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Government Local

DeKalb housing group blueprints policy timeline


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DeKALB – The DeKalb Safe/Quality Housing Task Force has set a tentative schedule for when it would like to turn its recommendations into city policy.

The three task force subcommittees are formulating their mission statements and objectives, which could be adopted at the full task force’s January meeting.

Mayor Kris Povlsen said after about a year of discussion and idea generating, he wanted the task force to formalize its mission statement to give its eventual recommendations more authority.

“We felt a couple of months ago that to make a document would have more credibility and would make sure the goals they wanted to address met their mission statement,” Povlsen said.

That credibility will help future administrations and city councils, he said.

Povlsen said he wanted the subcommittees to present five specific issues they could address, along with “outcome based goals.”

After that, attorneys from the Chicago-based firm Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, whom the city has hired as consultants for the task force, will meet to discuss possible licensing and nuisance ordinances – a controversial proposal touched on during the council’s discussions of the Ellwood Historic Neighborhood’s improvement implementation plan.

The task force also will work to formalize a proposal to be reviewed by the city council in March.

Povlsen said city officials likely would take the next three months to work on any alternatives or possible changes to the ordinances suggested by the council.

They also will use April’s budget negotiation sessions to hash out the resources the city has available to implement and enforce any new ordinances.

Povlsen said the tentative goal is to have full implementation of the task force’s recommendations by July.

One recommendation – the creation of a resident officer program, in which a police officer lives in a renovated house in a troubled neighborhood, which would then be the officer’s specialized beat – has been forwarded to the city council for its consideration.

Police Chief Bill Feithen recommended the house be located in the Pleasant Street neighborhood.

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