New city leaders sworn in at council meeting

By Ali Combs

Public safety, economic development and housing are top priority for the new City Council, said Mayor John Rey.

Four council members were sworn in at Monday’s City Council inauguration ceremony. Second ward alderman Bill Finucane, fourth ward alderman Bob Snow and Rey joined the council with oaths of office. City Clerk Liz Peerboom was also sworn in, along with sixth ward alderman Dave Baker, who renewed his oath. These new officials will serve in their respective positions for the city for four years.


Fresh Faces

Rey said the new council will make a good team, and he hopes to get a lot done in his time as mayor.

“I’m optimistic,” Rey said. “I think this group is a good team, and I think we’ll be able to do good things for the city.”

During the meeting, Finucane said he hopes to serve the second ward well in his term and he looks forward to getting started.

“I’m feeling very good,” Finucane said. “And I’m looking forward to getting started this Saturday with budget meetings.”

Snow looks forward to improving DeKalb over the next four years.

“I’m excited,” Snow said. “I think we’ve got a lot of things happening in DeKalb…. I’m looking forward to working with the council and existing city staff.”


Vacating Officials

Former Mayor Kris Povlsen passed the torch to Rey by working with the new mayor over the last several months.

“I’ve known John for some time,” Povlsen said. “He’s easy to talk to. He’s very approachable, and he and I have been working together for the last month, really the last six months, bringing him up to speed.”

Tom Teresinski, former second ward alderman, said he thinks the new council members will perform well for the city over the next four years.

“I think they’re going to be fine,” Teresinski said. “They’ve got a lot of experience. They’ve got three new guys with a lot of background and education.”


‘And the New Mayor? Exemplary.’

Chris Pitts, Black Student Union president, is excited to see the new council members seated. He said he’s gotten to know Rey over the past few months and thinks the new mayor will do well with the city.

“I’ve only known [Rey] for about four months, but the relationship we’ve built over the last four months is crazy,” Pitts said. “If he can do that for me in four months, I can only imagine what he can do for the whole city in four years.”

Former mayor Bessie Chronopoulos said the new additions to the council are great choices.

“[The new members are] phenomenal,” Chronopoulos said. “They’ve got two new additions who are great. You couldn’t ask for two better people than Bill and Bob. And the new mayor? Exemplary.”

Kiwanis Club President Tarryn Thaden said the common theme among the backgrounds of the new council members is public service. Thaden said the new members are perfect for the positions they’ve been elected into.

“I can see that they’re ready to work, and they have such a great vision of what we need to do next,” Thaden said. “I think it’s that community effort along with what can be done with the university that’s really going to make us grow…. I’m just excited to see what they can do.”

Finucane’s wife Rita said she is happy to see her husband on the council after all of his hard work.

“I’m delighted,” Rita Finucane said. “He’s been a busy, busy guy. He’s looking forward to working with everyone up there and carrying things out and moving the city forward.”


First Order of Business

The council will immediately begin working on certain time-sensitive issues.

“The budget hearing and discussion with the criteria for the city manager search is going to be immediate,” Rey said.

Snow said collaboration with NIU is a priority going into this term.

“We’ve got a lot of new members here and a lot of new members at Northern,” he said. “So I think there will be a lot of cooperation going on.”