New city manager looks to serve DeKalb community

By Keisha Howerth

Incoming city manager Anne Marie Gaura is looking forward to applying what she’s learned from past experiences to her new role in DeKalb.

Gaura is currently the interim director of engineering and public works for Schaumburg, and was announced as the city’s next manager early Tuesday.

Gaura will start Jan. 21, replacing interim city manger Rudy Espiritu.

“I am extremely excited to have this

opportunity to serve DeKalb,” Gaura said.

Mayor John Rey said Gaura is a seasoned professional and he is looking forward to her joining the city staff full time.

Gaura graduated NIU with a bachelor’s in communication and a master’s in public administration. In her new position, Gaura said she’ll be able to put into practice what she’s learned from NIU, as well as her experiences of

serving other municipalities, to benefit DeKalb.

“I am looking forward to listening to the issues and challenges facing DeKalb and working collaboratively with the mayor, City Council, staff and the community to find solutions and to identify [the] best practices,” Gaura said.

Gaura currently serves on NIU’s MPA Board of Advisors, where she reviews the master’s program

and speaks to students about city management.

“She’s a strong mentor for students in the administration program,” Rey said.

In Schaumburg, Gaura manages a 100-person department that looks over operations in areas related to technology and process improvement. Schaumburg’s village manager, Brian Townsend, said Gaura has excelled in her position by

providing leadership and oversight for the department.

“Anne Marie [has] brought a professional management perspective to the department and encouraged staff members to review and refine service delivery,” Townsend said. “In addition, she has established and maintained excellent working relationships with department staff members, other department

directors and elected officials.”

Townsend also worked closely with Gaura when he was the city manager for St. Charles and she was the village manager for


“She was someone that worked collaboratively with other communities to encourage cooperation on key issues,” Townsend said. “She was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Metro West Council of Governments — a group of cities, villages and towns that St. Charles, Montgomery and DeKalb are members of.”

Gaura worked as village manager for Montgomery for 12 years, where the population size of the village tripled in the time she was there. Gaura said she coordinated the construction of multiple facilities, including a village hall, police department facility, water treatment plant, wells, water towers and lift stations.

Gaura said one of the greatest challenges she faced as village manager was handling the growth of the community.

“With that type of growth, pressure was placed upon services,” Gaura said. “Staffing resources were never able to catch up to the size of the community. This required staff to focus on the priorities regarding service delivery.”

Gaura said the challenges she faced in Montgomery made for a great experience in learning how

to find the right solutions that worked best for the village.

Rey said Gaura will oversee day-to-day administration in the city and carry out council policy as DeKalb’s city manager.

Today’s City Council meeting will look at Gaura’s employment agreement and introduce her to the city’s


“Right now I really just [want] to learn about the community and its issues,” Gaura said.