Rogina believes St. Charles’ future is bright with Vitek at helm

Outgoing St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina believes the city’s future will be bright with Lora Vitek at the helm.

Vitek, who currently represents the 4th Ward on the St. Charles City Council, will be the city’s next mayor after defeating 5th Ward Alderman Maureen Lewis in the April 6 election.

“I think she’ll provide dynamic leadership and common sense and be a champion of both residents and the businesses of our community,” Rogina said. “And I also believe she’ll take advantage of the opportunities afforded to the city post COVID. That is, unleashed pent up demand. I believe we’re poised for that and I think she’s the right person to take advantage of such and move this city to the next level.”

Rogina did not run for a third term. Vitek had the backing of Rogina as well as State Senator and former St. Charles mayor Don DeWitte.

Vitek chairs the St. Charles Initiative, an independent advisory committee under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. The St. Charles Initiative is raising funds for the expansion of First Street Plaza in downtown St. Charles.

“That impressed me immensely,” Rogina said. “And she’s done well just in terms of working with residents and the businesses as 4th Ward alderman.”

As the newly elected mayor of St. Charles, Vitek said she wants to keep the city moving forward.

“I want to keep us moving forward at the right pace and I think I’m the right person to do that,” she said.

Vitek will have the distinction of serving as only the second female mayor of St. Charles. Sue Klinkhamer was St. Charles’ first female mayor. She served from 1997-2005 after previously being on the St. Charles City Council.

She plans to continue to connect with fellow residents.

“I definitely want to get out and talk to people and make sure they feel engaged,” Vitek said.

One of her immediate priorities is hiring a new city administrator. St. Charles City Administrator Mark Koenen, who was appointed to his post in 2013 after serving as public works director for 23 years, has announced he will retire in May at the end of his contract with the city.

“I have some work to do here now in talking with our staff to determine who is the next right fit for that position,” Vitek said.

Lewis called Vitek to congratulate her.

“I wished her well as she leads this city into the future,” Lewis said. “It was a good race and a good campaign. The election is over and I think now we move forward and all try to come together. I hope we all come together and do the work that’s meaningful to us to make sure that St. Charles is a city that we all call home.”

Lewis, who was first elected to the St. Charles City Council in 2011, chose not to run for reelection in order to run for mayor. Steve Weber, who currently is a member of the Kane County Board, was elected to her seat.

“I met wonderful people on the campaign,” Lewis said. “I reconnected with old friends that I hadn’t talked to in years and made great new friends. I’m very happy with how I ran my campaign. I’m very proud of the work that I’ve done for St. Charles on the City Council and I look forward to still being part of what makes this community home for me and my family.”

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.