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Tungare Appointment, Merger of Departments Win Council OK

Community Development and Economic Development Departments will be united under one director.

St. Charles Community and Economic Development Director Rita Tungare speaks to the City Council on Dec. 9, 2013, the day she was nominated to head the combined departments. | Credit: Ted Schnell
St. Charles Community and Economic Development Director Rita Tungare speaks to the City Council on Dec. 9, 2013, the day she was nominated to head the combined departments. | Credit: Ted Schnell

Without discussion, the St. Charles City Council on Monday approved the merger of the Community Development and Economic Development departments under the direction of Community Development Director Rita Tungare.


The City Council’s approval of the merger and appointment of Tungare as the director of the Community and Economic Development Department came as it voted to pass its consent agenda — a list of items that previously had received the unanimous recommendation of approval by council committee. Aldermen had recommended approval of the merger and appointment on Dec. 9, 2013.


Mayor Raymond Rogina offered the only comment on the ordinance merging the department’s and Tungare’s appointment as director, saying the move comes at “the right time, the right place, the right person.”


The Economic Development Department has been running with one staffer since the retirement of former Director Chris Aiston in late July and the departure of Economic Development Manager Michael Mertes in the weeks prior. The city recently began advertising to fill the latter post in anticipation of the merger.


City officials believe the move will prove beneficial, creating a one-stop shop for developers considering relocating in St. Charles, as well as cost-effective. In the six months since Aiston and Mertes left, the city has saved more than $100,000 by not filling the two positions.


The move consolidates the equivalent of 11.5 full-time Community Development positions with the Economic Development staff, whose two employees had served  under one director.


City Administrator Mark Koenen told aldermen a week ago the city’s economic development mission will be, first, to retain existing businesses, second, to ensure that St. Charles is a community of choice for businesses looking to relocate, and to market the city as a great place to do business.


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