NIU student runs for seat in first ward

By Deneen Smith

DeKalb First Ward Alderman Ron Matekaitis announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election in his ward in April, and an NIU student will run for that seat in the district.

Matekaitis, 28, has served as alderman for eight years in the district which includes the Greek Row area. He said at a press conference Tuesday morning he made the decision not to run because, although he “still has the enthusiasm and interest to be a good alderman,” he decided it is best to move on before the enthusiasm wanes and interest fades.

“I have accomplished virtually everything I sought to accomplish, and it’s now time to step aside and allow someone with fresh ideas and a new perspective to serve the public,” Matekaitis said.

Matekaitis said a major factor in his decision to leave the city council was the candidacy of someone he felt would be a suitable alderman in the district. He said NIU graduate student David Napoli “shares similar views and philosophies” to his own.

Napoli, a 23-year-old graduate student in business administration, said he sought out Matekaitis and expressed an interest in running for the city council in the first ward.

“I have been working with him (Matekaitis) and attending city council meetings for about the last seven months trying to learn the ropes so I will be able to step right in if I am elected,” Napoli said.

Napoli said his goal, if elected to the city council, will be to “work for greater cooperation between the university community and the city of DeKalb.”

The first ward is one of four aldermanic seats which will come up for election in April.

Third Ward Alderman Bill Hanna and Fifth Ward Alderman Bessie Chronopolous have already filed for re-election. Seventh Ward Alderman and NIU law student Jay Stein said he has not come to a decision on whether he will run for his council seat again.