Form of Government
Mayor-City Council Form of Government
The City operates under the Mayor-City Council form of government, with seven wards, each represented in the City Council by two elected representatives known as Aldermen. The Mayor is also elected. Together, the Mayor and City Council function as the policy-making body of the City, exercising all policy-making and legislative powers.
Mayor Ruben Pineda
Office of the Mayor
- Phone: (630) 293-2200 x135
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Ruben Pineda has a record of public service that began in 1998 when he was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the City Council in West Chicago's Third Ward. He has been Mayor since 2012. He was the first Hispanic Alderman in the City of West Chicago, and is now the City’s first Hispanic Mayor. He has contributed to such initiatives as the state-of-the-art water treatment facility, the waste transfer station, Educare, Habitat for Humanity, and Healthy West Chicago.
Mayor Ruben Pineda has lived in West Chicago for 59 years. He is one of four sons born to Julian and Juanita Pineda, migrant workers who picked cotton in Texas and moved north to Illinois for more work in the corn, bean and tomato fields in the DeKalb and Morris areas. Illinois gave Julian and Juanita a family and many opportunities for a better life, so they stayed. Recognizing the value of an education, Juanita made sure her children were bilingual in reading and writing before starting school.
He has been married for more than 30 years to his wife Julie, and credits her with encouraging his active involvement in the community. Mayor Pineda, Julie and their Jack Russell terrier, Tabatha, enjoy the natural beauty, abundant recreational options and most especially, the strong spirit of community found in West Chicago.
Mayor Pineda has served as Mayor since appointment in 2012, and has been re-elected 2014, 2018, and 2022. His current term is 2022 through 2026.
The Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the City. The Mayor shall have all the powers and perform all the duties, which are prescribed by law, the code and ordinances of the city, or by established custom, and shall take care that all laws and ordinances are faithfully executed. The Mayor presides over the City Council, voting only in the event of a tie. Additionally, it shall be the Mayor's duty:
- To attend and preside at all regular meetings, committees of the whole and special meetings of the Council.
- To appoint and remove, with the advice and consent of the Council, the City Administrator, the Chief of Police and the corporation counsel.
- To appoint all standing and special committees of the Council.
- To make all appointments, with the advice and consent of Council, to the various Boards and Commissions of the City as required by law, this Code or otherwise.
- To serve as the City's official spokesperson and represent the City before governmental agencies, private and public organizations, citizen's groups, and the media.
- To sign all commissions, licenses, warrants, and permits as authorized by law.
- To recommend to the Council for adoption municipal goals and objectives as well as such measures as he may deem necessary or expedient to accomplish them.
- To issue all official proclamations.
- To serve as the local Liquor Control Commissioner for the City, as provided by statute, and as such shall be charged with the administration of the provisions of the Illinois Dram Shop Act and all provisions of this Code relating to alcoholic liquor.
Coffee with the Mayor
Residents are invited to visit with Mayor Pineda for Coffee with the Mayor regularly on the last Saturday of January, April, July, and October from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the West Chicago City Hall located at 475 Main Street.
Coffee with the Mayor provides residents with an opportunity to informally discuss items of interest for the community.
View upcoming events on the City's event calendar.
City Council Duties
The City Council's authority encompasses the adoption of ordinances and resolutions, approval of the City's annual budget, and enactment of tax levies. The fourteen members of the non-partisan City Council serve overlapping four-year terms.
City Council Meetings
West Chicago's City Council meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall, 475 Main Street, unless otherwise indicated.
View upcoming or past City Council meeting agendas and minutes on the City's website.
Elections & Voting
All elections and voting are managed by DuPage County. The City is not responsible for any portion of the election and voting process. Questions and comments should be directed to the DuPage County Election Division, 630-407-5600.
It is the Policy of the City of West Chicago that all Elected Officials of the City conform their conduct to all State and Federal laws, statutes as well as the ordinances and resolutions of the City of West Chicago and the general decorum required of the Elected Position held. Upon entering upon the Office to which they are elected, each Elected Official of the City is required to take an Oath of Office affirming the faithful discharge of the duties and responsibilities as an Elected Official of the City of West Chicago.
City Council Wards
The City is broken up into seven wards for the purposes of electing Aldermen to the City Council. Wards are based on population and are evaluated every ten years based on new Census data. The wards were last updated based on 2020 Census data.
Two Aldermen are elected from each of the seven wards constituting the City Council. One Alderman is elected at the general municipal election simultaneously with the Mayor and serves a four-year term, continuing until a successor is elected and qualified. The second Alderman is elected at the subsequent regular general municipal election, also serving a four-year term until a successor is elected and qualified.
- Ward 1: Lori Chassee & Dan Beebe
- Ward 2: Jayme Sheahan & Heather Brown
- Ward 3: Alton Hallett & Christine Dettmann
- Ward 4: Melissa Birch-Ferguson & Sandy Dimas
- Ward 5: Christopher Swiatek & John Smith
- Ward 6: Jeanne Short & Rebecca Stout
- Ward 7: Joseph Morano & <Vacant>
View an interactive map of the City Council wards on the City's website.
"I know the great potential of West Chicago after growing up in this town. I look forward to continuing the great tradition and creating a new one."
Jayme Sheahan is a third-generation West Chicago resident and serves on the Development and Finance Committees. she has worked for a Fortune 500 company for over 25years she understands the importance of serving others and providing great customer service.
Alderman Heather Brown was appointed in 2017, elected in 2019 and 2021. She has been serving on the Infrastructure and Public Affairs Committees. She became a resident in West Chicago with her husband in 2011, and is a mother of two.
Alderman Brown has been active in several sporting events; Chicago Triathlons, charity bike rides for Tri City Health Partnerships for low income Medical and Dental services. She volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, rebuilding homes for victims of hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. Additionally, she volunteers with the American Red Cross to help disaster victims in Illinois. Staring in 2018, she became the head coordinator for helping those in her Ward with Neighborhood Watch programs and information. In 2020 Alderman Brown has been an avid administer to fostering abandon animals with families in Ward 2. 2021 she began working with DuPage County Animal Shelter.
Alderman Al Hallett began serving on the City Council in 2013. His strong desire to work withand for the residents of West Chicago is continually evident. Currently he is member of the Infrastructure Committee as well as the Public Affairs Committee for the City.
In addition, Alderman Hallett volunteers with the West Chicago Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). He is certified with the Medic Basic Plus rating in CPR, AED, and First Aid for Adults.
He and his wife Cindy moved to West Chicago in 1976. They have one son, Scott, who has been diagnosed with Autism. They were part of the founding Board of Directors of Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities (FTEA) in 1996, an organization in which they are both still active. FTEA is located in Wayne, IL and annually serves over 200 children and adults with special needs.
Flying is Alderman Hallett's favorite passion. He is Co-Chairman of Construction/Maintenance for the Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA) in Oshkosh, WI. VAA is a division of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) founded in 1953.He and his wife are members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Warrenville, IL. Alderman Hallett is an Air Force Veteran and the recipient of the Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
West Chicago is not only my hometown, but it is the town where I currently live, work and play. This is a city filled with good-hearted, hardworking people, and I feel honored to serve on City Council where I can do some good and give back.”
Alderman Christine Dettmann was born and raised in unincorporated West Chicago, but for the past 18 years has lived just blocks from downtown. She currently works for Winfield Township, whose office is also in downtown West Chicago. She graduated from St. Francis High School and received undergraduate degrees from College of DuPage and Northern Illinois University.
Prior to being elected Alderman in 2021, she served for 6 years on the City of West Chicago’s Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals. Alderman Dettmann currently sits on the Finance and Development Committees.
Her leisure time includes league volleyball, kayaking, camping, travel of any kind, and she will take vegetable gardening tips from anyone willing to share them.
Alderman Melissa Birch Ferguson was appointed to the City Council in 2014, and elected in April 2015.
She grew up in West Chicago, and attended West Chicago Community High School before receiving a BA from Northern Illinois University.
She previously served on the Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals and Civil Service Commission.
She is a volunteer at heart and is actively involved with West Chicago Sister Cities and the West Chicago American Legion Auxiliary.
"I want West Chicago to be a thriving, friendly community; one in which all residents feel they can share their concerns and questions, which will be met with respect and honesty."
Alderman Sandy Dimas has been a resident of West Chicago for more than 25 years and an elected official for over 12 years. She serves as Chairperson of the Finance Committee, and on the Infrastructure Committee.
She is currently employed at Wegner Elementary School and Community Fellowship Church, and volunteers as a member of CERT. She enjoys attending community events such as Railroad Days, Frosty Fest, Bloomingfest, National Night Out and so many others. Her personal interests include gardening, golf and just walking or biking through the neighborhood.
Alderman Swiatek was appointed to the City Council in October 2018. He and his family have resided in West Chicago for 20 years. He currently serves on the Finance and Public Affairs committees. He has previously served the community through the Park District and local Cub Scouts. He looks forward to serving the residents of West Chicago through working to further the economic development of the city.
'I knew I wanted to be part of the City Council to serve/give back to my neighbors and work alongside them.”
Jeanne M. Short, the new Ward 6 Alderman, and her family moved to West Chicago in 2012. They chose West Chicago to be closer to their church, the culture and the School District offered the dual language program.
After experiencing all the City had to offer, she wanted to give back. She served on the Historic Preservation Commission, where she learned even more about the City and its vision.
In 1989, Alderman Short graduated with an Associates in Applied Science from Triton College in River Grove. For the last 13 years she has worked as the marketing/sales manager for an insurance agency in Naperville.
I was first elected in 2003. I love having a part in helping to make West Chicago into a great city in which to live and raise a family that it has become. Outside of being an Alderman I enjoy bowling, traveling with my family, being a parent to two furry children, and a grandma as well."
Alderman Rebecca Stout is a graduate of West Chicago Community High School. She has worked as a teacher’s assistant for children with physical and/or learning challenges. She serves as Chairperson on the Development Committee, and on the Finance Committee and Liquor Control Commission, as well as being the Chairperson of the West Chicago Citizen Corps Council/West Chicago CERT.
Alderman Stout is passionate about public safety and preparedness, and promoting quality growth and development for the community.
My wife Lucy, our triplets and I have grown up and lived in and around West Chicago most of our lives, so when we bought our ‘forever home’ here I have made it a goal to really get rooted and do as much as we can to continue to help our community.”
Alderman Joseph Morano served in the United States Air Force as a Missile Maintenance Technician before beginning his studies at Southern Illinois University. He has worked in sales management for 12 years and is currently an account executive, working with law firms, health care facilities and municipalities to improve work flows, vendor consolidation and procurement.
Alderman Morano has a history of public service beginning in the Air Force when he spent his spare time on special projects to improve life on the base. More recently, he sits on the Board of the Cornerstone Lakes subdivision serving his neighbors. He was appointed to represent Ward 7 of the City Council by Mayor Ruben Pineda in February 2021.