Full Name: Mark Foulkes
What office are you seeking? City Council: 1st Ward in St. Charles
What is your political party? Democrat
What is your current age? 46
Occupation and Employer: Community Unit School District #303. Employed as a teacher.
What offices, if any, have you previously held? I have not held any previous offices.
City: St. Charles, Illinois
Campaign Website: Facebook: Elect Mark Foulkes: 1st Ward.
Education: I earned my B.A from Monmouth College in 1999. I earned my Masters in Education Leadership from Aurora University in 2005.
Community involvement: I am a member of the Kane County Baseball League Advisory board.
Marital status/Immediate family: I am married to my wife, Liz, for over 16 years. We have two daughters Averie and Hallie. We also have a dog named Ivy.
Why are you running for office?
ENHANCE OUR RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT
I’d like to elevate the way we connect and communicate with our residents and share more information about important topics we all should be aware of and have a voice in.
PROVIDE IMPROVED STABILITY IN WARD 1 CITY COUNCIL ROLE
We’ve had some turnover with this particular Council seat and I would like to make sure that our citizens have consistency and know I am an ongoing point of contact.
SPOTLIGHT AND FOCUS ON PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
I’m advocating for much safer pedestrian safety near Munhall Elementary and by our new First Street Development area downtown. Traffic in these areas has increased and I want to ensure that we can go anywhere at any time…safely.
SUPPORT NEW AND EXISTING BUSINESSES
Our city attracts people from all over the Fox Valley area. Whether it’s small businesses or big box, I am committed to working with our Mayor, Alderman and City Staff to extend the life cycle of local businesses. These businesses deserve our support and an opportunity for further growth.
BRING ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGES
I will bring a fresh perspective and new energy to our Council and with this election, there is a great opportunity to usher in significant change. I look forward to helping with those tough decisions while keeping all of us in mind.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
I believe I am the most qualified candidate because I am someone who is deeply invested in our community. I am a life-long St.Charles resident that has chosen to stay here and raise my family. I had a wonderful childhood growing up in St Charles and experiencing all of the great aspects that the city has to offer. My wife and I are excited to be able to raise our kids in such an amazing community. I have a strong history with St. Charles. I have seen the city develop first hand into the wonderful community it is. I am someone who wants to help St. Charles be the best community for families to live in and raise a family. I know I can work with people and make tough decisions so our city can continue to move forward while still keeping its identity. I believe I am a problem solver who can help develop solutions. I feel like my positive energy is a plus and I’m excited to lead the city going forward.
I have been fortunate to work in a number of leadership positions. I have been a Team Leader in charge of teacher and parent communication and currently hold the position of Professional Learning Community Facilitator for the 8th grade language arts teachers at Wredling Middle School. I was the head varsity baseball coach at St. Charles East from 2004-2009. Currently, I am a basketball coach and cross country coach at Wredling Middle School as well as the varsity assistant baseball coach at St. Charles East. All of these experiences have helped me develop my leadership style and have helped with with positive collaboration.
What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?
I support the Bill that was signed by Governor Pritzker. I believe this is a step in creating a safer environment for our community. Gun violence is a major problem throughout our country. I applaud Illinois for taking safer measures for their residents.
Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?
St. Charles is a safe place to raise a family. We are fortunate to have a wonderful police force that helps keep crime to a minimum. I believe the current plan that St. Charles Police Department has in place is doing a great job of limiting crime throughout our community.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
I believe the St. Charles community handled the pandemic very well. They followed the guidelines put in place by the state of Illinois. The schools district came up with a plan to get students back into the learning environment safely, using “A and “B” days as well as implementing proper social distancing guidelines. The park district did a wonderful job keeping programs going through zoom. Overall, the community handled the pandemic in a very safe and responsible manner.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
I learned that you have to respect a persons level of comfort. People handled the pandemic differently. However, I really think this taught our community to be courteous of one another. You may not have agreed with everybody, but having the mutual respect of ones views was seen in many ways.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
I believe we need to continue to invest in our downtown first street development. St. Charles has done a wonderful job creating new business opportunities in that area. The city needs to continue rehabbing some of the older building in the downtown area. This will provide the residents with more places to shop or done. I also think the redevelopment of the old mall could help spur some economic development. Whatever goes in the mall area, this has to be a great idea, not a good one. It is an idea you want to look back 20 years from now and say what went in there was the best idea possible.
Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
Once if office, I would have to look into different ways to help with this.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?
Marijuana is legal in our state. It has been shown as a positive source of revenue. I do support it being sold in our community to help lower residents tax burden.
What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?
I would like to see two main things improve in St. Charles: roads and water. Our roads needs to be updated. Many of them are falling apart and are beyond our simple patch jobs. I would love to see the city try to come up with a plan to make sure roads are taken care of. It is no secret that the water in St Charles is an issue. It would be interesting to see if there was a place where we could put in a high-level water service plant like Geneva and Batavia have. These are two areas that residents deserve when they move into our community.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
I will accept the voters’ decision on Election Day. I fully support the election workers and the process.
What is your position on open, transparent government?
I believe the government should be as transparent as possible. Keeping your community members properly informed helps open up lines for positive communication and collaboration. Do accomplish this, you need to find better ways to inform residents of what is happening in the community. Different social media can help accomplish this. Whether it is improving the city website or City Council members posting on Facebook pages, anything that can be done to help keep residents in the loop is a positive.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
I do fully support the Freedom of Information Act.
Would you sign a nondisclosure agreement with a prospective company that would limit your ability to communicate with your community?
I would not sign an agreement like this. As a City Council member, I believe it is my job to communicate with the members of my ward. Signing something like this only creates problems of distrust.