Optician, ABOC, Hauser Ross Optical
Married, Jim Malay
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I have 23 years of government employment, including 8 years with DuPage County for the Circuit Court Clerk and the Building Department along with 15 years working in the St. Charles Community Development Department as Historic Preservation Coordinator. I have a full understanding of how our City Government works including City Ordinances/Codes, all of the City Departments and their functions. I facilitated many discussions between city officials/representatives and residents. I have a well-rounded knowledge of Planning, Zoning, the Comprehensive Plan and Historic Preservation. I have consulted for several other government bodies and volunteered for many various organizations so I understand the importance of having a good working relationship with other government bodies and community organizations to achieve important goals for our community. Worked with many local business owners too and created incentive programs, giving me knowledge for economic development. As a resident, I help other residents let their voices be heard and understand how we can do better communicating and working with the residents. I currently have a great and respectful working relationship with our current aldermen and staff and I know we can work well together to make great things happen for St. Charles. Visit www.kimmalay.com for more detailed information.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
1) Economic Development and Business Retention - Economic development and business retention throughout the community is critical for St. Charles. We need to generate more revenue, help make those properties with TIFs including 1st Street and the Old St. Charles Mall property successful so they can pay for themselves, create more jobs and help keep property taxes lower. The City has failed to put this issue as a top priority and focus on it. That needs to change. We need to determine what needs to be done to create a more inviting environment for businesses and customers, then take action to make it happen. 2) Responsible and Appropriate Development/Redevelopment - Don’t develop just to develop. Look at impacts, make sure new developments are a benefit to the City not a negative impact, follow the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinances etc. Look at what we really need like commercial, industrial, 55+ and special needs housing and work to bring them into our community 3) Building a Better Relationship with Residents - We need to work to build a better relationship with residents. Communicate with them, make government open and transparent, get them involved in important issues immediately and approve an ethics ordinance. For more information on my goals visit www.kimmalay.com
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
Although I would love to say yes to this, I could not in good conscious say absolutely yes because I won’t make a promise I know I may not be able to keep. If revenue continues to decrease the reality is we may need to raise the tax levy to insure that we are able to provide the services needed to protect our residents and their quality of life. With that being said I will however make sure we exhaust all other options before resorting to an increase. That includes bringing in new businesses, retaining existing businesses, marketing St. Charles better, cutting expenses and being smart about development and the use of potential incentives.
What one decision by the city council do you most disagree with and why?
The approval of the Lexington Club Project and TIF. One issue was residents were disrespected through the process by some officials and the process was handled poorly especially at the end. Another issue is approving a TIF for residential use is cause for major concern and with this one the amount that was approved was double what the cost of clean-up for that site actually is. In the end the City and its residents are paying for improvements that would need to be made in any development by any developer. If we were going to approve a TIF it should have just been for the actual clean-up costs and nothing more. In addition, the plan was far from being the best it could be. This project was proposed in an older neighborhood of our downtown that consists of mostly single family homes. The project is much denser than the surrounding neighborhood and consists of mostly townhomes. It does not blend at all, adds a lot more traffic and does not benefit not compliment the neighborhood, nor does it add the type of housing stock we actually need like 55+ or special needs housing. We could have done better and should have since we are helping fund it.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the city council in the past year?
Obtaining our AA1 bond rating. It has been hard to accomplish, but St. Charles is better off than some of our surrounding communities because of the City Council and staff\'s efforts. This rating has allowed the City to refinance the bonds that were used for the first 5 TIFs which does save the City and thus the Tax Payers money. We still have work to do fiscally, but I commend the City Council and staff for accomplishing this.
Why should voters elect you to office?
I have the experience of 23 years working in government, preparing the information for the City Council to help them make their decisions, knowing the history of decades of decisions they have made, working with other government bodies, community organizations, business owners and resident, creating incentive programs, participating in economic revitalization efforts including talking to business owners about locating in St. Charles. I also have proven how I will represent the residents as I have spent the last 4 years, long before I even imagined running for office, reaching out and communicating with the residents, letting them know what is happening in our area, informing them of issues they should be aware of, helping them unite, educating them on the process, details and how to let their voices be heard most effectively. I have worked on their behalf to resolve issues and concerns they have. I have worked with members of the City Council to help accomplish all of this. I have attended hundreds of meetings to represent the residents and to stay informed. In many ways I have been performing the responsibilities of Alderman for a few years. Visit www.kimmalay.com for more detailed information.
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