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Rants and Raves

DeKalb County Taxpayers began with my own property tax appeal. I received notice of an assessment change with no details to support it and since I had made no changes to my property, I began to do some digging, beginning with gathering the data I would need. I would...
Over the past few years when problems arise with City of DeKalb or Northern Illinois University staff, it seems the best way to resolve these issues is to offer them money and make them and the problem go away. Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised now, as it has...
Apartments and properties owned in part by the Hunter Apartment Group have created many problems for both the renters and the City of DeKalb. Over the past several months the Hunter Apartment Group have been cited for more than 500 city code violations according to the legal department at...
If Tracy Williams children attended Cortland Elementary School would he be content to wait 30 days to find out what caused them to get sick and transported to the hospital? I don't really know Williams. But if I was in an affected parent's shoes, I wouldn't. I'd be upset and...
CORRECTED: DeKalb City Manager, Anne Maria Gaura's contract was renewed and amended to an indefinite term with 6 months severance package. It was a 5-3 vote. Bill Finucane, Kate Noreiko, Mike Marquardt, Tony Faivre, and Jerry Smith voted yes. Dave Jacobson, Mike Verbic, and Pat Fagan voted no. The...
“Today, you have a chance to do what is right, to follow the law and to regain the trust of students, parents, faculty, staff, and citizens of DeKalb.” -- Misty Haji-Sheikh; 5th ward DeKalb resident, DeKalb County Board member (District 7) and unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of DeKalb Haji-Sheikh’s attorney, Charles...
I got word last week that a new watchdog-type organization is forming in DeKalb County. The members should find a fine reception here in City of DeKalb, where over the past several years myriad formal and informal groups of citizens have cropped up in response to bad policy, misplaced priorities,...
City Hall Sign

Who Do You Trust?

Is it possible that public trust and confidence in local government has hit an all-time low for the City of DeKalb? Many remember a time when most people had a healthy distrust of national government, but local government usually got the benefit of the doubt. Over the last few years,...
So my inbox gets a flurry of emails alerting me to a "press conference" in the Fellowship Hall of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in DeKalb. Getting invited by a county board member to a press conference at a church to discuss City of DeKalb and NIU affairs feels all communiversityish....
The DeKalb County Board is trying to cover a shortfall of over $1 million to balance the budget for 2018 without going into reserves and to make up for the lost fuel tax windfall from an agreement set-up by airline companies to avoid paying taxes to Cook County. A proposal to...
If you are driving in DeKalb and commit a crime your car will be towed. To get your car back you will pay a $500 administrative tow fee plus the actual towing, impoundment and storage fees charged by the associated towing contractors. Do the crime? Pay the fine. I get that. By...
There are times when it is darn near impossible to figure out a politician's actions. I know because I am officially a candidate for third ward alderman in DeKalb so that makes me a politician -- at least until I turn in my withdrawal from candidacy papers. A few hours after...