The following is a summary of documents obtained from the City of DeKalb involving a group from the 5th Ward, the City of DeKalb, and the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) at NIU.
The 5th Ward group was first called a “task force” although it has never been an official city committee. Now, the informal association is known as the Ellwood Historic District or Ellwood Historic Neighborhood.
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As you can see, the 5th Ward group has enjoyed NIU “facilitation,” help with mailings, and other forms of support supplied by the City of DeKalb. Now, it is occupying itself with the happy problem of proposing $100,000 in TIF spending.
Members of the group expressed dismay during the April 19 meeting over a neighborhood backlash that included or implied accusations of “sinister motives.” Leader John Campen has taken steps to combat the image, by starting a Facebook page, expanding mailings and putting up audio of meetings.
Audio recording of the Ellwood Historic Neighborhood meeting April 19. DeKalb’s city manager, city clerk and 5th Ward alderman attended.