National Public Works Week Promotion: May 2007

Rick Monas
Director of Public Works
City of DeKalb, Illinois

The City of DeKalb, City of Sycamore, Town of Cortland and the Village of Malta, of Illinois, are making plans to once again join forces and conduct the second consecutive multi-city promotion to celebrate National Public Works Week 2007.

Our joint-force plan is to enlist the participation of the teachers and students of the second grade classes from School Districts 427 and 428, St. Mary's School of DeKalb, St. Mary's School of Sycamore and the Cornerstone Christian Academy School, Sycamore. Each community's downtown business district will then be contacted to arrange to display the artwork of the students who will be asked to color any one of six public works themes for display purposes. The artwork will be displayed for the entire week and the parents will be informed of which storefronts they will find their children's artwork.

At DeKalb Cheeseboro School, Mike Taylor of the DeKalb Water Division showed children the backhoe and emphasized the need for staying away from such machines whether during or after working hours.

To recognize all of the participants, students and teachers from the various second grade classes will be invited to attend the live broadcast of the City of DeKalb's City Council meeting where they are introduced to the Mayor, who will present the participants with a certificate of appreciation for promoting National Public Works Week 2007.

Each participating Public Works Department provides at least one large piece of equipment and places them on display at various schools within each community. The second grade classes from each school are given the opportunity to climb up into the various pieces of equipment, honk the horns, and get up close and personal with the equipment.

To recognize our Public Works staffs, we plan to host a cookout for all of the 70+ Public Works personnel from the four communities. This effort was successful last year and allowed everyone in attendance to rub elbows with the respective Mayors and City Administrators. Of equal importance, we had an opportunity to meet with our neighboring Public Works Departments and enhance our professional working relationships.

At the Sycamore South Prairie School, children were helped into the driver's seat of the City of DeKalb snowplow and shown just what it takes to keep the roads clear and safe for travel during the winter months.

All in all, our four communities can seize the opportunity to appreciate how lucky we are that we can rely on our neighbors in both good times and bad, that we share common goals, face the same challenges and put forth our best efforts within our respective interconnecting communities to provide the expected quality of life that our residents deserve.

We look forward to the celebration of National Public Works Week 2007.

Rick Monas can be reached at (815) 748-2020 or