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Guest View: Business interest in Sycamore increases

More than 40 years ago, Mayor Red Johnson appointed me to the Public Library Board as treasurer and to the Police Pension Board of Trustees. After six terms as city treasurer and now into a third and final term as mayor, it still is an honor to serve the public trust.

First things first, so credit goes to City Manager Brian Gregory, department heads, and all employees for bringing city services and projects to life for you.

Gregory continues to provide professional city management, with more than 12 years of serving Sycamore. He is supported by the city council, mayor, departments and the community.

The police department, under Police Chief Don Thomas, is proactive in community policing and protects life, limb, and property. 

Sycamore Fire House No. 2 continues to serve Sycamore well in terms of improved response times and as a comprehensive backup for Fire House No. 1. Fire Chief Pete Polarek continues to lead the Sycamore Fire Department.  

Public safety is a major city priority. Public Works Director Fred Busse leads streets, water and sewer services. The city has approved for the fifth year an aggressive locally funded street improvement program at $2.4 million. 

Parts of 14 streets will be resurfaced this year. In addition, Bethany Road will be widened from Peace Road to Aster Drive. 

John Sauter directs the Building, Engineering and Code Division, and the city engineer is John Laskowski. Adam Orton continues as city treasurer/assistant to the city manager, and Dan Prombo has joined us as accounting supervisor in the finance office. Sandy Wright retired with years of loyal service in the finance office, and we wish her the best.

Business is the heart and lifeblood of Sycamore, and the city is working with the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, local businesses, chambers of commerce, Sycamore School District 427, Kishwaukee College, Northern Illinois University and other stakeholders to encourage workforce retention and expansion in Sycamore and the surrounding area.  

There is increased interest from prospective businesses that may choose Sycamore as their home.

Many young people excelled in academics, athletics and altruism as they worked at school, their athletic venues, church, home and in service groups to advance their own skills and to provide service to others. 

We congratulate, thank and support them, especially those graduates who will move on to the next chapter of their lives. 

Although every family, business, farm, school, government, church, temple and other entity with a budget struggles today, Sycamore has been and continues to be a diverse community with many resources and a “can do” attitude. 

Economic conditions appear to be slowly improving, but we have a ways to go yet, with more jobs needed. Folks here will weather the challenges we face, work through them and realize the importance of faith, family and friends as we continue.  

Sycamore’s a great place to grow up, learn, work, worship and enjoy living where “Life offers more.”

Thanks for your trust and support.

• Ken Mundy is the mayor of Sycamore. He can be reached at 815-895-4517, or by email at

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