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updated: 2/23/2011 3:58 PM

Arthur Lemke: Candidate Profile

St. Charles Alderman

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  • Arthur Lemke, running for St. Charles Alderman

    Arthur Lemke, running for St. Charles Alderman




Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: St. Charles

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: St. Charles Alderman

Age: 63

Family: Married, one son

Occupation: Government Auditor and Certified Public Accountant

Education: BS Biology, Chemistry & Physics University of Illinois, 1970

MBA in Business, Northern Illinois University, 1984

CPA Licensed in Illinois

Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.

Elected offices held: Alderman Ward 2 (Formerly Ward 6) - City of St Charles - 1993-2005

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Maintain our real estate tax rate at current levels, while maintaining essential municipal services.

Key Issue 2

The city needs to place a greater emphasis on its existing town center by working to help complete downtown redevelopment initiatives.

Key Issue 3

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) should NOT be used as a tax incentive to subsidize any high-rise residential developments.

Questions & Answers

Explain whether you or do you not support the construction of the Red Gate Bridge project and the funding mechanism the city has established for its construction?

When I previously served in Council, many of my neighbors encouraged me to support the Red Gate Bridge site as the most logical alternative. The Red Gate area was approximately in the middle of the longest un-bridged section of the Fox River in the Tri-Cities Area. As a member of Council, I voted for land acquisition and the initial funding mechanism, which I still support.

How should the old St. Charles Mall property be redeveloped, if at all?

The old St. Charles Mall should continue to be a retail site. The City Council made that decision when it elected to remove the covenants that previously restricted the types of retailing that could be developed on the site. The current owner was a party to that transaction and thus agreed with the City's need for additional retail development on that property.

Do you support the current vision new ownership has for Charlestowne Mall? What should the city do to help the vitality of the mall and the attractiveness of the Oliver-Hoffman property?

The Charlestowne Mall needs the retail vitality that the new ownership can bring to the site. With any retail development, critical mass is also important, thus additional retail options need to be developed in and around this Mall. Development of the Von Maur anchor provides an example of how other anchor stores can be redeveloped. When I previously served on Council, we successfully increased the footprint of this anchor store by expanding its space inward under the existing roofline, which also utilized vacant space.

The city is projected to finish the fiscal year with a small budget deficit. What, specifically, must the city do in the next fiscal year to avoid a deficit? Would you support the creation of new taxes to shore up the budget?

The ""small budget deficit"" is not unexpected given the severe economic climate. Unlike the State, St. Charles has had an excellent reputation in the financial markets. It is important not to permanently impact basic services like police, fire and public works. As the economy is improving, St. Charles will be in a better position than many of its neighbors. By raising tax rates now, we could open the door to wasteful spending as the tax base improves. In the meantime a tax increase would hurt residents who have been most impacted by the economic slowdown.

Explain your reasons for whether you do or do not support the creation of a stormwater management fee or tax in St. Charles to create funds to address flooding problems?

Many new developments have properly provided for storm water management and residents of those developments already pay maintenance fees on their retention/detention facilities. A new tax levy would, in effect, be a double tax on those homeowners. In the long run, growth of such initiatives will impact the elderly and those living on fixed incomes. With the current level of foreclosures in Kane County, now is not the time to initiate such a new fee.