DeKalb mayor plans to run for re-election

By Rich Bruen

DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow will attempt to remain at the helm of the city of DeKalb.

At a press conference Friday, Independent Sparrow announced his plans to run for his fourth term as mayor in the April election.

“I just wanted to get my name out there to let anyone who’s thinking of running know what I’m doing,” he said.

According to Sparrow, he had little doubt as to his intentions for the upcoming election.

“I’ve enjoyed the 12 years I’ve had here,” he said. “I’m looking forward to staying involved. Our economic plan is really starting to work. We’re in an enviable position.”

The economic plan refers to DeKalb’s quest to attract new industry, he said.

“Going back to the mid-70s, we recognized a need to diversify our industrial base,” he said. “We’ve gotten warehousing industries like 3M and Nestle. Now, we’re moving towards food processing industries.

“Those types of industries are good buffers for recessions in the area,” he said. “Now that we have them, we’ve got to manage the growth.”

Sparrow expressed concern over DeKalb’s continuing growth as an additional motivation for running for a fourth term.

“The growth is here,” he said. “The main question is, are you

going to control it, or is it going to control you? If you don’t have experience, it’s going to control you.”

“Now is not the time for me to jump ship,” he said. “We don’t need another Naperville. We need to manage the growth in a controlled fashion.”

Sparrow also pointed to the new democratic administration as an element in his decision.

“My entire 12 years have been under a Republican administration,” he said. “When (Ronald) Reagan took office, he began to dismantle the federal and local government relations.

“We’ve really taken a beating over the last 12 years,” he said. “Hopefully, the new administration will try to restore relations.”

Overall, Sparrow said he will continue with business as usual if elected.

“My goal is to maintain the course we’re on,” he said. “If it isn’t broke, then don’t try to fix it.”

Sparrow said he was not aware of any possible opponents at the present time.

The upcoming ballot also will include the 2nd, 4th and 6th ward aldermanic seats and the city clerk position.

Fourth Ward Alderman Rita Tewksbury and DeKalb City Clerk Peggy Hoyt have announced their intentions to run again. Sixth Ward Alderman Jamie Pennington, a student district representative, has said he does not plan to run again.

Second Ward Alderman Mike Welsh has not commented on his intentions.