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Elections for DeKalb County Mayor

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Sandra Morales, Bilingual Editor

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DEKALB, IL – On April 4th, 2017, civilians of DeKalb County will be voting for city mayor. Once elected, this official will serve for the next four years. The four main candidates are: Jerry Smith, John A. Rey, Misty Haji-Sheikh, and Michael Embry.

John A Rey, originally from Gary, Indiana, is seeking re-election. The 74 year-old is planning on focusing on road improvement, as well as economic development. “Under my leadership, we see new and expanding business in DeKalb – bookstores have returned, [and] transformational projects are making an impact toward community improvement,” Rey told the Daily Chronicle.

On reducing city crime, Rey insists that with the aid of the police, co-policing with other communities is the efficient way to combat the high crime rates. Rey added that “…hot-spot policing, placing patrols where crime is likely to occur. We work to create awareness in the community, telling the facts and executing collective response to the criminal behaviors,”

Jerry Smith of DeKalb, Illinois, is utilizing his 40 years of business & social service experience to give him the edge. The 73 year-old wants to increase city revenue, as well as turning TIF-supported projects to be more self-sustaining.

For battling high crime rates, Smith explains that the best way is to team the DeKalb County Police Department with the faith community as well as with NIU. “…we can tackle the root causes and stem the tide of lawlessness and violence.”

Misty Haji-Sheikh, of DeKalb, Illinois, is pushing to raise the rate of employment in the county. Her main goal is to freeze the city budget in order to lower the city spending. Haji-Sheikh helped create the Business Incubator, and the Zero Waste Policy among other achievements.

In her response to fighting crime, Haji-Sheikh plans on using technology to battle the high crime rates that plague DeKalb.

Photo by Sandra Morales
Signs for mayor are around of all of DeKalb.

“We have the ability to use technology to help the police. Many businesses use cameras in their businesses. If we can work with these businesses so that the police can also see what their cameras see, it extends the ability of the police to make the best use of the officers on the street.”, Haji-Sheikh stated.

Michael Embry of DeKalb, Illinois, is also running for mayor. The 70 year-old is using his experience in business and the support of community input to help improve the city.

With fighting city crime, Embry wants to reach out to the community and introduce the citizens to proactive policing strategies. Using the aid of other communities especially college communities is the goal as well.

When it comes to the city’s tax-increment financing districts, Embry stated that city must first “evaluate how the TIF dollars have been expended over the years…” Knowing what has worked and what hasn’t should help figure out a better solution to invest properly for the city.
Voting for these four candidates begins April 4, 2017.

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Elections for DeKalb County Mayor