Full Name: Jessica Bridges
What office are you seeking? St. Charles City Council - Alderperson Ward 1
What is your political party? non-partisan
What is your current age? 35
Occupation and Employer: Customer Support Engineer - PerkinElmer
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Precinct Committee Person
City: St. Charles
Education: Bachelor’s of Science
Community involvement: St. Charles Business Alliance Volunteer
St. Charles Township GOP
Kane County YRs
Marital status/Immediate family: I am married and have 2 children.
Why are you running for office?
St Charles is a great place to live and raise a family. But these are difficult times for a lot of people; home prices are skyrocketing, many of our buildings are abandoned, and we have found ourselves divided on the best path forward for our Fox River. For these reasons, I am running for City Council. As a scientist, I can identify issues, come up with solutions, and act on them for quantifiable results. I believe I can be a voice for the people in Ward 1 as we work together to make St. Charles thrive.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
My community activities have kept me in regular touch with my neighbors and I have seen firsthand the impact of many of the issues on our quality of life. I have the experience and ability to identify these issues and act on solutions.
What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?
As an Alderperson, this is not a law I would be involved in making. Personally, I believe this is the type of law made with emotions and not science. I support the US and Illinois constitutions and expect other elected officials to do the same.
Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?
St. Charles is blessed with an amazing police force that is very responsive. The police create a atmosphere where the citizens feel safe.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
I believe the St. Charles City Council acted appropriately during the Covid-19 pandemic. They were very open to listening to the community.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
I learned the importance of our community working together, and that the strength of St. Charles comes from the amazing people that reside here.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
Focusing on the redevelopment of Charlestowne Mall and Pheasant Run would greatly spur economic redevelopment.
Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
Local governments should do anything and everything they can to help reduce the tax burden on residents. With increasing inflation and interest rates, citizens are struggling and right now is not the time to increase taxes or utilities. Public spending should be heavily scrutinized to avoid putting any more financial strain on residents. The local governments should carefully reevaluate the entire budget to reduce or eliminate any non-essential spending. Any major redevelopments should be largely paid for by the redevelopers.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?
Recreational marijuana is already currently being sold in St. Charles.
What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?
I would like to address redevelopment of the old police station along the river. I would do this by seeking community input and ideas before reaching out to any developers. The community should drive this redevelopment.
I would also like to address the redevelopment of Charlestowne Mall and Pheasant Run. I envision a “Gateway into St. Charles” with residential homes behind retail and restaurants that line Main Street. The city has agreed to put a TIF district on Pheasant Run, so our City Council now has to make sure the costs of the TIF are fully recovered when redevelopment is completed.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
Of course I will accept the voters’ decision on Election Day.
What is your position on open, transparent government?
Government should be “of the people, for the people and by the people”. An open, transparent government is the only way to achieve tat. There is no reason our local government should try and prevent the citizens from knowledge of the government.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
Yes I do and I appreciate citizens using the FOIA to learn more about what elected officials are thinking and doing.
Would you sign a nondisclosure agreement with a prospective company that would limit your ability to communicate with your community?
No, nondisclosure agreements are rare for public officials who are expected to be open and transparent with the public. I could understand a company considering a move to St. Charles and possibly not wanting their competitors to know, but any discussions with government officials should be open and transparent.