Two weeks after St. Charles Mayor Don DeWitte announced he would not seek another term in spring 2013, the seat has its first candidate.
Raymond Rogina, a retired District 303 teacher and current St. Charles 3rd Ward alderman, said Friday he would be seeking a 4-year term as mayor next year.
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Rogina, 64, who was elected to a four-year alderman term in spring 2011, stressed ties to the community.
"I have a strong bond with the city. I've lived here for 38 years. Public service is an opportunity to improve the community," he said in a phone interview. "I saw this as an opportunity to make a greater contribution. It's as simple as that."
Rogina said that in his time on the council, he's been a strong supporter of the $30 million Red Gate Road bridge project, which is currently under way and scheduled for completion in November.
He noted the two-lane bridge also will have a pedestrian walkway. "The main idea was merging the city, east and west. To me, that was most significant," he said.
He also noted his leadership roles as serving as president of the St. Charles Education Association from 1982 through 1988 and a department chair at St. Charles East High School from 1988 through 2002.
"A mayor holds the responsibility of facilitating an effective dialogue among citizens, the city council and the city staff," Rogina said. "In a city of diverse and unlimited needs and desires, the ultimate challenge is to build an overall consensus with limited resources. This challenge must be accomplished under an umbrella of fiscal responsibility and stability. Our financial stewardship is a standard to emulate."
Rogina said he was encouraged by several other aldermen to run for mayor and noted he lived on the city's east side for 33 years before moving to the west side, part of which is encompassed by the 3rd Ward.
"I have a strong feel for this community," he said. "I've been a hands-on alderman. When I say that, it means I've engaged many of my constituents."