St. Charles City Council creates Equity and Inclusion Commission, appoints members

At Tuesday’s St. Charles City Council meeting, alderpersons approved a $283,587 contract with Herlihy Mid-Continent Company for repairs to the 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue bridges along with the Main Street Bridge alcoves.

St. Charles City Council members approved an ordinance creating the city’s first Equity and Inclusion Commission and appointed the commission’s nine members at Monday night’s meeting.

Commission members were appointed by Mayor Lora Vitek and approved by the City Council by unanimous vote without discussion. Commission members will serve three-year terms and meet four times a year. Terms will be staggered.

Terms for Erica Johnson, John Fitzgerald and Trudy Nichol will expire April 30, 2024. Susan Sanders, Samantha Newman and Lisa Macaione will serve terms ending in April 2025. Mary Kruse, Michael Castro and Chris Anderson will serve terms ending in April 2026.

According to the ordinance, the commission will work to identify areas of systemic inequities in St. Charles and develop recommendations for city officials to combat inequities and embrace diversity.

Interviews were conducted over the past several weeks by Vitek or city administrator Heather McGuire with equity consultant Lisa Stricker.

At the first commission meeting, a member will be delegated to serve as liaison to the city under the city administrator’s purview.

Stricker presented the commission ordinance before the Government Operations Committee at a May 15 meeting where members voted to recommend approval of the ordinance.

According to the ordinance, the commission will work in conjunction with other local community, government, cultural and faith groups that are addressing equity and inclusion issues. It will assist with recruiting and selecting applicants for appointment and membership in all other appointed boards and committees.

“The overall purpose of the Equity and Inclusion Commission shall be to make recommendations to the City Council and staff to ensure our community is one that is open, inclusive and welcoming to all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, religion or abilities,” according to the ordinance.