By Tim Kirsininkas, Communications Intern in 2017
Photo: St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina discusses social media messages with communications intern Tim Kirsininkas
For the past six months, I have had the pleasure of serving as the Communications Intern for the City of St. Charles. In this role, I assist the City’s Communications Division in gathering and publishing information about important news and updates for the City’s communications channels, including the City website, social media, and our monthly newsletter, The Den. The Communications Division also serves as a liaison to local media outlets, and assists residents when they have questions or concerns.
Since I was young, I’ve had an interest in entering government and public service, so much so that I used to play pretend as mayor of my own imaginary cities, and was writing letters to the President in the First grade. When I was in second grade, I attempted to create my own newspapers with updates on things happening in my family’s neighborhood, and I kept up with current events by reading the Kane County Chronicle while I ate breakfast every morning. So it’s fitting that nearly two decades later, my chosen career track would allow me to combine my interests in government, communication, and media. When I came across the City of St. Charles job posting for a Communications Intern last fall, I knew I had found the perfect fit.
As a St. Charles resident, I have always been appreciative of the work and dedication of the City’s employees and public officials. I can truly say that I couldn’t have asked for a better place to grow up. The quiet neighborhoods, scenic parks, and rich history are some of the main reasons why I am proud to call St. Charles my hometown, and even more proud to serve in the City’s government. In my time here, I have carried an early memory of an interaction with a St. Charles Mayor as guidance in serving my hometown.
One of my earliest memories is attending the annual St. Charles “Lighting of the Lights” ceremony in Lincoln Park when I was five years old, and now one of my favorite St. Charles traditions. My family had just recently moved here, and this was one of the first events that my family attended as residents, having heard about the annual event before moving here. The Mayor of St. Charles at the time, Sue Klinkhamer, gave a speech and flipped the switch for the City’s Christmas lights, declaring the holiday season underway in St. Charles.
Following the ceremony, the Mayor made time to greet some of the attendees, and my family was among the groups that she personally met with. This was my first interaction with an elected official, and I remember thinking it was a great honor to meet the leader of our community! Mayor Klinkhamer was very warm and welcoming and truly happy to hear that we had chosen St. Charles as our community.
The thing that sticks with me most distinctly from the interaction was this: Mayor Klinkhamer told my parents to call her office directly if there was anything that she could do to assist us in getting acclimated to St. Charles. Even at my young age, I could recognize what a truly kind gesture this was, and was amazed that the leader of our Community would be so willing to make time to lend her ear to the input of new residents.
When I look back on this interaction now, I realize that it truly epitomizes how government should be. Elected officials should always be willing to listen to the people they represent, and the people should have confidence that they can ask questions of their leaders, and receive prompt, clear, and honest answers. Thankfully in St. Charles, the City government is made up of many individuals committed to doing just that.
Our current Mayor, Ray Rogina, also takes the time to listen and personally respond to resident questions and concerns. With how divided politics and government have become on the national level, my fellow St. Charles residents can find comfort in the fact that their local elected leaders are committed to transparency and taking all residents’ voices into account before making decisions and explaining their reasoning after decisions are made.
If you ever have a question, comment, or concern, do not hesitate to reach out to your City government. Whether you give us a call, send us an email, or contact us on social media, we will always do our best to provide you with everything you need to know, and will always be there for you when you need us.