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Duffy: Make the best of change – it’s here

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

When people refer to the weather in the Midwest, one comment you’ll often here is if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change. Well, you won’t need to wait long for changes to happen in DeKalb.

Over the past year there have been a number of changes that have taken place in some key positions throughout DeKalb. A new police chief (Gene Lowery), a new fire chief (Eric Hicks), a new high school principal (Tamra Ropeter), new editor of the Daily Chronicle (Eric Olson), and plenty of changes at Northern Illinois University including a new head football coach (Rod Carey) and a new athletic director coming with the departure of Jeff Compher. Still more changes are coming fast with a new mayor and city council members after the upcoming election next week, a new city manager with Mark Biernacki retiring and a new president of Northern Illinois University with John Peters retiring.

Changes are not exclusive to positions but also to events with Corn Fest moving weekends and locations with a move to Labor Day weekend and heading back to downtown DeKalb. The police will move into a new headquarters when the police station is completed.

Most people today have ideas about changes that would make DeKalb better and there is no better time to do that then now. Some fear change because not all change is good, but all change does provide an opportunity for something great to happen. No matter what your opinion on any of the changes mentioned or those not included, change is here and opportunity is knocking. Be sure that you take a positive look at any change that involves you and take the opportunity to make the change that moves you forward instead of one that has you looking back.

One suggestion is to be part of the solution when it comes to change. Being part of the solution begins next week by getting out to vote April 9. No matter what your thoughts are or who you vote for, it’s important to cast your vote and let your voice be heard. To find out more about the candidates, check out the audio of the Candidates Night held last month at the chamber’s website at or visit the Daily Chronicle website ( for more election coverage. Voting is where change begins and once the votes are counted (regardless of the outcome), everyone needs to be on board with the decision. Use your knowledge to make the change positive because change is upon us.

• Matt Duffy is executive director of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.

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