Mayoral candidates set platforms

By Sylvia Phillips

Five candidates, including incumbent Greg Sparrow, are running on the mayoral ticket in April’s elections, and most promise they will not run mudslinging campaigns.

Mayoral candidates include Sparrow, 7th Ward Alderman Mark Powell, Adolph Miller, Nick DeGraffenried and Ed Stapleton. All are running as independents.

For the office of city clerk, 12-year incumbent Marguerite Hoyt is running against Donna Johnson, who worked as DeKalb’s Deputy Clerk for 11 years.

In the aldermanic race, incumbents Michael Welsh, 2nd Ward, and Rita Tewksbury, 4th Ward, are unopposed. Welsh is running for his second term, while Tewksbury is seeking a fourth term. 6th Ward Alderman Michael Neylon is being challenged by Jamie Pennington. Both Neylon and Pennington are NIU students.

Sparrow, who recently returned from the U.S. Conference on Mayors and the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., cited some of his achievements during his 10-year tenure as an alderman and in office as mayor.

“I’m going to run on my record,” said Sparrow, who is seeking a third term. “The people have seen me on the job. They’ve got a government that’s responsive, accessible and working.”

Sparrow cited a low tax rate, a 4 percent unemployment rate and improvements to streets, the sanitary sewer and water systems as major achievements.

Powell, whose politics have included verbal attacks against the mayor, city officials and other aldermen, said this style will not characterize his campaign for mayor.

“As far as any comments about mudslinging, it’s not going to come out of my campaign,” Powell said.

“We need a city that is compassionate. You can use that office toward social activism and human services.”

Powell’s platform includes supporting a change in city ordinance to permit 18- to 20-year-olds into DeKalb bars.

DeKalb businessman Adolph Miller of Miller Real Estate and Insurance represents a conservative alternative for mayor. Miller, who is an active co-coordinator of Citizens Against Pornography, said this crusade currently is not part of his platform.

“I’m against alcohol, drugs and pornography,” Miller said. “I only want the laws enforced as they are (written) on the books.”

Miller said his philosophy is to “do unto others as you would have them treat you” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Another mayoral candidate, Ed Stapleton, said his political philosophy is eclectic and open minded. Stapleton would not comment on his platform. “You’ll have it later,” he said.

Nick DeGraffenried of Idea Plantation/DeGraphics originally entered the mayoral race because he wanted to provide “a reasonable alternative” to Sparrow and Powell.

DeGraffenried cited economic development as one of the major issues facing DeKalb. He said he favors encouraging industry in DeKalb, but opposes another mall because area businesses might be forced to close.