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Local

Mayor Jerry Smith selects choice for 4th Ward alderman

DeKalb City Council to vote on mayor’s choice for Fourth Ward alderman

DeKALB – Gregory Perkins is Mayor Jerry Smith's choice to become DeKalb's new Ward 4 alderman, and the city council will vote on his appointment Tuesday.

According to city documents, Perkins, of the 100 block of Devonshire Drive, is a lifelong resident of DeKalb and works as operations manager at Ryerson Metal Processing and Distribution in DeKalb. The council will convene their regular meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. instead of Monday due to Veterans Day. If approved, Perkins will immediately be sworn in as alderman at the start of the meeting to begin his term.

"Because of his knowledge of the community, because of his interest of government, because he knows what we're trying got do as city council now, I think he' going to hit the ground running," Smith said of Perkins Thursday.

Perkins did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

After former 4th Ward Alderman Pat Fagan resigned from his role at the end of September due to moving out of the ward, Smith was tasked with finding someone to fill the role and serve the remainder of Fagan's term, through April 2021. Smith said six people volunteered for the job, though one was not considered because they lived outside the ward. After interviewing the candidates, Smith chose Perkins due to what he says is a lifelong devotion to DeKalb.

"It really boiled down to the fact that I certainly felt that he was by far and away the best person to fill the role in a time when we needed someone who is not only aware of the ward but is aware of the city, its demographic changes over the many many years," Smith said.

Perkins a graduate of DeKalb High School, Northern Illinois University, where he earned a degree in finance, and has worked with sports teams, including as a founder of the Northern Illinois Football Club. He was a treasurer at First Baptist Church of DeKalb, and is a member of the Board of Trustees for The Benevolent and Protective Elks Lodge No. 765.

He's married to Shelly Perkins, executive director of the DeKalb County Housing Authority. They have three children, Hayden, Michaela and Jacob.

"These are good people, good stock," Smith said. "People who are interested in helping the city council continue the momentum that I think we've been able to garner over the last couple of years."

Smith said he also solicited advice from Fagan prior to recommending Perkins' appointment.

"I did review Mr. Perkins' qualifications with Ald. Fagan who I felt was not only in a position where he could give me some thoughts on Greg," Smith said. "But also I felt obligated that there was a fellow who had served for two and a half years who had a good handle on the ward. I think [Fagan] would agree that Greg Perkins is a first rate citizen and a great choice to be our new alderman."

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