ST. CHARLES – Fourth Ward Alderman Lora Vitek has announced she is running for St. Charles mayor.
Vitek is the first person to enter the race after St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina announced he will not be running in April for a third term. Vitek was first elected to the City Council in 2017 and her term expires in May.
"I love St. Charles," Vitek said, in talking about her decision to run for mayor. "And I've been a big advocate for business development and the First Street project. And I really want to carry on what Mayor Ray's done and continue those projects. They've been a big priority of mine."
The 42-year-old Vitek has two children and is the executive director of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. Vitek has been heavily involved in the community since moving to St. Charles in 2012.
In addition to being on the City Council, she has served on the St. Charles Youth Commission and was part of an effort that successfully stopped the St. Charles School Board from closing Lincoln Elementary School.
"I worked on that with several business owners and residents to save that school," Vitek said. "It offers a real gamut of educational opportunities and having that school in the downtown community I think is really important."
She also chairs the St. Charles Initiative, an independent advisory committee under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. The St. Charles Initiative is raising funds for the expansion of First Street Plaza in downtown St. Charles.
Vitek will give a presentation on the latest plans for the project at the City Council's Planning and Development Committee meeting on Monday.
"I really want to see this First Street project completed," Vitek said.
She also wants to see plans move forward for the redevelopment of the former police station along the Fox River. And Vitek said she would "love to see something happen with Charlestowne Mall."
'We need to be proactive in those discussions," Vitek said. "Any of those opportunities help set off increases in property taxes for people. So if we can develop more business and support our current businesses, I think that just betters our community."
Vitek plans to formally launch her campaign at 4 p.m. Oct. 28 at Flagship on the Fox in downtown St. Charles. Vitek has the blessing of Rogina, who is supporting her campaign, she said.
"He is publicly supporting me," Vitek said.