Why I’ve Challenged the DeKalb City Manager’s Residency

During the regular city council meeting last night, I challenged DeKalb city manager Anne Marie Gaura’s claim that she lives in DeKalb.

The DeKalb Municipal Code does not explicitly require that the city manager live in DeKalb, but the city’s contract with Gaura does. She was obligated to establish residency in the city within one year of her hire date in early 2014.

The requirement is important, because Gaura heads up emergency services. Police, fire, and public works all answer to her.

However, public records suggest she still makes her real home in Kane County.

First let me explain my method. This was not something I spontaneously decided to investigate. Rather, an anonymous citizen tipped me off about certain addresses in North Aurora. From there I combed government websites, so-called online “white pages,” real estate sites, and even obituaries (to understand the relationships between the names that were popping up in records).

The most important fact is that, while Gaura does not own property in DeKalb, she does co-own two properties in North Aurora, one of them a home on Timber Oaks Drive in which her husband shares ownership.

This by itself is not a concern, because it can be difficult to unload a home these days. However, I cannot find any evidence that the Timber Oaks home is — or ever has been — on the market.

Perhaps they are renting out the North Aurora home — except Gaura is taking the homestead exemption on the Timber Oaks property.

If the Gaura family is living in DeKalb, they shouldn’t be benefiting from a Kane County tax exemption for owner-occupied property. If Gaura is still living in North Aurora, she’s in violation of her contract with the city.

Gaura’s also still registered to vote in Kane County.

Last night I talked about how the DeKalb city manager should be someone who’s jumped in with both feet, has 100% commitment to DeKalb, is not hedging her bets and has some skin in the game.

Most importantly, citizens should be able to know that if DeKalb has an emergency at 2 a.m. requiring Gaura’s presence, her phone will wake her up in DeKalb, not North Aurora.
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Resources:
Kane County Tax Assessor
DeKalb County Property Tax Search
Illinois Voter Registration Lookup
Kane County Voter Information
Illinois Secretary of State’s Registration Verification
Trulia.com and other real estate websites