore. The cost to refurbish that shopping center for Hyvee, and other businesses, was many times more than $150,000. The net result was a higher assessed value, resulting in an increase in property tax revenue for the City of Sycamore and their schools, mostly as a result of private investment.

        In DeKalb, we offered a $900,000 incentive to Olive Garden and the owners of that property. I do not believe the net result will equate to an assessed value, and added property tax revenue, at many times more than $900,000. In this case, the City of DeKalb is banking on a significant increase in sales tax revenue from sales at Olive Garden, over the long term, to recoup our $900,000 investment. Surrounding businesses may also show added sales tax revenue. The assessed value of an Olive Garden restaurant, and resulting property tax income, should be higher than the vacant store that sits there now but we have not yet determined if that location will be defined as a TIF district.

        We must be careful during these economic times as the assessed value of properties, overall, is declining. TIF relies upon an increase in assessed value and uses the dollars of that increase toward the investment in a particular TIF district.

        We also have to be cautious with regard to TIF impacts on other taxing bodies, like our School District. Our schools are funded largely by property taxes. The costs of educating our students continues to increase. When we freeze the assessed value of all properties in a particular TIF district, our school funding from property tax value does not keep up with the increasing costs of educating our children. The School District has to overcome this net negative result over the life of the TIF. The School District eventually receives TIF surplus funds, when realized, but those funds do not keep up with the pace of our increasing costs of public education. When private investment occurs, by adding to the overall assessed value of our properties, our schools and other taxing bodies benefit.

        Our School District includes the Town of Cortland and Village of Malta. When DeKalb makes a TIF decision, it impacts the taxpayers of Cortland and Malta, as their property taxes also help fund the School District we share. We must solidify our partnerships, and Intergovernmental Agreements with partner taxing bodies, to make sure our TIF decisions are sound decisions for the future of our communities.

    2. Mike, You have been quite forthcoming in our previous conversations, so with that in mind, here is question for you and all of the candidates that needs to be answered. Would you retain Mark Biernacki as City manager If elected?

      • My first order of business is listening to Citizens, Council and Dept. Heads to make sure we are on the same page regarding the City’s direction. I intend to lead Council through a review of Mark’s performance and compare that to goals set forth by Council. Our Mayor and Council should perform this duty upon each Mayoral election and every year thereafter. We need to make sure our City Leadership has the ability and inclination to carry out our Council’s Agenda.

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