[Author of this, City Barbs’ first post, is Joe Croft. A glitch in moving the website a few years ago put Lynn’s name on everything.]
Don’t mind the southern accent, I’m a yankee who lived in Texas for too many years.
To start, let me explain the purpose of this blog. I will then move on to explain the motivation for why this blog was started.
We hope that this blog will start a discussion in the community of just where WE the citizens want it to grow. The industries, the schools, the parks and the over all character and spirit of the city.
We invite all of the citizens of Dekalb to make their opinions known. Either by responding to the articles posted, or drop us an email if you want to start authoring your own articles.
We do reserve the right to refuse, or to take down postings which are vulger, profane or slanderous. Spam, your selling your business is not allowed, you can mention any business in your posts as long as the post itself is not just an advertisement for the business.
Now for the motivations.
For 20+ years I lived in Texas, the cities and their governance were just there. I was either too naive or they were too quiet to attract my attention. I’m not sure which. To say the least, the towns just sprawled along the freeway between Ft. Worth and Dallas. With few exceptions it was hard to tell which city you were in because of the lack of any discernable character between towns. In the summer of 2004 the group I work for in my company was moved to up here in Illinois. The office is located in Warrenville. This move gave my wife and I the rare opportunity to actually look all around the area and choose where we wanted to live. The Naperville area didn’t impress us at all. It looked just like the towns we left in Texas, miles and miles of houses and strip malls. Granted, Naperville itself has a nice older and historic downtown but it seems to get blurred by the surrounding sprawl. Lake County was too expensive, Chicago was scary, any of the small towns along Route 30 and 34, though nice, seemed like they would offer a daily drive of more traffic than I ever care to be in.
After much searching, we found DeKalb. A small town with definitive borders. Good mix of old and new, a state university, easy access to work by way of I88, good restaurants, growing but not exploding. We could see living in this town a good long time.
Sadly the honeymoon is over. We are now seeing the problems the town is facing. Much of the problems are with its growth and how it it will support its citizens with schools and industry. Now we are learning of the solutions which have been proposed over the last 10 or so years with Warehousing, excuse me, I mean Logistics. DeKalb is currently slated by much of the city government to house some of the largest logistics (warehousing) centers in the area. Thousands of trucks with their pollution, the noise and lights, the mediocre jobs they offer. What a solution!
Since we plan on living here a good long time, we figure we need to get involved to help this city not lose the charms that drew us, and I’m sure many others, to it. To help it remain a place that the long time residents will want to continue to live. A place where all of our children can grow up and raise their children and grandchildren.