Retiring St. Charles Ward 3 alderperson receives key to city as successor is appointed

Retiring St. Charles Alderperson Todd Bancroft was honored with a key to the city at his final City Council meeting Monday June 19, 2023.

St. Charles Mayor Lora Vitek appointed Robert Gehm as Ward 3 alderperson and honored retiring Alderperson Todd Bancroft with a key to the city at the City Council meeting Monday night.

Gehm is replacing Bancroft, who did not run for reelection but retained his seat after the April 4 election after unopposed Ward 3 candidate John Edward Frank withdrew from the race.

Because no Ward 3 alderperson was elected, Vitak announced at a May 1 City Council meeting that the city would be accepting applications and interviewing candidates in June and Bancroft would keep his seat until a replacement was chosen.

Gehm has been a St. Charles resident for 33 years and served on the Liquor Control Commission for the past 10 years. He holds a degree in accounting from Lewis University and works as a finance manager at Ox Industries in Aurora.

Gehm will serve the remainder of Bancroft’s term, ending April 30, 2025. Gehm was not able to attend the meeting and will be sworn in at City Hall on June 26.

At Bancroft’s final meeting, former Mayor Ray Rogina gave a speech honoring the work Bancroft has done in his 10 years serving as Ward 3 alderperson.

Rogina was Bancroft’s teacher at St. Charles High School in the 1980s and in 2013, Bancroft was elected to fill Rogina’s seat when he became mayor. Rogina said Bancroft is at the top of his list of students who have made him proud.

“Here is St. Charles, we have all been beneficiaries of a guy who wanted to give back to the community he loves,” Rogina said.

Retiring St. Charles Alderperson Todd Bancoft was honored with the key to the city at his final City Council meeting at City Hall on June 19, 2023.  (from left to right: former mayor Ray Rogina, Bancroft and Mayor Lora Vitek)

Vitek also said a few words about the dedication Bancroft has shown in his time on the council and thanked him for his guidance before presenting him with a key to the city.

“You truly make decisions and do what you do up there because it’s the right thing for the people of St. Charles – not the right thing for you, it’s the right thing for everyone,” Vitek said. “I love that and I think that’s a great example to set for new aldermen and new commissioners. Thank you for everything.”

Bancroft first thanked his wife, Michelle, for her support over the past 10 years. He also thanked Rogina, Vitek and former alderperson Dan Stellato as being important people to his council tenure.

Bancroft gave credit to city staff, saying their excellence makes him feel confident to retire, knowing the city is in good hands.

“They are second to none. You all make us look so good,” Bancroft said. “We are truly the luckiest city in the world because you all care so much, you’re so diligent, you work so hard and it’s just a fantastic environment that you’ve all created.”

Bancroft closed by thanking his fellow aldermen, saying, “It’s been a great ride and I love this city.”