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Rants and Raves

As a resident of DeKalb I just want to give Kent Shodeen a shout out. Thanks for trying to invest in DeKalb. That's not the easiest thing in the world to do. I hope his investments in the Barb City provide value to the community and pay off handsomely...
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...
The resignation of NIU President Doug Baker is yet another setback for the university. Enrollment is on a steady decline and while some attribution can go to high tuition fees arising from its dependency on shaky (at best) state funding NIU suffers most from its word-of-mouth advertising. That word...
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,...
The Illinois Senate has embarked in what may be the first earnest attempt at passing a budget and getting some start on spending reforms since Gov. Rauner took office. The governor seemed to signal the Senate was headed in the right direction in his State of the State address...
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...
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,...
It's an ugly but common reality in public administration. A new genius is hired. They immediately start buying new toys and then proceed to justify the expense with a new policy enforcement. Such is the case with the City of DeKalb's Management Analyst and FOIA officer, Aaron Stevens. The City of...
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...
“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...

Max and Clyde

A couple of candidates dropped out of their races for seats on the boards of local government. Mike "Max" Maxwell announced his withdrawal as a candidate for 6th ward alderman in DeKalb. Scott "Clyde" Campbell penned a letter to the editor announcing his withdrawal from his bid to serve...
Editor's note: This rant's more caustic than usual but deservedly so. My dander is still up over the carpetbagging website deal much less the closed session browbeating of council members to get management pay raises reconsidered approved in an after the cameras were turned off BS session. But then...