DeKalb wants more input from residents

By Michael Swiontek

The city of DeKalb is trying to make it easier for the community to discuss issues that concern residents.

On the city’s Web site,, a public service comments form was introduced this summer to give citizens a new communications avenue.

“Citizens’ complaint forms are used for the police or the Human Relations Commission,” said Assistant City Manager Linda Wiggins. “We wanted additional means for feedback and impact.”

The public service comment form will also be used for positive and negative opinions.

“To this date, DeKalb has only received one response,” Wiggins said. “The comments were positive.”

The form asks for a rating of experience in the categories of friendliness and courteousness, professionalism and knowledge, timely assistance, clear and concise information and the type of service.

The form is routed to Wiggins, depending on the issue, she works with the corresponding department.

Recently, the city has tweaked its form because a glitch was brought to attention that did not allow the form to be sent, said Wiggins, “Hopefully no one was discouraged.”

Most cities have a Web site now and an internal staff that maintains it, said Bob Gleeson, associate director for the NIU Regional Development Institute.

DeKalb also tried to help citizens by employing an intern from NIU Community Development this summer to compile an A-Z Community Information Guide.

The guide spells out the citizen’s responsibility, the city’s responsibility and gives contact information.

The DeKalb Community Information Guide was designed to help new and existing residents and includes many different policies.

The guide also provides citizens with phone numbers for emergency services and city staff and allows frequently asked questions to be answered.