Two weeks ago there were no candidates to fill St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina's vacated city council seat in the Third Ward. Today, 13 candidates have thrown their hats in the ring, prompting formation of a task force to narrow the list down to three finalists.
Among the aspiring candidates to fill Rogina's unexpired term were two residents who campaigned for a spot on the council in recent elections.
"It is a terrific testament to our community that so many candidates have come forward to serve in our local government in this capacity," Rogina said in a written statement. "At the conclusion of the process, the Third Ward will be well represented by one of the candidates."
Rogina has said he had no one person in mind to replace him on the council. As such, he's leaving it to Aldermen Dan Stellato and William Turner and City Administrator Brian Townsend to review the credentials of the candidates and select three finalists. The full city council will then privately interview the finalists as soon as June 10. Then the council will vote to name a new alderman on June 17.
Here are the candidates:
• Charles A. Amenta, II has lived in St. Charles for six years. He is a financial representative at Northwestern Mutual and serves on the Reneaux Manor Homeowners Association Board.
• Todd A. Bancroft grew up in St. Charles and has lived in the 3rd Ward for 15 years. He works for Draper and Kramer Inc. as chief administrative officer, senior vice president and general counsel.
• Douglas W. Eden, a six-year resident, volunteers at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Previously he was director of security, sales and marketing for Perfect Plastic Printing in St. Charles.
• Robert Gehm has lived in St. Charles for 23 years and has more than 30 years of business experience in accounting, finance, and project management. He has served/volunteered with several local organizations.
• Curt Henningson was born and raised in St. Charles and has lived in town for the past five years. He has a real estate firm in St. Charles and provides brokerage and consulting services to builders, developers, and lenders. He also serves on the city's plan and housing commissions.
• L. Michael Henriksen, a 15-year resident of St. Charles, has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, and national director of a Fortune 500 company. He previously served as President of Kingswood Homeowners Association. Henriksen was a candidate for 3rd Ward Alderman in the 2011 election.
• Dianne E. Kellett has lived in St. Charles for 11 years. She volunteers for the St. Charles Mothers Club and as a Lincoln School Very Important Parent. Kellett is an owner of Think Driven, Inc., an auto care facility, and Pick a Do, Inc. bookkeeping and errand service.
• Robert Kling is a 27-year resident. He has work experience in both public and private education and teaches at Bartlett High School. He also was vice president of a family-owned home construction company and a partner in the venture that opened the restaurant 18 North on North 3rd Street in downtown St. Charles.
• Brian LaVolpe is a licensed journeyman plumber/contractor with 21 years of experience. He is an owner/operator of Plumb-Crazy Plumbing in St. Charles.
• Ellie McLoone, a 19-year resident, is owner of Treasure Broker LLC, a retail vintage and antique furniture shop located in downtown St. Charles. She is also a president of the Wild Wood Homeowners Association and a member of the St. Charles Moose and Downtown St. Charles Partnership.
• Laurie Milbourn has lived in the Tri-Cities area since 1965 and has most recently lived in St. Charles for 13 years. She is the founder and director of Going to My Happy Place Yoga Studio. She currently serves on the Kiwanis board of directors, and has held board and volunteer positions with several other local organizations including the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce, River Corridor Foundation, and Downtown St. Charles Partnership.
• Mario VanDerHeyden is a lifelong St. Charles resident. He works as an Inbound Transportation Manager at Medline Industries, Inc., and was a candidate for the office of 3rd Ward Alderman in 2013.
• Carolyn M. W. Waibel first moved to St. Charles in 1978 and has lived here for four year. She has been active in the Parent Teacher Organizations for Ferson Creek and Lincoln elementary schools. She was most recently employed at Paychex, Inc. as a sales consultant.