DeKALB – First Ward Alderman David Jacobson believes he has the vision necessary to lead DeKalb as its next mayor.
The 28-year-old alderman formally announced his candidacy for DeKalb mayor Thursday.
Jacobson joins John Rey, a retired Ag/Monsanto employee; Mike Verbic, a member of the DeKalb School District 428 Board; and Jennifer Groce, the former executive director of Re:New DeKalb, in the field of candidates. In order to appear on the April ballot, candidates must submit nominating petitions in December.
In 2011, Jacobson beat then-Alderman Bertrand Simpson for the 1st Ward seat, earning more than 70 percent of the vote. Jacobson said he often has disagreed with the council’s decisions, describing them as being Band-Aids and patchwork.
“I think we can do better for the voters,” Jacobson said. “I think we can do better for the residents, and I think we can definitely do better for local businesses, and I think we can do better for the students.”
Jacobson said the City Council should be a proactive legislative body, not a reactive one. He said he would reduce the city’s wasteful practices and spending.
“A lot of government entities, whether they be the city, the state or the federal government, are woefully behind in a lot of areas,” Jacobson said. “While most private individuals and businesses have had to do things differently in the past few years, the city hasn’t done that.”
In particular, Jacobson singled out how the city spends money for its tax increment financing districts.
In these districts, the amount of property tax revenue collected by local governments is frozen at a base level for 23 years. Property taxes are not capped though. The money collected above the base level – called the increment – goes into a special fund to pay for improvements within the district.
Jacobson said the TIF money that the city has spent on improvements in downtown DeKalb has been poorly invested because it has not drawn new businesses to the area.
“I want to see results,” Jacobson said.
Jacobson has lived in DeKalb since 2002. He has an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Kishwaukee College, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from NIU. Jacobson remains heavily involved with the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, serving on the fraternity’s national board of directors and the owner/manager of their house at 900 Greenbrier Road.
His campaign news release states he will be hosting a number of meet-and-greets, with the first scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 18 at Fanatico Restaurant, 1215 Blackhawk Road in DeKalb. His campaign website, www.jacobsonfordekalb.com, will be online after Jan. 1.
Mayoral candidates must collect 239 to 383 signatures to appear on the ballot. The filing period for candidate petitions for all local offices is Dec. 17 to Dec. 24.