Retired professor enters race


A retired NIU professor and longtime DeKalb resident concerned about the cost of government wants to become the new 2nd Ward alderman.

William Froom, who came to DeKalb in 1947 to work at NIU, said he will seek ways in which the city can “get more and better services for less money.” Froom also said he’s interested in keeping taxes down.

Froom was the director of University Relations at NIU until he retired in 1977. Although he sees no problem with the relationship between the city and the university, he did say, “There should be a close and ongoing relationship, (because) we’re in this together.”

Froom said he would give more time to the alderman position if elected. “I have the time to devote to the needs of the people in the 2nd Ward,” Froom said. “I feel I’m as well qualified if not better qualified than the other two candidates.

Froom also is interested in zoning and neighborhood development. He is against spot zoning, and used Ollie’s Frozen Custard, 1208 Sycamore Road, as an example. Ollie’s will be demolished in about two years because the Illinois Department of Transportation claimed property located on Sycamore Road to improve the road.

“I feel sorry for the guy (Ollie’s owner William Jamison) because he was there first, but spot zoning is not the answer,” he said.

Although current 2nd Ward Alderman Michael Welsh, who has filed a petition to run for mayor, is his neighbor, Froom said he is careful not to endorse him or DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow in the mayoral election. “I want to work cooperatively with whoever wins,” Froom said.

Froom said economic development is important. “DeKalb needs to bring new business and industry to town,” he said. “We need more things like the new Nestle plant.”

Froom said he is concerned about the rash of crime and random damage being done to property in DeKalb.

DeKalb has a tough road ahead because it is considered a collar county of Chicago, he said. “Being a collar county is going to be a challenge and perhaps a problem,” Froom said. “It may or may not be a way of getting more business and industry, which we need.

Froom will be running against candidates Burdette Rainwater and Donna Johnson in the April 20 election.