Jerry Smith

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Illinois Mayors are considering how their cities will eventually reopen as the State relaxes coronavirus restrictions. 

On Thursday, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a modifed stay at home order for the month of May. Earlier this week, some communities were pressured to re-open small businesses. Mayor Greg Jury of Loves Park said any moves should depend on location.

Sarah Jesmer

DeKalb’s Mayor says he sees several areas of growth in the city’s future. Jerry Smith delivered the annual address Monday night.

Smith pointed to several new businesses along Sycamore Road. They include a new Aldi grocery store and Planet Fitness gym to fill vacant buildings.

“Some business is growing, and a few go out of business too," Smith noted. "It’s the nature of the beast, my friends. To expect every business to succeed forever is simply unrealistic.” 

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith has a very positive attitude about his first 100 days in office.

At a Chamber of Commerce event Thursday morning, Smith highlighted a long list of projects begun or continued in the first few months of his administration. 

He also emphasized the beneficial ways DeKalb and Northern Illinois University have worked together and said he would seek more opportunities for collaboration. That includes bringing together NIU and community transit to work as one system. He also cited partnerships with other private, public and educational organizations.  

Jerry Smith was elected Mayor of DeKalb earlier this month and takes office May 8.  He discusses his plans for the city in this week's Friday Forum.

Three candidates challenged incumbent John Rey in DeKalb’s mayoral race this spring: Smith, Misty Haji-Sheikh, and Michael Embrey. Although Smith originally hails from Dixon, he was motivated to run by his deep connections to DeKalb.

“I’ve been here now for 56 years, after having come as a student at Northern Illinois in 1961," he said, "and I felt this was a way I could give back to this community.”