DeKALB – Third Ward Alderwoman Kristen Lash and 5th Ward Alderman Ron Naylor will not seek re-election to their DeKalb City Council seats in April.
Lash announced at the end of the DeKalb City Council meeting Monday that she had decided not to seek a second term. After the meeting, she explained she is working full-time as a library assistant at Northern Illinois University’s Founders Memorial Library and plans to pursue two master’s degrees.
“The biggest factor is that my life is going in a very different direction than I thought it would four years ago,” Lash said. “I want to focus on my work and school, and still have time for my husband.”
When Lash, 30, was elected in 2011, she wanted a seat on the City Council because of her interest in politics and nonprofits. Now, however, she said she’s happy with her job at NIU, which is why she’s earning a master’s degree from NIU in computer science and will start an online master’s program in library and information sciences from the University of Illinois within the next year.
Naylor, 72, was first elected in 2007 and won a re-election bid in 2011.
“I’m a believer in two terms and move on,” Naylor said. “So I’m going to abide by that.”
Retired from a career in the public sector, Naylor said he plans to travel once he completes his term. In the meantime, he hopes the council can accomplish some of the many goals it has, such as completing various studies and plans.
He said he has no regrets and enjoyed serving the public while working with his fellow aldermen.
Lash noted the change in city leadership over the past three years, adding she believes the city is in good hands with City Manager Anne Marie Gaura in place. The DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport is among the areas she thinks still needs some attention.
“The airport, that’s been a thorn in the side of every City Council,” Lash said. “Whether it can be self-sustaining or needs to be a regional authority.”
Her one regret, she said, is that she hasn’t been able to increase the amount of social services funding the council awards above the annual $150,000 that is dispersed to a number of groups.
The City Council seats of Lash and Naylor along with those of 1st Ward Alderman David Jacobson and 7th Ward Alderwoman Monica O’Leary, will be up for election next year. O’Leary and Jacobson said they have not decided if they will run.
The first day to circulate petitions is Sept. 23. Those interested in running for the 3rd Ward seat will need to collect between 25 and 75 signatures while candidates for the 5th Ward seat will need between 33 and 83 signatures. The filing period is Dec. 15 through Dec. 22.