Determination: DeKalb must release locations of license plate readers

The Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office has determined that City of DeKalb improperly denied a Freedom of Information Act request for the locations of its license plate reader cameras (LPRs). DeKalb fought release of the information beyond all reason. This post examines three ways the city embarrassed itself doing it. The…

DeKalb’s ‘Suburban’ issue of fire safety

***Update 8/6/2022*** DeKalb city council is expected to approve an intergovernmental agreement during its regular meeting on August 8 that specifies a developer buying the Suburban property, the city annexing it and connecting it to city water, and DeKalb County providing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds of $862,500 for the water infrastructure improvements. Agenda…

DeKalb’s discussion of lead service line replacement leaves out key provision of new law

City of DeKalb appears to be unaware that a new state law changes the rules for how lead water service lines are replaced. During its regular meeting Monday, the city council discussed whether to use grant money to offer incentives to property owners to replace the portions of lead service lines that lie within their…

Addressing DeKalb Public Library’s proposed 14%-plus levy increase

During DeKalb’s public hearing on its property tax levy, which includes the library’s levy, several people spoke out about the library’s plan to increase its take by more than 14%. They requested the city council hold library trustees accountable for the request, which they view as irresponsible. DeKalb claims that it must approve any levy…

Water reservations in DeKalb

Third in a series. First one is here. Second is here. Water conflicts continue to develop in the Joliet area. A small but vocal group of protesters gathered on the steps of Joliet city hall on Monday night to rail against Mayor Robert O’Dekirk’s controversial plan to solve a looming water crisis by tripling rates…

Defendants added to the 145 Fisk lawsuit against Nicklas and City of DeKalb

New defendants were added last week to the “145 Fisk” lawsuit against city manager Bill Nicklas and City of DeKalb that could potentially cost the city millions if it loses. John F. Pappas, Pappas Development, LLC, and PNG Development, LLC — collectively named “Pappas Entities” in the court order — were previously named as respondents…

Snapshot of DeKalb’s pension trends through 2020

The chart below tracks the unfunded liabilities of DeKalb’s Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), police (PD), and fire (FD) pensions. We expect total pension liabilities will go up with raises, cost of living adjustments, etc. However, the unfunded portions of the liabilities should not. Actuarially determined annual pension contributions are supposed to ensure they don’t…

DeKalb’s mayor vying to become DeKalb Park District’s chief information officer as well

DeKalb Park District put out a Request for Proposals for a new IT contract. Eight firms applied. Of these, staff whittled down the list to three finalists: CMJ IT Solutions of Sycamore, Noventech of Lombard, and Sundog IT of DeKalb. The park board will probably be making a decision tomorrow. I’ve read the three proposals…

The “T” word

He said it. I knew he would. It was only a matter of time. New mayor Cohen Barnes called the DeKalb city council a “team” during the last council meeting. It’s horrifying.

DeKalb city council voted to allow me to participate remotely in order to exclude you

As DeKalb’s city clerk, I’ve been participating in council meetings via teleconferencing since April. Then, during the July 13 committee-of-the-whole meeting, the city council, somewhat bizarrely, took a vote to allow me to teleconference. This post will explain why. Here’s the clip of part of the mayor’s introduction to the topic. (The first 4-1/2 minutes…