ST. CHARLES – Third Ward Alderman Ray Rogina on Friday announced his candidacy for St. Charles mayor – something he said he began considering two weeks ago when Mayor Don DeWitte revealed he won’t seek a third term.
“In my case, I just felt the calling, that it was a good opportunity for me,” Rogina said, noting his time as an alderman has been fulfilling.
Rogina, 64, was elected as 3rd Ward alderman in 2011. His term expires in 2015.
He is the first person to publicly say he will seek the mayoral position in the April municipal elections, which also will include contests for city clerk, treasurer and five of the 10 aldermanic seats.
Rogina said he has a strong bond with the community. In addition to having lived on the east and west sides of the city, he taught at St. Charles East High School for 30 years. He was president of the St. Charles Education Association for six years and department chair of business education for 14.
He has taught at Aurora University since 1997.
“I think a strong bond equals a strong candidate,” he said.
As mayor, Rogina said, he would encourage supervisors to listen to employees and praise them for their successes. He also wants to maintain a good relationship with city staff.
“I think one of the biggest responsibilities of a mayor is to engage in quality dialogue with the department heads,” said Rogina, noting he has been impressed with the “high caliber” of employees.
If elected, Rogina said he also would work to advance the city’s mission as defined in its 2014 strategic plan: “Preserve our heritage, foster opportunity, build community and enhance the quality of life for all.”
He said a quote from Norman Maclean – “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it” – makes him think of St. Charles.
“I think of the many opportunities each ward presents,” Rogina said. “Amid the challenges accompanying each opportunity, present and future, I look forward to working collectively with the people of St. Charles and its stakeholders.”
Although candidates with City Council experience have digested the city’s major issues in detail, Rogina said that shouldn’t limit the mayoral race to past or present aldermen.
“We certainly have our fair share of quality people in St. Charles,” he said.