ST. CHARLES – Jake "Wayne" Wyatt on Friday became the fourth candidate to enter the race to become St. Charles' next mayor.
"I look forward to serving my city in a leadership role after being active in this community through my position as finance officer of the American Legion Post 342 and member VFW Post 5036, 24 years in active military service and two decades of business leadership and ownership," Wyatt said.
Wyatt, 65, retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel and spent active duty in Vietnam, the Philippines and Germany. He received several military awards and medals, including a Bronze Star, Defense Superior Service Medal and numerous campaign ribbons.
He owns Denver-based Wyatt Consulting and is president of Mac5 Mortgage, which is run by one of his sons.
Wyatt said his business and military experience have given him the leadership skills required for the mayor position.
"My military record speaks for itself," he said.
While in the Army, he served as deputy of logistics and was involved in U.S. Central Command and Desert Storm. When he retired from the military, Wyatt said he became the national manager for home delivery for Sears – a job that required him to manage a $300 million budget and employees throughout the country.
He said he has experience in building budgets, contract negotiation and customer support.
"You have to understand what the needs are and figure out a plan to meet those needs that's very affordable," Wyatt said.
Others in the race include:
• John Rabchuk, an entrepreneur consultant and active St. Charles volunteer.
• St. Charles attorney Jotham Stein.
• 3rd Ward Alderman Ray Rogina.
Current St. Charles Mayor Don DeWitte will not seek re-election. The election will be in April.
This is the first public office Wyatt has sought.
"I have never intended to be a politician," he said. "People have pursued me to run before. ... This is really the first time I've been convinced of getting into the political arena."
Wyatt said as mayor, his focus would be to address the city's fiscal health. He said he doesn't have a specific plan, but he would sit down with aldermen and figure out a way to balance the city's budget.
He said he believes the city has been a little too liberal with tax increment finance districts, which is an area he would look into.
"When I look at some of the numbers for the future, I see red ink, not black," he said.
He said he also believes in leading with open communication and an eye toward the future.
Wyatt graduated from St. Charles High School in 1967 and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor's degree in science and business. He received his master's degree from the Florida Institute of Technology.
He is married to Judy Kay, and they have three sons.