Community Park to undergo enhancement

O’FALLON – Earlier this month, work began at O’Fallon Community Park to begin $180,000 worth of updates as part of the O’Fallon Community Park Enhancement Project. We ask for your patience as we make these recreational improvements to one of our most used parks.   

“Community Park is a wonderful park that is used by many in O’Fallon,” said Mayor Herb Roach. “These improvements will make it even more enjoyable for the entire community.” 

The updates were made possible with matching grants from the Metro East Parks and Recreation District as well as St. Clair County Grants Commission. The updates will include:

• New bleachers installed on Blazier Baseball Field.

• Tennis courts will be resurfaced as weather permits.

• New tennis court fencing will be installed, beginning March 11th.

• Dugouts will be installed on fields #4 and #5.

• New ballfield fencing on fields #3 and #4.

• ADA pathway will be installed connecting Blazier field to the restrooms.

• Installation of a second batting cage near Field #6

Local real estate professionals honored at annual luncheon

O’FALLON – The REALTOR Association of Southwestern Illinois (RASI) recently recognized members at its annual Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at the St. Clair County Club.

Steve Ellerbrake, Broker with RE/MAX Preferred in O’Fallon received the 2019 Professionalism Award. Professionalism is the backbone of the REALTOR Association of Southwestern Illinois. 

According to RASI, “Steve is a true professional. Through his commitment to the Association as a Director and a member of the Budget & Finance Committee, he is well-respected and was nominated by his peers for this award. As busy as this member can be, he will always take the time out of his day for you. His quick wit and his fun personality help make him the professional he is.”

Additionally, Whitney Wisnasky-Bettorf and Courtney Marsh, brokers at Red Door Realty Group of Progressive Property Network, received the Ruby Award. This award is reserved for teams that completed 80 or more transactions or over $15 million in sales in the calendar year. 

Public Works approves funding plan for Seven Hills Road resurfacing

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Public Works committee approved to go to council resolutions regarding the Seven Hills Road resurfacing project. 

The city has received federal grant money to cover seventy-five percent of the construction costs, $434,250, and IDOT requires specific engineering studies to be performed to receive those funds. The resolutions were for $77,000 for engineering services from Oates Associates and approval to use Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) funds to pay for the services. 

Public Works Director Jeff Taylor is hopeful to begin the resurfacing project next year. The grant is specific to the resurfacing of the road, so the city is working on preliminary plans for another grant to address traffic mitigation on that road. 

An amendment to an agreement with HMG Engineers Inc. was also presented, increasing the costs from $409,500 to $505,750 for Phase 2 of the wastewater treatment plant improvements. The increase is due to the IEPA recommendation to include new filters to reduce phosphorus effluent levels. The new plans and redesign will include the new filters and remove the addition of a third clarifier from the previous plan. 

The committee also approved an engineering agreement with Dixon Engineering, Inc. for $50,176.10 for water storage tank improvements for the State Street and Seven Hills Road water towers. Inspections completed last year indicated both towers need exterior painting and interior painting of the State Street water tower. The agreement is for plans and specifications to bid the work and construction observation.

District 90 and the Weekly Present the March 2019 Student Service Award Recipients

The following students have been named by their principals in recognition for their efforts to make their school and community a better place.

Hinchcliffe Elementary 
Benjamin Rogers

Benjamin Rogers is a 1st grade student who recently moved to O’Fallon from Florida after losing almost everything in the hurricane earlier this year. There is not a day that goes by where he does not have a smile on his face. He has been through a lot and you would never know it. He is eager to learn, help others, and explore new things. Benjamin loves playing with Lego’s at home and his favorite subject in school is Math. His teacher, Mrs. Doyle, says, “I am so glad to have met this young man who brings joy to my life and to his classmates.”

Evans Elementary
Michael Taborski

Michael Taborski is the example of a positive volunteer in the classroom and around the school. Michael performs tasks for teachers in the building such as tutoring, taking lunch containers to the cafeteria, and helping out around his homeroom on a daily basis. Michael takes pride in his volunteerism and he always does his work willingly. Michael is respectful, responsible, and makes wise choices consistently. 

Estelle Kampmeyer Elementary
LaChelle Ellis

The cafeteria staff nominated Shelly Ellis, a third-grade student from EK Elementary School, for this award. Shelly is a kind-hearted and well-rounded student. In the cafeteria, she frequently helps younger peers and comforts them when they need it. She is a great listener and a very positive young lady. Shelly is a wonderful role model to all students. 

Delores Moye Elementary
Charlotte Durbin

Charlotte Durbin is kind and always willing to help her friends. She is respectful and honest. She works hard to do her best and is eager to learn new things.  Moye staff are proud of her!

Marie Schaefer Elementary
Emma Noble and Reese Burton

On December 3, 2018, the school was graciously given a personalized sign made completely out of Legos. It was created by Emma Noble, Reese Burton, their families and friends. The sign took 4 months to build is made up of 110,000 LEGO pieces, weighs 850 pounds, and is 12 feet long by 5 feet wide. The message behind the sign is to dream, plan, and make it happen! These two young ladies have altruistic hearts and give daily to help others. They put smiles on others faces daily, they willingly go out of their way to help others feel comfortable and are true leaders in the first-grade team. They will do great things in life and deserve recognition for their outstanding work this year!  Link to the video of the making of the LEGO Marie Schaefer Sign: https://youtu.be/FDk0nb6_Teg

Carriel Junior High
Madelyn Fields

Madelyn Fields is a well rounded student who pays attention to detail and cares about others.   Some of her teachers commented, “She is patient, respectful, and a delight to have in class!”     She is an active participant in class, serves as a leader during group activities, and is always willing to help.  Outside of the classroom, she was a member of our girls basketball team, works diligently on the yearbook staff and is an active member of NJHS.  She commits her time weekly to tutoring elementary students at Moye.  She goes every Monday and Thursday after school and has subbed for students on other days when they cannot make it.  Mrs. Cox noted, ” Maddie has been an absolute pleasure to work with.  She is reliable, she works well with students, and she’s very personable with the staff in charge and the students.  We appreciate her flexibility in working with different students/different grade levels/ different subjects.  Our students really enjoy working with her.  She’s been a huge asset to this program.”

Fulton Junior High
Carlie Vermillion

Carlie Vermillion has gone above and beyond to support National Junior Honor Society efforts in the Layne Grace Bear Project.  Even when finished with her required minutes, Carlie continued to support and produce many, many extra bears.  It is students such as Carlie who continue to recognize the beauty of serving others, even when their personal commitment is met that make us proud. Due to her dedication, many hearts will find comfort.

Social media contact leads to sexual abuse charges


Paul L. Jansen

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Police Department have arrested a Damiensville man, charging him with sexual abuse after he made inappropriate contact with a a juvenile.

On March 26, 2018, the O’Fallon Police Department arrested Paul L. Jansen, 23, of Damiensville, Illinois.

Jansen’s arrest stemmed from a parental complaint about inappropriate contact made, by Jansen, to a juvenile via social media.

The O’Fallon Police Department’s investigation resulted in the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office issuing the following charges:

3 Counts Aggravated  Criminal Sexual Abuse

3 Counts Traveling to Meet a Minor

1 Count Grooming

1 Count Indecent Solicitation of a Child

Jansen’s bail was set at $200,000.00. Jansen was remanded to the custody of the St. Clair County Jail. The O’Fallon Police Department is continuing to investigate Jansen’s past activity.

The O’Fallon Police Department would like to remind parents to monitor their children’s social media activity. If you suspect a crime may have been committed, contact your local police department.

Jansen is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Detective Sergeant Craig Koch ckoch@ofallon.org

618-624-9551

O’Fallon Police Department 285 N. Seven Hills Road O’Fallon, IL 62269

618-624-4545

*** Individuals May Remain Anonymous When Reporting***

Library to host summer activity fair

By Kate Crutcher

O’FALLON – With spring in the air, that means summer is right around the corner. Children will be out of school in just a couple months, but then what? If decisions are still needing to be made for children to participate in activities over the summer, come check out the summer activity fair. The community has so many different programs that will keep the children entertained over the summer months, but sometimes it is difficult to choose which one. The O’Fallon Public Library hopes to make the process easier by hosting a summer activity fair. This year the event will be held on Saturday, April 6 in the Library Community Room, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

“The benefit of this fair is that parents can find out about summer activities now and conveniently enroll their kids. Having all of the information at their fingertips makes summer planing a lot easier,” Teri Rankin said, Youth Services Manger at the library. 

So far the O’Fallon YMCA, O’Fallon Parks and Recreation, Sylvan Learning Center, O’Fallon School District 90 and the Metro Rec Plex have confirmed that they will have booths and information to hand out, on Saturday’s event. The library has three more organizations that could potentially have booths on Saturday, as well. Other information about churches and vacation Bible schools will also be provided. Along with handouts for summer activities in St. Louis. 

“Sumer will be here whether we plan for it or not, so we might as well make plans! I love bringing information and people together. Hopefully it makes life easier for parents trying to keep their kids busy over the summer,” Rankin said. 

Girl Scout Troop 637 collecting donations for Ronald McDonald House

The members of Girl Scout Troop #637 at Marie Schaefer have been working on their Bronze Award. The girls picked to work with Ronald McDonald houses in St. Louis.  On February 16 the girls toured the Mercy Hospital Ronald McDonald house. The Ronald McDonald House provides lodging for 60 families dealing with health crises who live more than 50 miles from their supporting hospital at Children’s, Cardinal Glennon, or Mercy hospitals. They also support four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms which welcome over 12,000 families per year. If your child visits an emergency room, the family rooms are available with snacks, laundry and shower facilities, and family-friendly areas to wait during an injury or illness. 

While visiting, the girls got to meet some of the families staying there and decided to help by getting donations of supplies. If you would like to donate, simply visit
https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/19CQK3S94AE4R?ref_=wl_share and purchase your items. They will ship directly to the troop. Additionally, the girls are collecting like-item donations at the school if you would prefer to donate that way. All donations are due by April 6.

Fulton volleyball takes second at State

(Submitted Photo)

The Fulton Varsity Volleyball team took second place at the State championship on Saturday, March 23. The team beat both Carmi and Centralia in two sets to get to the championship game against Mascoutah. Both teams played some exciting volleyball and Fulton lost in the third set by two points.  

The team finished the season as regional winners with an overall record of 21-5 and 8-2 in conference. Coaches Nicole Flaar and Melissa Burger wish to congratulate Becca Koenig, Sierra Sanchez, Reagan Bridgeman, Kayla Graney, Alyssa Frederking, Ellie Johnston, Hannah Kim, Annalie McWhorter, Aubree Noles, Ansley Ori, Maddie Sprouse, Abby Tamblyn Tessa Posey, and Kendell Kingdon on the successful season.  The team’s manager was Val Meinkoth.

Lady Panthers Lacrosse continues winning ways

The O’Fallon Lady Panthers Lacrosse team continues to rack up the wins as the season continues. 

On Thursday, March 21, the team defeated the Westminster Christian Wildcats 15-1. Senior Jess Camp was named the player of the game due to her seven saves on eight shots, three ground balls, one interception, and two caused turnovers.

The team hit the field again on Saturday, March 23, to take on the Washington Panthers. OTHS defeated Washington 18-6.

Maddie Dalonzo was named the player of the game for Saturday’s outing. Dalonzo had four goals on six shots, six draw controls, five ground balls, two interceptions, and three caused turnovers.

On Monday, the team started the week with another win, this time downing the Ladue Horton Watkins Rams 11-1. 

The team next plays Oakville on Wednesday, March 27, and St. Joseph’s on Friday, March 29. Both games will be held at the O’Fallon Sports Park. O’Fallon’s Riley Maher dodges a defender in the Lady Panther’s recent game against Westminster 

Photos by Tim Grout

The Weekly visited the mountains of Colorado

The Weekly recently went on a trip to to the mountains in Colorado. O’Fallon residents Dale Kellermann, Drew Henderson, Keith Wilhelm, Matt Ballance and Mike Novy flew into Denver over President’s Day Weekend for a weekend getaway. They toured downtown Denver before heading to their cabin in Grand Lake, CO. The group then spent two days on snowmobiles touring the Arapaho National Forest and a portion of the Rocky Mountain National Park.   

They enjoyed -5 to 10 degree temperatures while taking many photo of the mountain range scenery. They made it back to O’Fallon safe and ready for Spring. 

Are you going on a trip? Take the O’Fallon Weekly along with you! Just take a photo of the Weekly while away from home and email it to us for the Weekly Traveler.  Please include who is pictured and where the photo was taken.  Email photos to Nick@OFallonWeekly.com and please mark them “Weekly Traveler.”

Agreements for redevelopment in downtown, new veterinary clinic approved by committee

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Community Development Committee approved to move to council two redevelopment agreements for properties on East First Street in Downtown O’Fallon. 

The agreements allow for the developers to receive reimbursement of eligible expenses from the Central City TIF. The first is for the redevelopment of the building at 105-109 East First Street, one space is currently leased by Furchild Pet Boutique. The second is for the development of the project known as First Street Exchange, to be located at 131 East First Street. Construction is ongoing, with half the space pre-leased to a popular, local coffee and cupcake bar. 

The committee also approved to send to council a development known as Advanced Veterinary Clinic, LLC to be located at 706 and 800 East Highway 50. The properties were previously occupied by Memorial Healthcare. The applicant is Dr. Jim Bollmeier. 

The larger building will be used for veterinary exams, surgical procedures, and limited boarding of patient animals. The smaller building will primarily be used for day boarding and grooming. 

Residents on Holliday Drive have raised concerns to the city and planning commission regarding drainage along the south side of the development, noise and odors from dogs outside, and buffer requirements. No residents were present at the community development committee meeting. 

The committee amended the conditions for the project before approval. The Planning Commission had removed the staff recommendation of a six foot vinyl fence to be placed along the south side of the property, the committee put that condition back in the agreement. The Planning Commission added a condition for the city to evaluate drainage issues and concerns along the rear of the property. The city determined there to be a couple of places along the south side of the property that need to be addressed to prevent further erosion of the creek bed. The committee asked for verbiage be added requiring the property owner to resolve the issues the city’s inspection identified. The city also indicated there is work budgeted for FY20 along the east side of the property to help with some of the drainage issues.

Boys track team takes the top spot at 2019 SWIL Relays

On Friday, March 22, the OTHS Boys Track team took part in the 2019 SWIL Relays at Edwardsville High School. The team gave it their all and came away from the event as the team champions in the men’s division. 

Additionally, Damien Ross won the championship in the 300IH and Rei’Shaun Spires was named the champion in the Triple Jump.

The team was also successful achieving two relay championships. Taylor Lehman, Tevion Holmes, Jourdan Holmes, Damien Ross brought home the shuttle hurdle relay. Rod Williams, Taylor Lehman, Alex Tillock, Ryan Somraty won the 4×400 relay. 

Dorian Brown won second place in 100 meter race. OTHS also took second in the 4×100, Distance Medley, and Sprint Medley.

Will Ray placed third in the 1600 meter. OTHS also took third in the 4×200.

A number of OTHS athletes placed fourth in their respective events. Zach Claxton won fourth in Pole Vault, as well as Rei’shaun Spires in Long Jump, Nick Farmer in Discus, and Taylor Lehman in 300IH. OTHS also placed fourth in the 4×800.

Chris Wichlac placed sixth in the 1600 meter. While Miles Shaw brought home seventh place in the shot put. 

“We had a great day against many good track programs. With our schedule it is always difficult to win track meets, so it was really nice to come away with a victory. Our athletes showed a tremendous amount of poise and determination. We knew going in to the last two events that we were behind by a couple of points to Edwardsville. The 4×400 was able to shut the door and seal the victory for us by placing first. We have a young team and that effort and performance is key to them learning how to compete at the level we need from them,” said Coach Joe Speaks.

2019 Election Candidate Guide

Welcome to the O’Fallon Weekly 2019 Election Candidate Guide.

We have partnered with the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce to bring you information about the candidates running for local office, directly from the candidates themselves. Each person running in a contested election was sent the questionnaire and many chose to submit answers. The answers will be listed by position and the candidates will be listed alphabetically.

We are proud to promote an informed and educated electorate and hope you will take the time to read what the people running to represent you have to say. 

Thank you and remember to vote on Tuesday, April 2.

Alderman for O’Fallon Ward 2

Robert W. Kueker

Profession: Retired Banker

First time running for public office? No 

Terms in Current Office: One 4year term

Other Public Offices Held: Ten years as a member of the O’Fallon District 90 Board of Education, Two years as a member of the O’Fallon Library Board

I want to continue as an Alderman to repay the City of O’Fallon for giving me and my family a great place to grow up. I want to extend everything we enjoyed about living in O’Fallon to others who live here in the future. My experiences while living in O’Fallon have given me a deep appreciation and respect for our residents and the quality of life we share. My wife, Betty, and I met while in high school at OTHS. We raised our sons here. My past community service includes ten years on the District 90 Board of Education, two years on the Library Board and four years on the City Council. I am also a Shriner, a member of the O’Fallon Boosters and am active at our church. My background shows my dedication to the community and desire to serve.

The biggest challenge our city faces is managing growth, while prioritizing public safety, infrastructure needs and maintaining our present and future quality of life. I am a risk averse financial conservative and will make the best decisions to assure your money is spent in the most fiscally responsible manner to address these challenges . Our schools are a priority for our quality of life and our growth, and must be considered in our decisions. I will support smart growth which will add to the taxes received by schools and the other taxing bodies. I will support balanced budgets which prioritize public safety and infrastructure. Our residents deserve to feel safe in their surroundings, to be provided with high quality infrastructure and enjoy a great quality of life in a cost-effective manner.

Jessica Lotz

Profession: Leadership & Development Coordinator, Chamber of Commerce

First time running for public office? Yes

I’m running for City Council because my talents and experiences align with what O’Fallon needs at this time.

Most importantly, I’m an engaged resident. Through my participation on various boards of directors, local fundraising organizations, the PTO and the Chamber of Commerce, I’ve been involved in building O’Fallon through service to others. I enjoy seeing others succeed.

I also serve on the regional board for a Fortune 500 company. Board service has given me tremendous experience working with diverse people. I’ve learned how to sit back and listen, consider perspectives other than my own and work collaboratively with others to achieve progress. I’m confident I can bring this history of cooperation to the Council.

I have economic development ideas to ensure we’re creating positive experiences in our Family Sports Park for our residents and for the thousands of visitors who attend tournaments. Capturing maximum value by expanding the retail experience for visitors is one of the most efficient ways to minimize residential property taxes while maintaining steady and increasing revenue streams for city infrastructure and other development.

My professional experience is in healthcare. For 10+ years, I managed the largest family practice clinic in O’Fallon. As we consider how to position our community to be the regional leader in healthcare delivery, I’m the right fit for evaluating how government can be an integral part of that success.

Keeping up with city government can be time consuming. I plan to use social media to leverage communication with Ward 2 residents and efficiently keep our citizens involved with what’s happening in our community .

I’m running for Alderman because I’m passionate about serving our community. I have participated in city meetings for several years and I know my thoughtful approach to economic development and effective communication make me the right fit for O’Fallon.

Alderman for O’Fallon Ward 4

Sarah Atterberry

Profession: Paraprofessional, OTHS

First time running for public office? Ye

Mary Lynam-Miller

Profession: Public Relations and Marketing Liaison

First time running for public office? Yes

I am Mary Lynam-Miller and I am running to be Alderwoman in Ward 4. I am also the Marketing and Public Relations Liaison for Clinton Manor Living Center, one of the highest rated skilled nursing homes in the Metro East. I serve on the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce’s Community Health and Wellness Committee and I graduated from the Chamber’s Leadership Institute in 2018.

I want to see our community flourish for many generations through thoughtful growth, efficient spending and safe infrastructure. I will prioritize keeping our downtown thriving, maintaining the warm and close community O’Fallon is known for in growth decisions, ensuring the vendors we choose are delivering high quality services, and continuing the effective delivery of public services.

My twins are first graders at LaVerna Evans, where I volunteer with the PTO and am the co-chair of the box tops program. As a mom of young children, I have an in depth understanding of how city policies impact families in our neighborhoods. I also believe that our growing, diverse community deserves a city council that is representative of what our city looks like. Regularly attending council and committee meetings over the last year makes me ready to serve my neighbors on day one.

I earned a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001, and spent more than 14 years working as a Program Director of Home and Community-Based Programs for people with disabilities and seniors. I’ve worked with both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, including serving as the youngest State Director of Services for The MENTOR Network. There I directed the creation of two new programs and managed a multi -million-dollar annual budget. With my experience, I will bring a business mindset to the council.

Please consider voting for me on Tuesday, April 2!

Todd Roach

Profession: Human Resources

First time running for public office? No 

Terms in current/previous office 2

Other public offices held: O’Fallon District #90 School Board Member, Vice President and O’Fallon Township Trustee

I look forward to representing everyone within Ward 4 and throughout the City of O’Fallon. Having served on the District 90 School Board and the O’Fallon Township Board of Trustees I have had the great pleasure of gaining the understanding of the complexities of local government including its capabilities and limitations.

The Primary role of an alderman should be as an advocate for the people of their neighborhoods. There are many issues that will come before us in the next few years. They include issues of public safety, decreasing the tax burden on our citizens, improving aging infrastructure such as roads and sewers, and making smart growth decisions that improve the quality of life for everyone.

Second, and alderman should be a vital and active communications link between the people and the city. Communication should always be open and honest with regular Ward Townhall Meetings to keep residents informed.

The issues before us continue to be balancing fiscal responsibility with sound judgment. As a small business owner, I know what it means to watch your expenses and to balance a budget.

I believe that the foundation of any thriving community should include a smart-growth focus. With my many years of corporate management experience I know the importance of planning for long term objectives.

I was born here, I grew up here, and I have had the pleasure to serve the community I love for over ten years. I believe my passion for this community combined with my management experience and years as a small business owner give me a unique perspective needed to help our city.

While there are many capable candidates I believe my years of service, knowledge and experience make me the most qualified choice. I hope I can count on your support and vote on April 2nd.

Alderman for O’Fallon Ward 5

Chris Hursey

First time running for public office? No

Terms in current/previous office? 1

Other public offices held: Alderman

Thank you for your consideration for me becoming your Alderman. My goal is to proudly serve the constituents of Ward 5 (the best Ward in O’Fallon) and serve as a great team member to the rest of the Aldermen and Alderwomen across O’Fallon. We live in a great city and I want to continue to be apart of our communities success.

Gwendolyn Randolph

Gwendolyn Randolph is a teacher in East St. Louis School District 189 where she was hired in 2017 to serve in the role as a science content specialist for grades PK-12. For the past 8 months she has fulfilled a vacant seat on the O’Fallon city council for Ward 5. Ms. Randolph was selected from a talented group of applicants in August 2018 where she accepted an appointment from the Mayor and approval of the city council to complete a remaining term for Ward 5.

Gwendolyn brings a wealth of experiences to the city council as well as diversity. She is an 18-year educator who served in leadership roles (principal and supervisor) in St . Louis Public Schools and as Chair of Professional Development and a science teacher in the Hazelwood School district in Florissant, MO. She is no stranger to the responsibility and decision-making process in public office as she successfully ran and was elected to the Ferguson Florissant School Board in 2000 where she served in the capacities as Board Vice President, Secretary, and Legislative Delegate during her 6 years of office. Her military background as an Air Traffic Controller and ATC (Air Traffic Control) Facility Supervisor gave her knowledge of basic traffic and transportation safety and logistics.

The mother of one grown son it has always been her thrust to support community efforts that involves improving the quality of life. She has poured this determination in every aspect of her life which serves her well on the two committees Public Safety and Public Works to which she was assigned as a city council member. At an early age she learned the importance of feeling safe where you live and the need to provide everyone an opportunity to live better. Gwendolyn transferred that passion to her daily work where she once served as a parole officer and juvenile correctional counselor for the State of Tennessee.

An advocate for learning which also supports the quality of life Gwendolyn is currently pursuing a doctoral degree (PhD) in Science Education and Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Missouri, St . Louis. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Maryville University, St. Louis, Missouri, and a bachelor’s degree in biology with an endorsement in Secondary Education (double major) from LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis, TN. Gwendolyn has resided in O’Fallon, Illinois for 6 years. She is a native of East St. Louis, Illinois and the youngest of three siblings.

Alderman for O’Fallon Ward 6

Casey Scharven

Profession : Logistics

First time running for public office? Yes 

My family and I have lived in O’Fallon since 2004, completing a 20-year Air Force career in 2008 and continuing to work at Scott AFB. When people ask why I’d like to be an Alderman, it’s simple – to give back to a community that has been our home for many years. I believe we are at a crossroads for O’Fallon, in that we are facing tough economic challenges in the future and we need to plan well to ensure we are prepared. O’Fallon is well-placed for growth and we need to make smart decisions as we move forward. We need to make sure that all O’Fallon is taken care of, from schools to infrastructure to people – everything that goes to making O’Fallon a super place to live.

An Alderman is a representative for our citizens, and I want to make sure their voices are heard in City Hall. I want to make sure we’re making smart budget decisions and always looking for innovative ways to get the job done while being a good steward of the public funds we’re entrusted with. I want to make sure our schools continue to be top notch and a reason many wish to settle here. I want to make sure we give businesses an opportunity to succeed with fair and reasonable oversight. I want to make sure we take care of our infrastructure – our roads and sewers, for example, to make sure future citizens enjoy the same great town we enjoy today. It’s our Town!

Tom Vorce

Profession: USDA, Plant Health Safeguarding Specialist

First time running for public office? Yes 

I’m a proud long-term resident of O’Fallon who believes in listening to concerns and representing you on the city council in a way that each individual feels valued and treated fairly.

I believe that O’Fallon is on a good path and I am running for Alderman to serve our city and encourage smart, sustainable growth through a plan that is diverse and fiscally responsible.

US Navy Veteran (1986-1992)

Operated a retail store & restaurant (1992-1998) BS in Forestry from Michigan Tech-2000 O’Fallon resident since July 2007

USDA (& DHS) employee for 18+ years

Actively Volunteer in District 90 Schools every week for 10+ years, including PTO President at CarrieI Led Cub Scouts & All Pro Dad Program at Laverna Evans Elementary School

Coach: Soccer, Basketball & Lacrosse (currently) through Parks & Rec

Active in Methodist Church – trustee, usher, emergency response team, vacation bible schools, & missions 

Family

My wife, Lisa and I have been married for 18 years. We have two children: Maddy, a sophomore at OTHS; and Ben is a seventh grader at CarrieI. Missy and Maggie, two small dogs complete our family.

Diversity

Ward 6 has it all. Single family homes, duplexes, apartments, small businesses, agricultural fields, schools, a park, churches, and even City Hall. The areas around us are some of the fastest growing.

Accountability

I have the time and concern for our community to invest in it on city council. I pledge to make myself available to listen to the concerns of those in my ward and represent them to the city council.

A Few Upcoming Impacts for Ward 6

-Agricultural field across from the Blade building on Pierce Blvd & Green Mount Rd.

-Southview Plaza, not in Ward 6 but adjacent to it and will affect our traffic.

-Lake drainage South of Pierce Blvd.

Alderman for O’Fallon Ward 7

Brian Gibson

I am the son of an Air Force Veteran. I have lived all over the world. When my wife and I started our family, we chose to raise our kids in O’Fallon over 20 years ago. We are very fortunate to have raised two children in the O’Fallon School Districts. My daughter, Kirsten (22) is currently pursuing a bachelor’s and master’s in Speech Pathology and my son Josh (18) is a Senior at OTHS. My wife, Melissa and I have been married for 23 years. Professionally, I am a senior level executive with over 25 years of business leadership in banking. I am a Senior Vice President – President of the Metro East Region. I bring a diverse background and proven track record in management, business development and delivering a high level of customer service. In my current role I am responsible for managing all commercial banking activities and the orchestration of all aspects of the Bank’s business development in the Metro East region. I am a 1992 graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. I have served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois and Boy Scouts of America St Louis. My hobbies include mentoring young men and coaching youth sports. I also enjoy attending sporting events and spending quality time with family and friends. If I am blessed enough to earn your vote, I hope to utilize my 25 years of corporate experience to benefit the constituents of the 7th Ward. I am running for Alderman because my family and I love the city of O’Fallon. I want to utilize my gifts and talents to make a difference and give back to our community.

Nathan Parchman

Profession: Wealth Advisor

First time running for public office? Yes

The largest challenge that I see for myself when elected, will be to keep O’Fallon moving and progressing. The past and currently elected aldermen have done an amazing job growing our town, and it will be my job to follow in their footsteps to keep our city a great place to live and work.

The qualities that I am bringing to the position are quite unique. I’m a civilian implant from Kentucky that married a beautiful, born and raised, O’Fallon resident, and Miss O’Fallon 2002, who loves this city as much as I do. I have only seen the massive growth side of O’Fallon that it is today, but I can ask my wife, Nicole, how things were twenty or thirty years ago when the town was much smaller. So I can relate to residents that have lived here forever, or prospective businesses or residents thinking about putting their roots here.

In the community I take pride in giving back as much of my time that is possible. I coach youth sports, I’m active in the Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador, I’m a member of the Rotary Club of O’Fallon and served on the board for 4 years, and my children attend the wonderful public school system that we are fortunate to have in our city. When I moved jobs a few years back one of my main goals was to remain employed in O’Fallon because I care about helping this community so much. 

I will be honored to serve this great city and will do my best to make all of the residents proud in each decision I make.

District 203 Board of Education

Mark Christ

Profession: Sr. Configuration Analyst

First time running for public office? No

Terms in current/previous office? 2

Other public offices held: OTHS #203 School Board Member

The biggest challenge still facing OTHS is the uncertainty of adequate state funding. The Board’s challenge is to maintain the high quality academic opportunities while maintaining a strong fiscal posture. The Board is focused more on strategic planning as O’Fallon and Shiloh have experienced modest economic growth, especially the addition of the new hospitals. The Board must carefully plan for 10-20 years in the future to plan for increased numbers of students, faculty and staff. The Smiley campus is 60 years old and key decisions must be made pertaining to the building maintenance and security. A continued challenge is to recruit and hire highly qualified minority teachers to reflect our city’s diverse population. This challenge has no simple or one-step solution. I’m committed to serve the O’Fallon community as a school board member for OTHS. My 12 years of past board service provided me a solid foundation of school governance. I’m grateful for past Board members wise mentoring of me and I’ve increased my skills through Board member professional development curricula provided by the Illinois Association of School Boards. I’m grateful and honored to serve O’Fallon & Shiloh as an OTHS Board member and humbly ask that I may continue this important civic service.

Martha Fraier-Stoffel

First time running for public office? Yes 

I have had the pleasure of calling O’Fallon my home for over 30 years, and walked the halls of OTHS as a student. This community and school are very important to me, and I am passionate about the continued tradition of excellence at OTHS.

I graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky, but knew I would always return to O’Fallon to live, work and raise a family. I have two, elementary-aged children in District 90, and have served on the PTO Board as Treasurer. My professional background is in accounting and human resources, and I have been reporting on city government and education for the O’Fallon Weekly newspaper for the last year. My family are members at First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, where I currently serve as the Finance Committee Chair.

O’Fallon and Shiloh are growing and thriving communities that continue to attract families, in part due to the educational and extra-curricular opportunities available at OTHS. Strong public schools are an investment in the future and play a critical role in the overall success of the community. The board must continue to plan for future needs of the community and educational preparation for our students’ post- high school paths.

Over the last couple of years, I took it upon myself to learn more about the different elements of our local government. I have attended countless city government and school board meetings during this time, allowing me to have a unique perspective of both components necessary for community success.

Public service is a commitment to our community that was modeled by my parents, David and Susan Hursey, through decades of their elected and volunteer activities. Serving my community has never been a question for me, it is part of who I am. I look forward to the opportunity to serve in a new way, as a member of the OTHS Board of Education.

Brandt House

Profession: Pilot (UAL)

First time running for public office? No

Terms in current/previous office? 1

Other public offices held: District 203 School Board 

Brandt has served the O’Fallon community as an influential member of the OTHS District 203 School Board since 2014 providing leadership across areas of student opportunity, fiscal responsibility, and the strategic vision for District 203. Brandt has served in various leadership roles throughout his career as a selfless veteran with 25 years of committed USAF service, an organizational focused HR Manager, and currently as a detail oriented pilot at United Airlines. In addition to volunteering his time on District 203, Brandt is a member of the Metro East Area Communities for Empowerment (MACE) committed to services for families in need. He is inspired by his amazing daughter Bailey (Fulton Jr. High) and beautiful fiancé Kyndra who both share in his commitment to education in O’Fallon. He is looking forward to continuing to serve the O’Fallon community and its students in his current role on the District 203 School Board.

Significant Board Achievements:

— Presented tech ideas which resulted in tax payer savings, reduced the administration’s workload, and improved velocity of board member communication.

— Challenged 0203 to build on academic successes; led to nationally recognized AP program, success with new student placement processes, to include other various academic achievements.

— Collaborated with the 0203 administration to expand the district’s engagement with the community/parent; resulted in increased involvement and participation.

Education:

US Air Force Academy (B.S.)

Embry -Riddle Aeronautical University (M.S.) Washington University in St . Louis (MBA) 2019 Platform:

Strategic Vision for the Future of OTHS

Donna Johnson

Donna L. Johnson, has resided in O’Fallon since 2007. She retired from the United States Air Force at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2010. Currently, Ms Johnson is a Traffic Manage Specialist for the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO). The DTMO, a component of the Defense Human Resources Activity, is aligned under the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Military Personnel Policy.

Ms. Johnson holds a Master of Military Operational Art and Science degree from Air Command and Staff College, Air University and a Master of Arts in Human Resources Management from Webster University. She is a graduate of Tuskegee University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a distinguished Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) graduate.

In April 2015, Ms. Johnson was elected to District #203 O’Fallon Township High School Board of Education, where she serves as the board’s secretary. She is on the Building Educational Success Together (BEST), Outreach, and Gap Achievement Committees. She is the Chair of Chapter Support and Membership Committee, for the Association for Global Logistics and Transportation, National Defense Transportation Association.

Ms. Johnson is a dedicated mother of an O’Fallon High School senior and University of Missouri student. She has a passion for educating children, as well as in serving the community.

P.K. Johnson

Profession: Attorney

First time running for public office? No

Terms in current/previous office? 1

Other public offices held: Member of Wolf Branch School District 113 

I am running for OTHS District 203 School Board because I am passionate about giving back to the community and want to help ensure that every student at O’Fallon High School has the opportunity for success. My previous experience as a member of the Wolf Branch School District 113 School Board taught me the importance of working with other school board members, teachers, administrators, parents, and the community to make sure that our students were provided the best educational experience that they could possibly receive. I intend to do the same if I am elected to the OTHS District 203 School Board.

My number one focus is the education of the students. I believe that what students learn by participating in school-related extracurricular activities is every bit as important as what they learn in the classroom. We need to make sure that, whatever the financial climate, the district continues to offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities that provide an opportunity for every student, no matter his or her interests.

Being a school board member can be difficult. School Boards are required to make decisions that aren’t always easy and that may not make everybody happy. As a practicing attorney for more than 20 years, I have dealt with hundreds of contested issues. I am not afraid to ask hard questions, but I’m also happy to work with all sides of an issue to reach a solution. I am fair, open-minded, and take a common-sense approach to making decisions.

I have a vested interest in ensuring that OTHS students receive a great education. My son, Kaden, is currently a sophomore at OTHS. I believe that I am the only candidate who will have a child attending OTHS during the 2019-2020 school year.

Voters within the
boundaries of O’Fallon Community Consolidated School District No. 90 shall see the following question on their ballot

Shall the Board of Education of O’Fallon Community Consolidated School District No. 90, St. Clair County, Illinois, acquire 91 acres of land located at 734 Milburn School Road, O’Fallon, Illinois, for school building purposes and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $2,260,000 for the purpose of paying the cost thereof?

º Yes

º No



Boys Lacrosse team starts off season with five-game win streak

The O’Fallon Boys Lacrosse Panthers kicked off their 2019 season with a five-game win streak defeating Hickman, Rock Bridge, Fort Zumwalt, Shawnee Mission South and Republic.  

The Panthers outscored their opponents by a combined total of 70-14 during the first five games. The offense spread the ball around well with Attackmen Josh McIntyre, David Tady, and Captain Nolan Bradley scoring for a combined 47 goals. Braden Gaab and Gabriel Picato have been strong on the faceoff, winning 70 percent of the matchups. Gaab, Picato, and the other starting Mid-Fielders, Evan Carney and Cale Holan, have been strong picking up 215 ground balls.  

The Panther Defense, led by Captain James Randolph, limited offensive opportunities with Goalies Tommy Fulford and Steven Myllo saving 56 percent of the shot attempts.

The Panthers look to keep the streak alive when they travel to Nashville this weekend to take on two out-of-town opponents.  Their next home game is April 2 when they take on Rockwood Summit.

Photos by Scott Gaab


Aldermen given first look at proposed $84.1 million budget

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Finance Department provided an overview of the entire city budget to the Finance & Administration Committee Monday night. The FY20 budget will begin May 1, 2019 and run through April 30, 2020. 

The proposed budget reflects a twelve percent increase from the previous year totaling $84,102,168, primarily due to several, planned public works projects. City Council will vote on the FY20 budget at their April 1 and April 15 meetings, with a public hearing at the April 15th meeting. 

Public Works projects represent 50.5 percent of the total proposed FY20 city budget. The largest item being upgrades and additions to the waste water treatment plan that were included in the city’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan. The project will include the installation of a sludge dewatering facility and the installation of filters to reduce phosphorus effluent levels. Approximately $4 million from the waste water reserve account will be transferred to help fund the $9 million project. 

The Finance Department also recommended each department add a line item for capital reserves as a way to plan for long-term projects. As an example, the Community Development Department placed $25,000 in the capital reserves line for a future comprehensive plan that will likely cost $100,000 when completed in the future and the Fire Department placed $135,000 in capital reserves for a future engine replacement. 

A resolution declaring surplus of funds in the city’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) accounts for the 2017 tax year was presented. The surpluses for TIF #3 (Central Park Drive), TIF #4 (Highway 50/Troy-Scott Road – Metroplex), and TIF #5 (Central City) represent the agreed pass-throughs. 

The final surplus was for TIF #1 (158/Rasp Farm) which expired June 2018. As part of an agreement for their participation in the property tax abatement incentive in the enterprise zone, the city agreed to declare a surplus for the remaining funds in TIF #1 and distribute the balance proportionally instead of using the balance for a sewer project within the TIF area. The balance for TIF #1 is $300,343.06 for the 2017 taxes. At the time of the committee meeting, all taxing bodies except SWIC have agreed to participate in the property tax abatement incentive. The SWIC Board of Trustees meets March 27th. 

The city also received its 2018 tax extension, based on the tax levy council approved in December. Due to a larger than expected increase to the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) for the city, the 2018 calculated tax rate will be less than previously anticipated. The new tax rate for the city of O’Fallon and library will be 0.9480, down from 0.9837 in 2017. The city of O’Fallon saw an increase of $31 million to their rate-setting EAV, a 4.7 percent increase from 2017. City staff reviewed reserve account balances prior to and during committee approval and reduced the levy request at that time, so the city does not need to abate any additional taxes during the tax extension review.