Kimberly Malay: 2021 candidate for St. Charles 5th Ward Alderman
In the April 6 consolidated election, newcomers Kimberly Malay and Richard J. Artz, and Kane County Board member Steve Weber are vying for a four-year term as St. Charles 5th Ward Alderman.
The Daily Herald asked the candidates several questions about issues facing the city.
Below are Malay's responses.
In-person early voting begins March 10 only at the Kane County Clerk's Office, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Bldg. B, in Geneva and the Aurora satellite office, 5 E. Downer Place, Suite F. In-person early voting at locations throughout the county begins March 22. Learn more at www.kanecountyclerk.org/Elections.
Town: St. Charles
Occupation: Department manager, Wheaton Eye Clinic
Civic involvement: Currently Historic Preservation Commission and Camp Kane Heritage Foundation. Past: Downtown Partnership; Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Walk; River Corridor Foundation; and St. Charles Park Foundation
Q. How do you view your role in confronting the pandemic: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state and federal authorities?
A. Truthfully all the above. We need to follow local, state and federal authorities as long as those mandates are within the state and federal constitutional boundaries as determined by a court of law. I do believe we need to give a voice to our constituents regardless of whether or not I agree. That is how we come up with solutions. However, if a decision needed to be made that may not be popular, but is in the best interest of the community as a whole, I would provide that leadership just as I was elected to do.
Q. Did your town continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A. I feel St. Charles did a great job of serving the community during this time. The city worked with local restaurants to have outdoor dining in areas like the plaza along with reducing and waiving liquor license fees. For residents and businesses, utility bill late fees for were suspended. The city also cut their budget by $2.4 million.
Q. In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A. St. Charles has developed over the last year, a great foundation for responding to future health crises. I would like to make sure we have an updated emergency plan that includes making sure the city keeps good financial reserves, can make budget cuts quickly, and maintain a good working relationship with the Kane County Health Department so we can best serve our community.
Q. What cuts can local government make to reduce the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers?
A. Delay any unnecessary projects and studies; utilize any grant or cooperative effort funds to complete the projects that need to be completed; temporarily suspend hiring.
Q. What do you see as the most important infrastructure project you must address? Why and how should it be paid for? Conversely, during these uncertain economic times, what infrastructure project can be put on the back burner?
A. I see our sewer and water infrastructure being the most important project that needs to be addressed. There is a lot of old infrastructure throughout the city and it needs to be replaced. People are experiencing colored water, water main breaks and extremely hard water. Others experience sewer backups. We need to replace the old infrastructure to improve the service and quality.
To help pay for the improvements, the consideration of an additional tax on the sales of tobacco, vaping and marijuana should be made. Additionally efforts to obtain grants and additional funding that are available for the city should be made. This is a long-term project, so it should be included as part of the long-term budget planning. Give priority to the areas that are the oldest and/or experiencing the worse problems.
In regards to projects that could be delayed, I would look at things like road resurfacing project. We could do maintenance for another year and then move forward when fiscally appropriate.
Q. Do you agree or disagree with the stance your council has taken on permitting recreational marijuana sales in the community? What would you change about that stance, if you could?
A. I agree with the stance the St. Charles City Council has taken on this topic and would not change anything.
Q. What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
A. I would like to have a collaborative effort between the city, businesses, residents and all of our local organizations to develop and implement a Heritage Tourism plan. A plan that will use our heritage and natural resources to draw tourism to St. Charles while making it even more family friendly. Visit for a day. Stay for a weekend.