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updated: 2/23/2011 3:58 PM

Rita Anne Payleitner: Candidate Profile

St. Charles Alderman

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  • Rita Anne Payleitner, running for St. Charles Alderman

    Rita Anne Payleitner, 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: 52

Family: Married to my high school sweetheart, Jay. We have four sons (Alec, Randall, Max, Isaac), one daughter (Rae Anne) and one daughter-in-law (Rachel).

Occupation: Work part time as a member of the Community Impact Team at Christ Community Church.

Education: Candidate did not respond.

Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Candidate did not respond.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I'm a not a single-issue candidate. I have no "agenda" going into office other than my promise to listen, ask the right questions, work hard, do the necessary research, and continue to care about this city and everyone who lives here. My heart belongs to St. Charles. My husband and I chose to raise our family here, to stay here, and to do business here despite many opportunities for out of state job transfers. The chance to serve and to contribute to the town I love is irresistible.

Key Issue 2

The City Council will face a few hot button issues in the coming months. Some have been on the table for years and need to be advanced, others may drag on for a while. But in the current economic climate, the focus needs to be on fiscal responsibility and holding the line on taxes. That includes property taxes, sales tax, and any taxes that create a roadblock for small businesses or new business development. The state is not helping right now. So we need to be conservative with spending and reluctant to ask for more revenue from our neighbors.

Key Issue 3

We need to keep St. Charles very family friendly. My kids have attended seven different schools in District 303. I've served as Central Booster President and PTO President at two schools, on District PTO and on District Advisory Committees. We've spent perhaps thousands of hours in and around gymnasiums, theatres, football and soccer fields, ball diamonds, playgrounds, and swimming pools right here in St. Charles, often accompanied by our children's grandparents. I know firsthand, this is a safe and wonderful place to raise kids and also to enjoy your senior years. Parks, parades, fireworks, churches, bike trails, family restaurants, even our sidewalks are a boon to every age group. We need our young people to think of St. Charles as a great place to begin your story. And maybe even stick around and raise their own family right here. That's what my husband and I did.

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?

I've lived in St. Charles for almost 40 years, and I think a bridge at Red Gate was being discussed back then. Finally, a workable plan is in place. Already six million dollars has been set aside for this project. State funding has paid for much of the preliminary work including traffic studies and environmental impact concerns. That's all good news. There's also no doubt that the bridge would link the east and west side and ease congestion on Main Street during rush hour. I look forward to having a chance to assess the big-picture impact of the new Stearns Road bridge and the scheduled widening of Route 64 between Dunham and Seventh Avenue.

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

The deserted unsightly site of the old St. Charles Mall is a valuable piece of property. The city can make developing that site even more attractive with possible incentives and partnerships, and encouraging development in the surrounding area. Ultimately, we need private enterprise to be the motivating factor. It might require a fresh look at zoning. It might require some creativity and leap of faith by the current owners. As the economy rebounds, that piece of property should be considered a key factor in building the city's tax revenue. There's room for a big idea.

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 is not obsolete. I think its best days are ahead. Walking past empty storefronts is no fun, but there is still plenty of traffic from three remaining anchor stores and the cinemas. We should listen to any proposal that might reverse that momentum. An ice rink. A workout facility. Teen destinations. Coffee shops. Boutiques. Adding anchor restaurants. We could also do a better job of promoting our own Charlestowne Mall to people who live in town. Perhaps the novelty of Geneva Commons is over. Let's bring back the customers. Let's make Sears regret moving out.

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 City of St. Charles is actually doing better than Springfield and Washington, right now. We should not raise taxes. We should not dip in to the current reserve. But as an alderman, I understand that there will sometimes be difficult decisions to make. Families are making sacrifices, sometimes a city council must do the same. But the future looks bright. I'm optimistic. It's easy when you're around young people as much as I am.

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?

Candidate did not respond.