Alderman decides not to seek re-election

By Caryn Rosenberg

Sixth Ward Ald. Jamie Pennington announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in April.

Pennington said the reason for his decision is strictly personal.

“I cannot, at this time, devote another four years to DeKalb,” he said. “I need to keep my options open to what is best for me professionally.”

Pennington said he made the decision in May not to run again, but didn’t want to wait until the last minute to make his announcement.

“The reason I’m announcing this now is that students will need this much time to think of who my successor will be because that person will need to get signatures before Christmas Break,” he said.

Pennington said, among other requirements, an individual must obtain a certain number of signatures on an official petition to be eligible to run.

Pennington also said he would be happy to consult with anyone interested in running in his place.

“I would certainly love to talk to anyone who is interested about perspectives, issues and programs that I would like to see continued,” he said.

Pennington said his accomplishments during his term include coauthoring the new ward map and supporting tenant issues, such as a fire alarm maintenance ordinance which requires landlords to notify the fire department if a fire alarm is turned on or off.

Seventh Ward Ald. Jordan Kagan said Pennington’s announcement was not unexpected.

“It’s not a surprise to me,” Kagan stated. “I knew it was coming.”

Additionally, Kagan said Pennington did a lot for the city.

“I haven’t always agreed with him, but he’s taught me a lot,” Kagan said. “I think Jamie’s an extremely intelligent person who’s done a lot for the city—he opened a lot of eyes and enlightened a lot of people.”

DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow was pleased about Pennington’s decision.

“Good, I’m glad,” Sparrow said.

Sparrow also said the announcement was not unexpected.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Sparrow said. “A lot of times representatives from the student wards don’t even fill out the first term, let alone fill out the term and fill out a second.”

Sparrow also said although he has nothing against Pennington personally, conflicts did exist on a working level.

“On a personal level, good luck to him,” Sparrow said. “But, Jamie and I have never seen eye-to-eye on things—it’s not like it’s going to break my heart.”