DeKalb mayor attends College Democrat meeting


Municipal elections may be months away, but Acting Mayor of DeKalb Chris Povlsen is reminding voters to perform their civic duty when the time comes.

As part of its first meeting of the semester, the NIU College Democrats welcomed Povlsen Tuesday evening to speak on the importance of local elections.

“I don’t care who you are, the elections do impact you,” Povlsen said. “You’re not an island, you’re part of a greater community here,” Povlsen said.

Povlsen was appointed to be acting mayor of DeKalb by the city council after the late Mayor Frank Van Buer died of cancer on July 23, 2008.

Rather than align himself with partisan politics, Povlsen focused on the principles and methods of governing a city.

“I hate to use the word ‘politics’ because I don’t see myself as a politician,” Povlsen said.

“I don’t think partisan politics has any place in city government.”

As part of his agenda if he were to be elected mayor, Povlsen said he looks to focus on campus safety, traffic and attracting new businesses and entertainment for the younger crowd.

Along with Povlsen, another candidate who will be on the ballot also spoke at the meeting.

Eugene Smith, a junior political science major, will run for sixth ward alderman.

“It’s going to be an interesting race and I’m trying to get the students involved because President Obama certainly proved that mobilizing students helps your cause,” Smith said.

Smith said he has no official agenda in mind, but he hopes to bring more activities in DeKalb for students. As for the reason Smith is running, he said he is displeased with the lack of communication between the incumbent and his constituents.

“The incumbent has three residence halls in his ward and no one knows who he is,” Smith said. “I just found out who he is not too long ago.”

To wrap up the meeting, the College Democrats talked about their goals for the semester which include a community service project, going to Springfield to lobby for a bill and promoting local elections.

A discussion about prominent Democrats President Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich also was brought up.

“No matter what party you’re in, you’ve got bad apples all over the place,” said Tony Wadas, the NIU College Democrats president. “Just because Blago’s causing all these problems, it doesn’t shake my views, or whatever, I’m still a Democrat.”

Local elections for DeKalb are scheduled for April 7.