City manager named: Schaumburg’s Anne Marie Gaura

By Jessi Haish

Anne Marie Gaura has been selected as DeKalb’s incoming city manager.

Gaura serves as the interim director of engineering and public works for the village of Schaumburg, according to a news release from the city.

Gaura will start Jan. 21, replacing interim city manager Rudy Espiritu, who will return to the position of assistant city manager.

Espiritu has been serving since former city manager Mark Biernacki, who announced his retirement in February, left June 14.

Gaura’s experience includes 12 years as the village manager of Montgomery and the assistant village manager and other assistant positions for nine years in Lombard. City Council plans to take action on Gaura’s employment at its Monday meeting.

“I am humbled by the confidence the mayor and City Council have in my abilities and am extremely excited about this opportunity to serve the residents and businesses of DeKalb,” Gaura said in the news release. “Serving as DeKalb’s city manager has been a dream of mine, and I [look] forward to addressing the challenges and opportunities outlined by the mayor and the council.”

Second ward alderman Bill Finucane said the council chose Gaura after the candidate list was narrowed down to three people.

“Not to downplay the other candidates; they were quality candidates and great in their own right,” Finucane said. “But she stood out, especially because of the tremendous growth in Montgomery.”

During her time as Montgomery village manager, Gaura managed projects, including the design and construction of a police department and village hall and water infrastructure improvements, and she also coordinated bringing in two major retail corridors for the village.

Gaura also has experience working with taxing districts and community issues.

Gaura will not start in the position until the middle of January, Finucane said, because she needs to give 30 days notice at her position in Schaumburg.

Mayor John Rey said he thinks Gaura brings good management skills with her, and she will “hit the ground running” when she starts working.

Rey said she will assist the council with many projects. These projects include a comprehensive plan for the city of DeKalb; the “city center plan,” which focuses on downtown revitalization; and the fiscal year 2015 budget next year.

He said there will be many introductions between Gaura, the city and the university.

“She has seen DeKalb grow,” said first ward alderman David Jacobson. “She can bring the roots and history with her, but also bring the change we need to grow.”

Jacobson said during the interview process Gaura distinguished herself as a “seasoned” candidate due to her experiences in Montgomery and Schaumburg.

Gaura has a master’s in public administration and a bachelor’s in communication from NIU.