ST. CHARLES – City planner Matt O'Rourke soon will take on a new set of responsibilities.
Monday is his first official day as St. Charles' economic development division manager in the Community and Economic Development Department, he said.
O'Rourke said Thursday he is eager to get started.
"I believe in this city," he said, indicating that was one of the reasons he applied for the job. "I believe in what we're doing."
In his new position, O'Rourke said he plans to make sure the city is collaborating with property owners to entice new businesses and retailers into town.
"And keep existing ones here, too," he added.
He expects he also will work with the Charlestowne Mall owners to help market the city to potential tenants and to assist them as much as they want, he said.
As for targeting specific businesses that residents have expressed an interest in, O'Rourke said there is only so much he can do.
"We'll pick up the phone and talk to businesses," he said. "If a business out there wants to come to town, and my call helps do that, great."
O'Rourke will be under the direction of Community and Economic Development Director Rita Tungare, who in a written statement said the city conducted a thorough and comprehensive search of candidates.
"I’m confident Matt will continue the city’s efforts in working collaboratively with local organizations and the business community to enhance the economic vitality of the city and promote St. Charles as a desirable location for businesses and industries," she said.
During his six years with the city, O'Rourke has served as staff liaison to several commissions, managed numerous development projects and worked on the CMAP multi-jurisdictional housing study.
Before St. Charles, O'Rourke worked at the village of Romeoville for four years. He has a master's degree in urban and regional planning from Ball State University and a bachelor's degree in urban planning from the University of Cincinnati.
He lives in St. Charles.