Verbic uses his strong community roots to guide DeKalb's future
Mike Verbic, DeKalb's Sixth Ward Alderman, has always felt a strong sense of loyalty toward his community, which is what drove him to seek out a position as a public servant.
“Our children represent the sixth generation of our family that has called DeKalb home,” Verbic told DeKalb Times. “My belief is that we have a responsibility to support our community, as we are able, for it to reach its potential.”
Verbic was initially exposed to community service as a child in the Cub Scouts, where he learned that improving the community through projects was immensely gratifying. Verbic was elected to the school board in 2005, and served as school board president from 2007-2011.
“Our school board directed staff to better justify the need for new buildings, requiring that the community be well informed before they voted, and we were successful with 64 percent of our voters saying yes to a $108 million school building referendum,” Verbic said.
In his role as president, Verbic was able to help raise the graduation rate and help balance the school system's budget.
“My school board service was set to end in 2013 but our successes motivated me to look to serve DeKalb in other ways," Verbic said. "I was humbled to have many suggest I consider running for mayor. My leadership experience prepared me to serve as mayor, so I decided to pursue contributions to see if it was possible.”
Though he didn’t win the mayoral race, Verbic eventually secured a place on DeKalb’s Finance Advisory Committee before becoming the Sixth Ward Alderman. Currently, Verbic is working hard to bring about positive changes for the city and its policies.
“We are restructuring city operations so that we are able to continue providing essential services within our means," Verbic said. "Our policy decisions are supporting job creation and furthering economic development with new housing starts and private investment toward rehabilitating commercial and residential properties.”
Verbic has many goals for DeKalb, but they all come back to wanting to make it a better place to live for future generations.
“For me, it's about maintaining and improving the quality of life in DeKalb,” Verbic said. “Those improvements are job creation, crime reduction, protecting resources for DeKalb residents and taxpayers, continuing to embrace diversity and sharing services toward fiscal sustainability.”