Letter to the Editor – Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith
    Jerry Smith, Candidate for DeKalb’s Mayor

    Many residents who were unable to attend the first DeKalb mayoral candidate forum have heard about my initial action plan. I’d like to share it with DeKalb County Online readers.

    During my first 100 days as mayor of DeKalb, I Will:

    • Strike a balance between city hall being considered friendly or in “lockdown mode,” understanding that safety, too, is important.

    • Evaluate our senior staff, including the city manager, city attorney and all department heads, and after consultation with the City Council and others, recommend changes where needed.

    • Engage our law enforcement agencies, neighborhood groups and our faith community to ensure improved public safety in our community. Simply put, criminal elements are not welcome here.

    • Work with Northern Illinois University’s board of trustees and administration to involve the city more closely. The university’s enrollment decline will be a major focus, and the city will work with NIU to find solutions.

    • Be laser-focused on economic development. We need new construction. We need good-paying career jobs.

    • Take an active role in the Community Economic Development Strategy plan, side by side with DeKalb County government, DeKalb County Economic Development Corp., NIU, DeKalb County Community Foundation, the DeKalb County Farm Bureau and other community partners.

    • Investigate how the city can help retain our younger residents, including those graduating from high school, NIU, and Kishwaukee College. Our future leaders should want to stay in DeKalb, where they can live, work and raise their own families.

    • Demand accountability from all city departments, especially for how our limited financial resources are being spent.

    • Put a high priority on addressing the Egyptian Theatre. Let’s not tap-dance around this any longer.

    There will be future opportunities for the four candidates to inform our residents about our platforms. In the meantime, please visit my website, www.jerryfordekalb.com. You may also reach me on Facebook, email me at jerryfordekalb@gmail.com, or if you’d like to chat, call me at 815-751-6265.

    I am excited at early interest in not only my candidacy, but in how our residents see this election as critically important to our fine city.

    Jerry Smith

    Candidate for mayor