David Pietryla: 2023 candidate for St. Charles City Council Ward 4, 4-year


Town: St. Charles

Age on Election Day: 43

Occupation: Manager, government affairs

Employer: Comcast

Previous offices held: 4th Ward Alderperson since 2019


Q: What is the most serious issue your community will face in the coming years and how should the city council respond to it?

A: Infrastructure is an important issue in St. Charles - from well-maintained and paved streets to clean and safe drinking water. How to pay for the upgrade and maintenance of the city's utility infrastructure will be an important issue facing future councils.

The city council should expect that any and all cost-saving measures should be implemented when planning the implementation of these needed upgrades that will enhance the quality of life for all St. Charles residents. The city council should also initiate the evaluation of reasonable revenue-generating measures that do not place an undue burden on residents.

Q: How would you describe the state of your community's finances?

A: While the city does have debt, the city's overall financial position is good. The city's reserves are in fine shape. We currently have a Aa1 bond rating from Moody's.

I believe the city is doing a fine job mitigating future debt while also taking steps to pay down current debt.

For instance, the city council recently decided that it will be the policy of the city that any future TIF districts be financed as "pay-as-you-go" districts rather than be initially financed via the sale of bonds. This policy shift ensures the city will not be at risk of taking on additional debt.

The city council also recently approved the refinancing of several bond debt obligations - this action resulted in savings for the city.

Q: What should be the three top priorities for spending in your community during the next four years?

A: Over the next four years, I believe the city must focus spending on the acceleration of upgrades to its important infrastructure such as its roads and water distribution system. The city should also continue to consider spending money, if necessary, on measures to attract and retain diverse businesses.

Beautiful facades, well-maintained roads, reliable electricity, and clean water are motivating economic development incentives for people and businesses alike.

I would also like to implement the findings from our recently approved pedestrian and bikeability study that will enhance connectivity throughout St. Charles.

Q: Are there areas of spending that need to be curtailed? If so, what are they?

A: It is important not to compromise any city services that our residents expect - I support measures that produce efficiencies. It is also important to collaborate with our neighboring communities while also using technology and innovation to produce additional cost savings.

Q: What do you see as the most important infrastructure project the community must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what project(s) can be put on the back burner?

A: The city's road maintenance and replacement, along with improving the city's water distribution system is the most important infrastructure issue the city must address.

The city must identify additional sources of revenue as well as investigate any and all cost-saving measures that can be identified and eventually implemented.

Any new revenue generation must also not be placed on our residents. I am optimistic that given the city's financial position and projected increase in sales tax revenue that we can continue to move forward with our currently planned projects.

Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage local government? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions with your city council.

A: I would describe my style as very collaborate. In addition to my existing council experience, I've led and continue to be a leader in several community organizations, such as the St. Charles Education Foundation, and the St. Charles Breakfast Rotary Club.

I'm also a former plan commissioner and history museum board member. I currently hold an ex officio position as the city's liaison to the board.

With all this said, being collaborative with others is essential to accomplishing goals. Whether these are Education Foundation goals, Rotary Club goals or city council goals, these rewarding leadership experiences have fostered my ability to effectively engage with my constituents and colleagues.

Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

A: I've had the honor and pleasure of serving the 4th ward and the city of St. Charles for the past four years. I'm committed to public service - it is a rewarding endeavor. I look forward to continuing to serve, engage and respond to my constituents. My independent thinking sets me apart; I'm also thoughtful in my decision making, and I have effectively advocated for my constituents.

Q: What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?

A: I would like the city of St. Charles to take the lead and explore the opportunity to acquire the abandoned Union Pacific railroad right-of-way. It is an important link between the Great Western Trail and other trails throughout our community.

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