Stage Coach Theatre is hosting the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce candidate forum tonight (March 16) so I thought I’d add to the drama of the 2015 Consolidated Elections. Some drama is needed because there are only three contested races in DeKalb. Can you say low voter turnout?
But here’s the deal. The City of DeKalb’s future may well depend on the outcome of the April 7th elections. The city’s EAV is declining. Property tax rates are inclining. Debt is mounting. Revenue streams are unpredictable. Spending outpaces whatever revenue there is. NIU enrollment is falling especially residential students living in property tax paying rental units. More people are leaving DeKalb than are moving here.
So I put together some questions for the candidates for alderpersons. Actually these questions have been circulated among most of the candidates for some time. The only candidate to complete the survey was a challenger for the 5th ward, Michael Haji-Sheik. Craig Roman, running for the 7th ward, says he tried to fill out the survey but the link isn’t working.
Cameron Zelaya, another challenger for the 5th ward, was hesitant to take the survey when I first asked him through Facebook.
“Unfortunately, I’m currently in the process of reviewing the budget and wouldn’t be able to accurately answer this survey at this time,” he said.
Maybe now he has had time to review the budget. I’ll find out tonight as I visit with each of the candidates and try to get working email addresses from them. A candidate without a working email address probably shouldn’t bother.
Below is a sample of the questions. I offer them here for twofold reasoning. First it may help those who attend with questions to ask the candidates. Second the format here is for voters to answer the questions. There are a couple of tweaks from the actual candidate survey but it will give voters an idea of what is being asked.
Because whoever wins will almost immediately have to answer these questions with a vote on action items on the agenda. This is serious stuff.
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