City of Freeport, Illinois

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Office of Mayor

James L. Gitz

City Hall Building
314 W. Stephenson Street,
Suite 200
Freeport, IL 61032


Phone: (815) 235-8200
(815) 235-8874
Email: James L. Gitz

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Jim Gitz is the full time mayor and administrator of the City of Freeport. His term of office runs from May 2013 to May 2017. Jim also has experience as a municipal professional having served as City Attorney in Urbana and a city administrator in Wisconsin. Prior to being elected mayor, Jim was an attorney in private practice in Freeport.

Mayor Gitz is a 1986 graduate of Northwestern University Law School and worked in several Chicago law firms before returning to the Freeport area to practice law. In addition to his Juris Doctorate degree from Northwestern, the mayor has a Baccalaureate degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Jim Gitz is divorced and has two children, Jeffrey,14, and Elizabeth,6. He calls them the “two most important people in my life and a key reason why the future of this community is so important to me.” Jim and his kids frequently spend their weekends visiting area events and are often found spending time together in one of Freeport's parks.

The Mayor is a fifth generation Freeport native. He was born and raised on a Freeport area farm and comes from a long line of well-known Florence Township farmers dating back to 1853. Jim is the oldest son of the late Cleatus Gitz and the late Eva Mae Gitz Otto. His mother, Eva Mae, was a Registered Nurse at the former St. Francis Hospital and later, at St. Clair Hospital in Monroe. Jim has two younger brothers, Wally Gitz and Mark Otto, both of whom live in Freeport.

This is Mayor Gitz' third term as mayor. Jim Gitz was first elected mayor In 1997and was reelected mayor in 2001. Jim's first administration expanded Freeport businesses, started the Lincoln Business Park on South Street, rebuilt the Galena Avenue corridor, started the City's first Brownfields' clean-ups, commenced construction of the Jane Addams Trail, and supported downtown revitalization. His administration also emphasized community oriented policing and public safety outreach programs. During his term of office, the Mayor was also a member of the Illinois Municipal League Board of Directors and a member of the National USEPA Local Government Advisory Council (USLGAC from 2003-2009). His current priorities are: jobs, public safety and neighborhood improvement. He also has been nominated again to the Board of the Illinois Municipal League.

Mayor Gitz' service is not limited to municipal government. In 1978, he was elected State Senator from the old 35th District, which encompassed all of Northwest Illinois and parts of Rockford. He was the youngest Senator in the Illinois General Assembly, having just turned 30. His focus, then as now, was bringing jobs, opportunity, and state resources to Northwest Illinois. He received several awards for his legislative record, including an award from the Illinois Taxpayers' Federation.

The Mayor has a wide range of interests that span running, bicycling, motorcycles, old cars, reading, and traveling. His musical tastes range from classic country music to Beethoven; he also likes classic rock music. He often listens to NPR and loves documentary programs on history, economics and social issues. Jim is also interested in computers “because they have an amazing capacity to help you find and learn new things. Besides, I have to keep up with my kids.”


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Freeport City Hall
314 W. Stephenson St.
Freeport, IL 61032
Phone: 815-235-8200 or 815-235-8203