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July 13, 2024

Where is DeKalb’s openness and transparency?

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 5, 2016

DeKalb, IL. (ECWd) –

Mayor Rey ran for office promising Open and Transparent government. He won his election in 2014. One requirement of the Office of the Mayor is to give a State of the City address annually. (65 ILCS 5/3.1-35-5) (from Ch. 24, par. 3.1-35-5)

Sec. 3.1-35-5. Mayor or president; general duties. The mayor or president shall perform all the duties which are prescribed by law, including ordinances, and shall take care that the laws and ordinances are faithfully executed. The mayor or president from time to time may, and annually shall, give the corporate authorities information concerning the affairs of the municipality and may recommend for their consideration measures the mayor or president believes expedient.

(Source: P.A. 87-1119.)

Last year, it was pointed out that the Mayor is required to present the State of the City address to the Council in a public meeting. It was brought up because Mayor Rey was not giving the State of the City address to the Council in a public meeting. (For two years he thought that merely giving this address to the Chamber of Commerce in a fund-raising breakfast was sufficient – see links from the Daily Chronicle:)

Last year after it was pointed put that Mayor was not fulfilling his required obligations, then and only then did Mayor Rey finally give his first State of the City address to the Council in a public setting on July 21, 2015. (Here is the link as well:

It is August 5th and he has still not given his required State of the City address to Council and the public.

Wouldn’t it be part of an Open and Transparent administration to follow the State Statutes?
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  • DeKalb Resident
    Posted at 11:05h, 05 August Reply

    This is an ongoing issue for years. Residents complained about previous mayors doing the same thing, again and again, giving the State of the City at events only for the rich folks who PAID to go. Two mayors ago, the mayor held the State of the City talks at the Kishwaukee County Club, a members’ only golf course and club house. There could not be a worse location to conduct city business than at that private club.

    The last mayor held the PAID registration State of the City events at the Park District facility (Hopkins Park)–we think the Park District knows better now and wants to follow the rules. Current Mayor Rey now holds them at Faranda’s, which is a privately owned banquet hall.

    DeKalb really should follow the state law as described here and by residents in the past:

    But, DeKalb is Home Rule and the general attitude is that with Home Rule, they can pick and choose which laws they want to follow.

    No kiddies, the city officials are supposed to follow all of the laws, even the ones they do not like!

  • Michael Haji Sheikh
    Posted at 14:32h, 05 August Reply

    Rey promised the most open and transparent administration. He the immediately got involved in a secret and possibly illegal public private partnership – who da thunk it?

  • Bessie Chronopoulos
    Posted at 16:15h, 05 August Reply

    To simply present information about the City to the public seems to be an easy enough task to fulfill. It makes no sense as to why the Mayor does not feel inclined to fulfill this obligation. I’m delighted to see that you are displaying the official City logo at the top of your article. Ever since the new, and very expensive website was launched, this official logo has not been displayed in a prominent spot at the beginning of the site. Instead some other, lame version of a logo is what people see first. Apparently the fact that this logo is official, with patent and all, means nothing to the current administration anymore than fulfilling basic obligations to the public they supposedly serve. If mistakes were made by previous Mayors, then a lesson should be learned. The fact that DeKalb is Home Rule does not place it in the category of a monarchy. Sadly this administration has shown that the public is simply not important and must be kept in place. This is the direct result of a Council that gets its primary information from its hired staff rather than asking the difficult questions and tuning in to a broad range of constituents. DeKalb City Hall…lacking in transparency, integrity, and respect. It is indeed sad to watch this happen in the City that is our home.

    • L. Rowe
      Posted at 11:28h, 09 May Reply

      I agree Bessie and I posted as well. Sorry if my post had some typos for some reason this website does not work well with the security on my computer making it easy to have typing mistakes.

  • L. Rowe
    Posted at 11:24h, 09 May Reply

    As a local resident for almost fourteen years and someone halfway in completely my Ed.D, I felt compelled to speak about some general matters of concern not only I have seen but many have stated and remain quite to feeling they are powerless. For starters, Kishwaukee Community College and Northern Illinois University along with other local institutions such as but not limited to the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and the DeKalb School District are all in bed together embracing and promoting internal and external areas that have a severe lack of morality over time. Leadership starts at the top and each institution has and remains closed off in many ways that are not only discriminatory but embrace and empower the unhealthy cultural environments each have built so proudly. I have personally seen first hand how crude Kishwaukee College is to those with disabilities, promoting leaders that are catty toward others that either intimidate their own roles or possible growth of them to treating some of their prospective students as though they are not college material. Sat and watched NIU repetitively show up in the newspapers for vast amounts of unethical issues to even seeing how their hiring administration staff is done in ways that are so out of date in many ways leading to questionable if ethical standards are implemented. Personally attended meeting chamber members to see how closed off and clique they are to many because of their own personal desires and not what is best for the community. A great example of this would be how they welcome businesses that have built themselves from unethical labor standards such as not paying employees in the past as state-mandated to some being involved with illegal drugs. Leaders of these institutions having the power to act in ways that should promote and inspire a better community only to show society members how acting in unethical ways can build a career. Leaders hiring others only from personal desire and not because of having the proper background and experience. Leaders welcoming, targeting others, in short, in unethical ways for personal desire nothing more. There is no effective leadership in that. Some have worked to improving matters and learning from their mistakes but I only see that from the Dekalb School District. If that is seen from the other institutions I listed it is primarily due to financial forces in our ever-changing and evolving society. Some may find what I am saying very bold or untrue. But I don’t speak unless what I say can be legally proven and is factual truth. Being local I have prayed and even before hoped to maybe work with some of these places to bring possible improvement. As I become more seasoned and complete my Ed.D (Doctorate of Education) in both organizational leadership and organizational development I know that they are places I either dodged a bullet or made the right choice to not be involved. I pray in the future the DeKalb area and several of its local schools/community organizations/businesses bring in leaders that make needed improvements and get up to speed to what society calls for in today’s modern world. Society demands a more ethical healthy environment that not only inspires the community but makes them want to be a part of it or improve themselves and work for a better tomorrow. Something this area speaks of but lacks severely.

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