The following is a summary of documents obtained from the City of DeKalb involving a group from the 5th Ward, the City of DeKalb, and the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) at NIU.
The 5th Ward group was first called a “task force” although it has never been an official city committee. Now, the informal association is known as the Ellwood Historic District or Ellwood Historic Neighborhood.
|Date of Event||Involving||Documents||Comments|
|1/19/2010||5th Ward North Neighborhood Task Force; CGS; City||Meeting agenda; Concept Paper for Artist Relocation/Integration||City prepares agenda, pays room rental $100|
|3/1/2010||5th Ward North Neighborhood Task Force; CGS; City||Meeting agenda||City prepares agenda|
|4/1/2010||NIU Board of Trustees; City||Contract for work April-June on N. 5th Plan||City pays NIU $6000|
|5/7/2010||CGS; City||Meeting notes||5th Ward planning meeting|
|5/25/2010||North 5th Ward Neighborhood; CGS; City||Informational flyer, agenda, meeting summary report||CGS prepares materials; includes timetable, action plan|
|6/17, 6/30, 8/11/2010||Neighborhood meetings held||?|
|9/28/2010||Ellwood Historic District; CGS; City||Informational meeting agenda; tentative 4-year program plan||City prepares draft plan|
|4/19/2011||Ellwood Historic District; CGS; City||Agenda of "public meeting"||EHD member prepares agenda; City mails it to 180 5th Ward residents|
|5/4/2011||Ellwood Historic District homeowners, renters & landlords||Agenda of "public meeting"||Same as above; agenda includes: "Making use of $100,000 in TIF funds"|
As you can see, the 5th Ward group has enjoyed NIU “facilitation,” help with mailings, and other forms of support supplied by the City of DeKalb. Now, it is occupying itself with the happy problem of proposing $100,000 in TIF spending.
Members of the group expressed dismay during the April 19 meeting over a neighborhood backlash that included or implied accusations of “sinister motives.” Leader John Campen has taken steps to combat the image, by starting a Facebook page, expanding mailings and putting up audio of meetings.
Audio recording of the Ellwood Historic Neighborhood meeting April 19. DeKalb’s city manager, city clerk and 5th Ward alderman attended.