Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories looking at contested races in the Aurora area in the April 4 general election.
The race for a seat on the St. Charles City Council from the 4th Ward in the April 4 election is between incumbent David Pietryla and challenger Laurel Moad.
Pietryla, 43, is finishing his first term serving the 4th Ward and said issues include development in the ward, infrastructure and taxes.
“People want to be sure their leaders are being thoughtful and responsible to the 4th Ward. It’s been a hotbed over the past few years regarding some proposed projects which have caused some angst among some of the neighbors,” he said. “The redevelopment of the old police station is in my ward, but people in the community are also worried about the Charlestowne Mall and Pheasant Run as well.”
Concerns about infrastructure include “having millions of dollars’ worth of water and sewer pipe replacement and road replacement work that needs to be completed, and I know constituents have their eye on those needs as well,” Pietryla said.
The tax issue, Pietryla said, involves “the city being creative in terms of receiving additional revenue without putting any additional tax burden on the residents.”
If re-elected, Pietryla said his “big goal is to continue to be responsive and form relationships with my constituents and being available to them” as well as implementing improved parking and adding walkability in the city.
“We do have a problem with parking in St. Charles, and I’d like to help initiate a parking study and then based on those findings initiate and implement some of the findings to alleviate some of the issues,” he said.
Pietryla added he also wants to implement some of the suggestions concerning walking and biking in the city “because it’s really important we continue to increase and curate more walkability and biking in downtown St. Charles.”
Moad, 69, said issues in the ward include development of the former police station, First Street Plaza and outdoor dining, and “walkability/bike ability and calming traffic issues.”
“The police station is not an issue everywhere in the ward, but last July, the council reviewed four concept plans,” Moad said. “In subsequent weeks, there were concerns about the scope of the developments and there was a lot of misinformation discussed at some of the meetings that followed. We have a concerned and misinformed community in certain pockets of the ward.”
The First Street Plaza issue, she said, includes a public/private endeavor to complete the project.
“We have an obligation to finish the plaza particularly because we have a lot of private funding that went into that,” she said. “I think it should be completed all at once in order to cause the least disruption.”
If elected, Moad said she would like to address the infrastructure needs in the city and see the community more involved from a volunteering perspective.
“Infrastructure – we have a financial shortfall to address the needs we have,” she said. “We have aging roads, sewer, water, etc. and the council has implemented measures to raise $4 million a year but that’s only a short-term fix. We need a long-term strategy to address 138 miles of road.
“We also need a City Council that works together, communicates and is respectful to one another and is a functioning – not fractured – one,” Moad said. “In terms of the community, I’d like to see it more involved from a volunteerism perspective. The more engaged community we have, the more cohesive it becomes.”
David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.