City of DeKalb invites input on strategic planning process

Photo of a "Welcome to DeKalb: Huskie Country" road signThe City of DeKalb has embarked on a multi-year, collaborative, grassroots strategic planning effort. The end results will be a 10-year vision for the city as well as a set of shorter-term specific actions to move toward that vision.

To accomplish this, the city is turning to city residents, students, workers and employers to share their ideas about DeKalb’s future.

Responses to these questions will help shape a vision for the City of DeKalb.

The goal is to provide an understanding of the city’s assets and improvement opportunities, suggestions for change strategies and ways for the city to maintain ongoing dialogue and communication with people who live, work or attend school in DeKalb.

City Manager Anne Marie Gaura or Assistant City Manager Patty Hoppenstedt will attend all seven community conversations.

“These meetings are excellent opportunities for us to hear first-hand the hopes and aspirations that DeKalb residents, students, and workers have for our city,” said Mayor John Rey. “We want a vision of DeKalb that is meaningful to everyone, and we also want to hear the ideas people have for realizing that vision.”

Seven 90-minute community conversations will be held throughout DeKalb in July at these locations, days and times:

  • Tuesday, July 14: 7 p.m., Hopkins Park Community Center, 1403 Sycamore Road
  • Wednesday, July 15: 2 p.m., Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, 231 N. Annie Glidden Road
  • Tuesday, July 21: 7 p.m., Faranda’s Banquet Hall, 302 Grove St.
  • Friday, July 24: 10 a.m., DeKalb Wesleyan Church, 1115 S. Malta Road
  • Saturday, July 25: 10 a.m., New Hope Baptist Church, 1201 Twombly Road
  • Monday, July 27: 2 p.m., St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 900 Normal Road
  • NIU community conversation: Monday, July 27, 5 p.m., Capitol Room of the Holmes Student Center
  • Thursday, July 30: 7 p.m., River Heights Golf Course Banquet Hall, 1020 Sharon Dr.

All seven conversations are open to anyone; seats can be reserved by calling (800) 874-1990.

Photo of a planter installed in downtown DeKalb.Conversations are being held at facilities located on public transit routes and transportation is also available through TransVAC by calling (815) 758-6641. Children are welcome as long as a responsible adult is also present. Interpreters will be available for non-English speaking participants and may be requested when reserving a space.

Individuals unable to attend any of these seven conversations will be able to participate by completing an online survey.

These conversations are being facilitated and documented by the Center for Governmental Studies at NIU. The results of all of these conversations will be summarized and organized by theme into a single document.

“We may end up with ideas that fall outside the city’s purview, such as parks or education,” Gaura said. “If that happens we’ll be sure to share that information with the responsible agency and collaborate with them on ways to address those issues and opportunities.”

A draft strategic plan will be made available for public review and comment in September, with a final strategic plan presented to the City Council for action in October.

For more information on the city’s strategic planning process, call (815) 748-2090.

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