2015 1st ward alderman candidate: David Jacobson

By Andre Phillips

Involvement: 1st ward alderman, Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity alumnus and national board member, member of the NIU Alumni Association’s Greek Affinity Council, Greek community advocate

Q: What do you think is the most pressing issue in your ward?

A: … The most pressing issue in the ward is what its future looks like.

There are a host of issues the next [City Council] will need to deal with: Amongst them, implementation of fire sprinklers in all Greek Housing prior to January 2019, what the next steps are for University Village, continuing to combat crime and future plans relating to university planning in the neighborhood. As the housing stock continues to age and remain under-rented in the ward, finding quality tenants that buy in to these efforts will be paramount. We will also need to commit to envisioning what the collar neighborhoods will look like.

Again, crime is also an issue here, and continued co-policing efforts going forward will be imperative. We will also, in the near future, begin to see what the future of the Irongate project will look like and what time frames will be [needed] to start the project.

I would like to see the city take the lead in defining the planning and visioning process for what comes next.

Q: What is your position on lowering taxes?

A: The reality is that the city’s share of real estate taxes are quite minimal. It’s my goal to freeze that share for the foreseeable future, forcing the city to better work within its means. The hope is that, at some point, [entity–attribute–value] will begin to recover. At that point, we can look to lower the tax rates and hopefully relieve some of the burden on our property owners.

Q: If there are any budget cuts, how would they affect the schools, NIU, businesses, etc.?

A: In terms of budget cuts, city cuts should not affect NIU or schools, as they are separate taxing bodies. We need, as a city, to better define efficiencies, opportunities to create cost savings and providing better value for our residents. This will be a tough process. Thinking outside the box within the realm of the public sector seems to be much more difficult than in the private sector. In any case, it’s imperative we do so.

Q: What concerns would you focus on between NIU and the community and how do you think that can help better shape the community?

A: The co-policing efforts between the city and NIU are just one of many examples of the impact we can make by working together. There are many other synergies that can be explored: neighborhood pride groups, neighborhood business focus and finding ways to showcase our diverse communiversity populace can create opportunities for what’s great about NIU/DeKalb to be on display.