Taking away the city clerk’s role in checks and balances

Jumping off my last post and recent discussion of it, I want to share a little more of the context in which I currently attempt to function as city clerk in DeKalb. This time last year, I signed and sealed some contracts and all plats, ordinances, resolutions, and licenses. Hundreds of documents crossed my desk…

As DeKalb city clerk, I feel like a punching bag

***Update: Find discussion and comments in our Facebook group .*** When I read the other day the Daily Chronicle is still calling it a “rift” in describing what’s going on between the city manager’s office and me as city clerk, I realized I have to say more than I have before. It’s no longer a…

Five reasons to slow down expansion plans for DeKalb’s in-house administrative hearings

There’s city council support for a Committee of the Whole meeting to air issues with the city attorney’s project to expand the types of ordinance violations the city will hear in-house. I think the CoW is going to happen, and I’ll keep you posted. If so, it’s an excellent development, and shows council’s responsiveness to…

Will DeKalb learn from the departure of Tinez Tacos?

Last weekend I found out that the owners of the Tinez Tacos food truck have worked out a parking spot in Malta, and will serve from 11am to 7pm weekdays this summer at Hickey’s Corner Store. If comments at the City Barbs Facebook group are any indication, residents of DeKalb wish them well in their…

DeKalb’s credibility is suddenly becoming visible to the naked eye

“Folks, we blew it,” said the mayor. Mayor Jerry Smith recalled his previous State of the City assertion that DeKalb must “acknowledge our shortcomings and our mistakes” last night, when he brought up DeKalb’s violation of the Open Meetings Act of last Friday. “We blew it” is what he told the staff members involved, he…

We’ll soon see what this council is made of

***Updated 6pm: Check out the city attorney’s “blooper” during last evening’s meeting when he explained why he advised the mayor to adjourn the meeting before council could vote on the matter at hand. I’ve placed a video clip of it at the end of this post, or you could click here for the clip and…

DeKalb can become “business friendly” when this city manager is gone

DeKalb city council had another goal-setting session Tuesday evening. It was a good session, as was last month’s, but at one point I had to laugh, and it was during the perennial make-DeKalb-more-business-friendly discussion. I dearly wish more council members truly understood that friendliness is impossible under city manager Anne Marie Gaura. Unless you are…

City’s water bill issue a symptom of a larger problem

***Updates 2/8: City says no double-billing was involved, so I’ve deleted statements below to the contrary. I do intend to look at 2017 billing cycle dates to confirm the bases for bills from previous months. That the error mostly affects customers on the south side has been confirmed. City remains silent on the plight of…

A fresh look at “old” financial advice for DeKalb

At a recent budget meeting, DeKalb city manager Anne Marie Gaura (AMG) stated that she references the “EPI reports” frequently in financial planning. Because the city’s finance advisory committee might likewise like to revisit EPI findings when it (the committee) reconvenes in 2018, I’d like to introduce EPI to our newer readers (and help refresh…