September 28, 2023


Tom Galante, St. Charles City Council, Ward 1 election questionnaire

St. Charles City Council, Ward 1 candidate Tom Galante

Full Name: Tom Galante

What office are you seeking? Alderperson, Ward 1, City of St. Charles

What is your political party? Nonpartisan

What is your current age? 53

Occupation and Employer: Pricing Manager, SunSource Inc.

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Commissioner, Natural Resources Commission, City of St. Charles (2019-present)

City: Saint Charles

Campaign Website: Tom Galante for Ward 1, City of St. Charles

Education: MBA, University of Notre Dame

BS, Illinois State University: major in Marketing, minor in History

Community involvement: Natural Resources Commission, City of St. Charles

St. Charles History Museum

St. Charles East HS boosters

Marital status/Immediate family: No

Two (daughters)

Why are you running for office?

Ward 1 has great importance and potential as the East Gateway of the City of St. Charles. The open alderperson candidacy requires someone with the education, experience, work ethic, and desire to enhance the quality of life of our residents and advocate for our businesses. I am that candidate.

What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?

The desire to serve with the education, experience, and willingness to do the work required.

Education: thorough understanding of business, economics, history, and how they connect and evolve.

Experience: budgets, return on investment (ROI), working across functional departments, working on the Natural Resources Commission and in the past in youth sports, writing articles for the Natural Resources Commission in the Den and the Inside St. Charles blog, etc.

Do the work required: listen to fellow residents, I attend nearly all City Council meetings already, and I have the detail orientation our residents and businesses deserve.

What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?

I trust our law enforcement agencies, state’s attorney offices, and judges to enforce and interpret the laws according to the Constitution.

Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?

No, thanks to the vigilance and dedication of our city and county law enforcement agencies, state’s attorney offices, and judges. We have a civic-minded community that looks out for each other.

Enforcement, education, and opportunity keep crime low.

What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?

When local solutions were applied, I believe it was handled better locally than at the state and federal levels.

What did you learn from the pandemic?

One size did NOT fit all. It was an unprecedented situation in our lifetimes and we needed the freedom to figure out what worked. Now we know to both protect the vulnerable and trust our neighbors and businesses to keep their friends and customers safe. Leaders must inform and lead by example, and admit and correct any mistakes. Kindness and grace go further than judgment. Hindsight is 20/20, let’s use that to our advantage.

How would you spur economic development in your community?

Attract resilient businesses.

Upgrade our roads and utility infrastructure.

Solicit resident input regarding what businesses they want and will support.

Solicit business input regarding their needs.

Highlight Ward 1 and neighboring businesses: my car is from Ward 1, I get my dog food in Ward 1, etc.

Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?

Economic development equals more revenue without raising rates on residents.

Seek out grants and advantageous loan programs for city services and upgrades.

Increase the use of technology with positive returns for city services.

Pay down debt, and be sure new debt has a positive return on investment.

Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?

It already is. I’m interested in quality of life for our residents, so I will listen to our residents and local law enforcement to ensure tax receipts don’t result in lower quality of life.

What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?

Our water and sewer infrastructure, and our streets. The City Council should direct that all the wells in St. Charles be treated similarly so the quality is consistent throughout our city. In the spirit of transparency, advise the public about the possibilities, costs, and benefits of well treatment vs. accessing Lake Michigan water. Our current street replacement cycle is at 50 years, and should be in the 25-30 year range. Included with streets is improving walkability and bikeability per the study conducted with resident input regarding bike-pedestrian improvements. We should seek out and use grants and advantageous loan programs, such as through the Illinois EPA, for these projects.

Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?

Absolutely, as I expect my opponents will. These are our neighbors, after all.

What is your position on open, transparent government?

Government works for the residents. Progress and agreement occur when everyone feels they are heard, so my style is to be inclusive of community input when considering decisions. I advocate embracing greater transparency so our residents are informed in a timely manner. Let’s improve our city website so it is more user friendly and transparent, and post our meeting videos on the city website so residents can easily access city meetings and stay informed about our community.

Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?

Of course. Government works for the citizens.

Would you sign a nondisclosure agreement with a prospective company that would limit your ability to communicate with your community?

For my own employment with that company? No, that would be a “deal breaker.” My ethics won’t allow it. If in the capacity of a government official regarding a prospective company for the city, I would follow the law and also consult with the city attorney. A government official works for the citizens, it would be a bad idea to make them unhappy.

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