High School, George E Thompson High School St.Charles, IL
Alderman Ward Five St. Charles, IL
Married, Philip Lewis 44 years
Eight grandchildren, six living in St. Charles
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
There are four differences between myself and the other candidate. 1) My experience as a City Alderman, who has served Ward five since December 2010, gives me the knowledge as to what the issues and concerns are to the residents of St. Charles. I currently serve on the planning and development, government operations, and government services committees. This allows me to understand the issues facing the city of St. Charles. I have been a member of the 708 Mental Health Board since 2003 and am a member of the Development and Education Committee for The Downtown Partnership. 2) My deep roots and historical knowledge of being raised in St. Charles and having children plus grandchildren residing here, provides me better understanding and appreciation for the issues facing three generations of St. Charles citizens. 3) My knowledge of small business from owning and operating Art\'s Cool in downtown St. Charles for five years. 4) My positive vision for the City illustrated by my support of the Red Gate Bridge which is proving to be a welcome link for the city\'s northwest and northeast neighborhoods
What are your top three priorities if elected?
First: The Residents of Ward Five. City government is closest to the people and has the biggest impact in their lives. Commitment, service, and responsiveness to the citizens are cornerstones for elected officials. It is important for me to be a connection between the residents and the city administration, to listen thoughtfully to their concerns, take action, and represent them on the city council. Constituents should be confident their elected official is a trustworthy person, with high integrity and a moral compass pointed in the right direction. My years of service to the city are a testament to these beliefs, as are my proactive efforts in receiving the International City Management Association (ICMA) certification credentials for \"Building an Ethical Culture\" and the State of Illinois Open Meetings Act certification credentials for an Illinois City Official Second: Quality of life. I will continue to make sure we have high quality city services delivered in a timely and cost efficient manner. I will continue to make sure our streets and bridges and public buildings are in good repair, and our neighborhoods are safe and well maintained. I support a walkable and bikeable community. Third: Making Progress Toward Our Vision. St. Charles prides itself as being an historical community which is balanced in commercial, industrial and residential growth. A community in which we can live, work and shop. Attracting new businesses that will provide quality jobs is a priority. St. Charles has several competitive advantages such as our quality of life, our financial stability, our commitment to the Arts, our parks, library, schools and the Fox River. We will need to continue marketing these advantages so as to attract and maintain businesses. The new comprehensive plan will be a guide to move forward with this vision. The residents of St. Charles are optimistic, successful, and are looking forward to a bright future. The City Council needs a person with my creative thinking, commitment, and resolve to move our city forward.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
St. Charles has had a flat tax rate since 2009. This represents five consecutive years of zero increase in the tax levy. One could consider this a freeze. This has happened because St Charles initiated a cost savings program, \"to live within our means\" so taxes did not have to be raised. This has been and continues to be a very effective tool to save the taxpayer money. As a member of the city council I voted to achieve these results and I will continue to support maintaining a flat tax levy.
What one decision by the city council do you most disagree with and why?
The most contentious decision the city council made that I disagree with is the residential TIF awarded to Lexington Club for the development of the old Allied Composite site. I believe this residential TIF allowed the developer to transfer expenses to the citizens of St. Charles with no assurances beyond a proposed plan. I did not vote in favor of this TIF
What was the biggest accomplishment of the city council in the past year?
Building the Red Gate Bridge! After nearly 100 years, I am proud to be a member of the city council that voted yes to move forward and build the bridge. I have always supported the city\'s investment in the Red Gate Bridge, and I am confident our citizens will benefit from this decision for generations to come. This new river crossing which opened in December 2012 has unified the northwest and northeast communities of St. Charles and in turn has created a better and more connected city.
Why should voters elect you to office?
During my service as Fifth Ward Alderman St. Charles has achieved very good results. We have financial stability: a flat tax rate, a very high bond rating from Moody\'s Investment Services, and a healthy reserve fund. The city has also been recognized as the #1 city in America to raise a Family by Family Circle Magazine. My service as Alderman has been effective because of my deep roots in St. Charles which allow me to understand the historical perspective of our city and convey a comprehensive knowledge to make the best decisions for our future. My commitment is solid. Citizens of Ward Five can continue to count on me to do the job and make them proud!
Other Local Races