DeKALB – The city bid farewell to three aldermen Monday, who will be departing the Council after the aldermen-elect are sworn in May 13.
First Ward Alderman David Jacobson, 3rd Ward Alderwoman Joyce Stupegia and 5th Ward Alderwoman Kate Noreiko gave final remarks during their last full meeting. They were recognized for their service by Mayor Jerry Smith and City Manager Bill Nicklas, and each given a symbolic street sign named after them to commemorate their terms.
Jacobson, currently the longest-serving alderman, closed out his eight-year term by thanking former DeKalb City Manager Molly Talkington, whom he called “the love of my life.” She was in attendance with her children to support Jacobson. He has previously declined to comment on the apparent relationship.
“I remember coming in being the young gun with the full head of steam,” Jacobson said. “It’s certainly been a ride for me. Every semester I get up and speak in front of my undergraduate fraternity recruits and explain to them an important bit of information I have learned in my life: In any relationship that matters in life, you can only expect to take from it an equal measure to which you put in.
“I’ve spent the last eight years here trying to live up to that credo,” Jacobson continued. “While oftentimes it may have been a bit contentious, I’ve put my heart and my mind toward living up to the trust the voters of the 1st Ward and the City of DeKalb vested in me.”
Smith called Jacobson a “historical compass” to his fellow aldermen.
“I’ve call him difficult, often obnoxious, sometimes just too damn smart for this small-town mayor,” Smith said. “But I’ve gotten to respect Jacobson the more we’ve worked together.”
Noreiko, who dropped out of running for a second term shortly before the April election for “personal reasons,” thanked her family for supporting and encouraging her, and called city staff “the glue” that holds the city together.
“Serving as alderman has been a positive experience, one which has enriched me and absolutely changed me,” Noreiko said. “My hope going forward is that all of you work together respectfully and creatively to move the city.”
“Your thoughtfulness, your passion for doing the right thing and the stark realization that your vote may fly in the face of others on this dais, is very much appreciated,” Smith said, addressing Noreiko directly.
“We could not have done better than Joyce Stupegia,” Smith said, reflecting on the city’s need to fill the role for the remainder of former 3rd Ward Alderman Michael Marquardt’s term, after he resigned from the Council amid charges of theft and forgery.
Smith said Stupegia has already indicated she would like to return to her role on the police pension board.
Incoming Aldermen Carolyn Morris will serve the 1st Ward, Tracy Smith the 3rd Ward, and Scott McAdams the 5th Ward.