7th Ward alderman to cut costs, increase engagement

7th Ward alderman to cut costs, increase engagement

By Leah Nicolini

Recently appointed 7th Ward Alderman Anthony Faivre said he plans to look at ways DeKalb can cut costs and engage its constituents.

On Dec. 14, Faivre will be inducted and serve as alderman until a special election in 2017, at which point Faivre said he may again run for a position on the City Council. DeKalb Mayor John Rey appointed Faivre to fill the vacancy after former 7th Ward Alderman Monica O’Leary resigned during her term in October.

Faivre said he will work with City Manager Anne Marie Gaura to find things in the budget that could be cut or modified to save money. From 2008 to 2011, Faivre said he reduced Caterpillar Inc.’s expenses by $1.9 million as the Six Sigma Black Belt II cost manager.

He plans to use his former private sector experience to implement cuts and collaborate with nearby municipalities and counties to purchase certain products like salt in bulk so a larger discount might be applied.

“I’m hoping that I can suggest ideas that will help the city become more efficient,” Faivre said.

The alderman will be inducted on the same day City Council votes on a proposed $7.4 million tax levy which will be used to accommodate pension funding if approved.

“You don’t go set your spending above what you currently have in revenue,” Faivre said. “I’m hoping to review old finance committee meetings and get a feel for what the budgeting process is now before [Dec. 14] and try to educate myself and come up with a thought-out process whether to vote yes or no.”

Faivre, an NIU alumnus with a Bachelor of Science degree, said the relationship between DeKalb and NIU has improved over the past year, but he is unsure how to get more students involved to further improve the relationship.

“I don’t have any ideas right now [on] how to engage or incorporate students,” Faivre said. “I am looking to improve the city and school’s relationship.”

Faivre has engaged with “a few people” from the 7th Ward, located on the west side of DeKalb, and said he plans to host events similar to 5th Ward Alderman Kate Noreiko’s town meetings, in which community members are invited to discuss relevant topics and ask questions.

“My challenge [is] how to engage people in the 7th ward,” Faivre said.