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Malay Runs for St. Charles’ 5th Ward Seat

Former city employee to challenge Maureen Lewis’ re-election bid during April 9 balloting.

Kim Malay announced Sunday evening she will seek the 5th Ward aldermanic seat during the April 9, 2013 consolidated election.

Malay’s announcement comes a little more than three weeks after incumbent Maureen Lewis confirmed she would seek re-election to the seat she originally was appointed to in December 2010 and won by election four months later, narrowly defeating Malay in the process.

“With great honor I would like to announce my candidacy for 5th Ward alderman for the city of St. Charles,” Malay wrote in an email announcing her candidacy to St. Charles Patch. “My family and I have lived here for 11 years, and I have been deeply involved with our wonderful community for over 17 years, including working for the city of St. Charles Community Development Department for nearly 15 years.”

Malay is a former St. Charles municipal employee who has served on various committees for the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, and is the president of the Farnsworth Mansion Foundation. She is also the founder of the Near Westside Neighborhood Association.

“In my heart this is my hometown and I am proud of it,” she wrote. “I do feel, however, that there are issues that need to be addressed, and as I have proven over the last four years through the Near West Neighborhood Organization that I formed to help the residents address their concerns regarding Shodeen’s proposed project — Towne Centre on the Old St. Charles Mall property, that I have and I will continue to represent the residents, not the politics.

“I have also proven through those continued efforts that I do what I say and I say what I mean,” Malay said. “I have the knowledge, experience and leadership skills to represent the residents of the 5th Ward to the highest ability.”

Malay wrote that her goals include:

  • More transparent and open government.
  • Better communication between city government and residents/local businesses and various organizations.
  • More opportunity for residents to share their opinions and concerns.
  • Passage of an ethics ordinance to ensure officials and staff are clear on what is ethically expected within city government.
  • Secure the safety, wellbeing and quality of life for our residents.
  • Maintain St. Charles’ beauty and charm.
  • The revitalization of our downtown and protection of the city’s historic and family qualities.
  • Fiscal responsibility.
  • Responsible development.
  • A stronger focus on economic development.

“With my 23 years of government employment, nearly 15 of those years with St. Charles, I have developed the knowledge, experience and leadership abilities to truly understand the issues that face our community and what it will take to fix them, including the fact that residents are frustrated by our government because they feel that our elected officials aren’t listening and will do whatever they want to do regardless of what the residents want,” Malay wrote.

“I will work hard to change this,” she continued. “You the people are our boss and I for one will represent your wishes. I have also consulted for and with many other communities and saw their issues and how they resolved them. I worked closely with the City Council and have an understanding of the history of many of the decisions that have been made for the last few decades.”

Since leaving her position with the city, Malay said she has continued to be involved, attending council meetings, committee meetings and interacting with city officials, including developing a working relationship with many of the city’s 10 aldermen. She also notes she has been active such organizations as the Downtown Partnership, River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles, Farnsworth Mansion Foundation and the Near West Neighborhood Association

“All this together gives me the knowledge, education, experience and leadership skills needed to be the representative on the City Council you deserve,” she wrote. “Through my experience I have an understanding and deep passion of importance of the amazing history of St. Charles, where we are now and where we hope to head.

“I have and will continue to give a voice to the residents of the 5th Ward and all residents of St. Charles, listen to and represent them, plus encourage them to get involved,” she continued “I will boldly question the issues brought before the council to ensure we have the answers needed to make the best decisions possible for the city and its residents. I will strongly advocate that ethics be a priority for our city government as a whole.

“As a resident I have worked hard to represent and give voice to many of the residents on the West Side,” she wrote. “I hope you now will give me the honor to represent you as your 5th Ward alderman. I look forward to working to make our gem of a community shine even brighter.”

Malay was narrowly defeated by Lewis in the spring of 2011m when the two vied for the 5th Ward seat left vacant by the November 2010 resignation of David Richards. Lewis won interim appointment to the seat a month later, then won election to it in April 2011.

Lewis said Aug. 31 that she would not run for mayor after Donald DeWitte announced he would not seek a third term. But Lewis did say then that she would run for re-election as 5th Ward alderwoman.

Elizabeth R September 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Ms. Malay has indeed stood for the good of the people and the West Side. She led her neighbors fight against Shodeen's attempt to build 600 apartments on the Old STC Mall site by Jewel. Her and her neighbors were the first time anyone was able to fight and WIN and stop this powerful developer and his bad project. I was one of those who didn't want more apartments and the crime and watched as she built the coalition and led the charge. It took leadership, knowledge and poise to get the City Council to "get it" on a project that City Hall was very much in favor of. Malay's tenancity and determination is what we are lacking in too many current Council members who ran for the "Glory" instead of making a difference.
Henry James September 24, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I think one thing that should be noted is that the main reason Malay was narrowly deafeated was due to the fact that it was a 3 way race. I can only hope this does not happen again. I would also add that I am glad to see that she is pushing Ethics as an issue, as she herself has seen the issues directly. Although not well publicized, there are some ethics issues that need to be addressed, especially at the administration level. Just look at the fact that our Mayor seem to think it was okay to take a job with the City's insurance company as a Vice President. No there is nothing unethical there (yeah right). Developers have been making deals, promises are made without the Council's knowledge and Ms. Malay herself was written right out of the 5th Ward so she could not run again against Ms. Lewis. It was so obvious because the line was drawn right down her street and in the process making the west side of town very hard for people to figure out what ward they were in. Fortunately the Council is beginning to realize there are some serious problems ethically and they are stepping up to correct it just as they did with the ward boundary and not approving some of these developements without really questioning the viability of them. Ms. Malay will be a great addition to the Council to insure ethics are brought back into City Hall.
Pete Richards September 24, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I only hope that some other citizens will step forward to challenge some of the other incumbent Aldermen. Although none of the newcomers may have as impressive a background as Ms. Malay, there are no incumbent Aldermen running in the Spring election who could not be replaced by someone better.
Vanessa Bell-LaSota September 24, 2012 at 06:21 PM
The members of the Concerned Coalition for Sensible Spending will be asking for candid answers to the tough questions, individual views on issues that affect all taxpayers in our City, from all the candidates in the upcoming Mayoral , Aldermanic and County Board elections. We will praise transparent, interactive, accessible government, share voting records and will endorse candidates. You will be able to see the results on our facebook page, and soon on our new website. CCSS is not a one-issue group. Our goal has been to represent the concerns of all neighborhoods in our community, and broaden concensus among residents who share the burdens of their local and county government's fiscal decisions , and share the impact of publc and privarte investment and development in St Charles. On facebook: "Concerned Coalition for Sensible Spending"
Mayor D September 25, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Henry- I'm happy to meet with you at your convenience to discuss your ethics concerns regarding me, my office, or my administration. I'll bring the press and the States Attorney, and you can bring your opinions. Perhaps a public airing of your concerns, with a review by the highest law enforcement officer in the county, would resolve your concerns.

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