Vitek takes reins as new St. Charles mayor

Rogina offers parting words

As only the second female mayor of St. Charles, Lora Vitek said she hopes to set a good example for other women.

“I support you and welcome you to explore opportunities available through our city,” Vitek said, in presiding over her first St. Charles City Council meeting Monday.

Sue Klinkhamer was St. Charles’ first female mayor. She served from 1997-2005 after previously being on the St. Charles City Council.

“I would like to thank the residents of the city of St. Charles for choosing me to be your next mayor,” Vitek said. “I would also like to thank my family, friends and colleagues that have believed in me and supported me along this journey because they knew from the very beginning I was in it for the right reason – to make a difference and lead the city of St. Charles on a path forward.”

Before Vitek took her seat, St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina had some parting words. He 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.

In addressing city staff, Rogina said he was “forever grateful for your hard work and dedication.”

Rogina talked about what he learned as mayor.

“As a teacher, you always want to tell people what you learned,” he said. “I learned about the benevolence of all of our residents. A cornucopia of kindness and generosity shown to the multiple agencies all across our community and several communities and the loyalty displayed to businesses during this pandemic experience.”

Rogina was elected mayor in 2013, after serving as 3rd Ward alderman from 2011-2013. Prior to that, Rogina was a department chair in Business Education and instructor in Law and Economics at St. Charles East High School for 30 years.

“I have met so many wonderful people, so many polite people, so many gregarious and thankful people, helpful and respectful people, who call this town home,” Rogina said.

He also took note of camaraderie he and outgoing St. Charles City Administrator Mark Koenen had with other mayors and managers in the Fox Valley.

“Cooperation and the sharing of ideas result in better utilization of resources and best practices,” Rogina said.

Rogina also had some advice for Vitek and the newly seated aldermen.

“Work together, respect the responsibilities the community has bestowed on each one of you, do your job, let the staff do the heavy lifting and if you do, you’ll get support tenfold,” he said.

Eric Schelkopf

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