DeKALB – First Ward Alderman David Jacobson will not seek re-election in 2019, and at least one person says she plans to seek the open seat.
An eight-year veteran of the DeKalb City Council, Jacobson is the longest-serving incumbent alderman.
"In Illinois especially, term limits are not only important, but necessary," Jacobson said. "I think too often, people in the political sphere get complacent, and become politicians rather than public servants, running for their benefit and to keep their power. I strongly believe in those term limits and that I have served [DeKalb] proudly and happily."
Jacobson said he plans to focus on other opportunities in his personal and professional life.
"It's time for someone else to step up and take on the challenges the city is facing right now," Jacobson said.
Carolyn Morris, coming off an unsuccessful run for DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder in November, says she wants to step up to represent the 1st Ward which includes the northwest part of the city. Morris said Tuesday she already is collecting signatures to have her name on the ballot in the April 2 election.
"I'm really excited and eager to serve in any way I can," Morris said. "I'm finishing up my undergraduate degree in economics, and I think that will serve the community well. It sounds like there's a lot of work to be done and I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get started."
Morris ran as a Democrat in November, but City Council candidates traditionally have run as independents in DeKalb. There may be other candidates for the seat – people can file nominating petitions at the DeKalb Municipal Building from Dec. 10 to 17. Other seats up for grabs in spring include 3rd Ward, now represented by Michael Marquardt, the 5th Ward seat held by Kate Noreiko, and 7th Ward, now held by Anthony Faivre.
Jacobson had some advice for the next alderman from his ward.
"It's important to remember that the reason you're running is to be elected by the people and for the people," Jacobson said. "It's your job to put aside some of those special interested, stay educated, stay informed, and get out and meet people outside of your comfort zone."
"It's a changing city, and I think the next person that fills that seat is going to be challenged to be creative and certainly bring new ideas to the table," he said. "With our tax and ordinance burdens, development code, and those things, those have to be the primary focus going forward to spur growth and development in our community."
• Note to readers: This story was updated to reflect that DeKalb municipal elections are technically partisan elections, although candidates traditionally run as independents.