DeKALB – The makeup of the next DeKalb City Council is starting to emerge as leaders discuss their plans for the April election.
At least three people have declared their intent to run for the three alderman positions available on the council. The city clerk and mayor positions, plus three of the seven aldermen seats, are up for election in April. Candidates can submit their petitions from Monday until 5 p.m. Dec. 26.
Bill Finucane, the manager of transportation services at Northern Illinois University, said he is running in the 2nd Ward, while incumbent Dave Baker said he will seek re-election in the 6th Ward. Robert Snow, who owns Parkside Bed & Breakfast at 203 E. Roosevelt St. and is a former assistant to the dean of NIU College of Law, is running for the 4th Ward seat.
Meanwhile, several current officials have said they are not seeking re-election, including Mayor Kris Povlsen, 2nd Ward Alderman Tom Teresinski, 4th Ward Alderman Brendon Gallagher and City Clerk Diane Wright.
Baker expects to feel their absences.
“I guess the best thing about a City Council is the diversity of experiences everyone can bring to that council when it comes to making new laws and setting policies,” Baker said. “I think with the specialized experiences of the people [who are leaving], it could lead to a gap of background.”
Public safety is one of Baker’s key issues, which he described as being “paramount to the future of our community.” In addition to having spent 12 years on the City Council, Baker has served with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Auxiliary for 10 years.
The environment and mass transit were key issues for Finucane. He said with the city growing as it is, there needs to some kind of coordination between NIU’s Huskie Bus System and the Voluntary Action Center’s TransVAC system. He added that public transportation can help the lower-income residents get from their homes to their jobs.
“With my background in transportation and environmental, we can make the city a little more sustainable,” Finucane said. “With the gap between the university and the city, we can repair some of that and bring that back together.”
Snow declined to comment on his key issues, but he said his motivation to run came out of his love for the city where he was born and raised.
“I have an interest in seeing the city run efficiently and I have a background to see it through,” Snow said.
Povlsen said serving in a local government can be a rewarding experience, but would-be candidates need to be aware of the criticism that comes with it.
“They need to be sure they can make decisions based on what’s best for whatever they’re serving and not be concerned about losing friends, making people upset or being criticized,” Povlsen said.