Editors note: Following are candidate statements for the Tuesday, April 5 general election. All candidates running for office were asked to submit candidate statements of 150 words or fewer. Any statements exceeding the 150-word limit have been edited for fairness of length.
Candidates who did not submit statements are not listed in this section. Sample ballots with a list of all candidates are available at the Rockford Board of Election Commissioners office at 301 S. 6th St., for the City of Rockford, and the Winnebago County Clerks office, 404 Elm St., Room 104, for Winnebago County.
Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 5. Check the left side of your voter I.D. card for polling location. If you live in the City of Rockford and have questions about your registration, contact the Rockford Board of Election Commissioners at 987-5750. If you live in Winnebago County and have questions about your registration, contact the Winnebago County Clerks office at 987-3088.
More election information available online at the Rockford Board of Election Commissioners Web site of www.voterockford.com, and the Winnebago County Clerks Web site of www.winnebagocountyclerk.com.
Election results will be posted online at www.rockrivertimes.com Wednesday, April 6.
City of Rockford
When I first ran for office, I made a commitment to my constituents that Id work to keep our taxes down by concentrating on the basic services. I believed then, as I do now, that local government should focus on providing a safe environment for our neighborhoods, an adequate infrastructure, and an atmosphere for businesses to thrive so the people of Rockford can prosper.
I have supported programs that benefited the 2nd Ward and our community, and opposed those that I thought did not. I have the backbone to take a stand on controversial topics when necessary, and the willingness to work out compromise solutions when appropriate. I still seek logical and common-sense solutions to the problems we face.
And most importantly, I believe that it is my responsibility to ensure that the views of my constituents are reflected in my votes on the City Council.
As a member of City Council, I will work closely with my neighbors in Ward 2 to help improve this ward. Some of the issues I have heard that face Ward 2 are the crime that includes drug houses, vandals, graffiti and stealing of bikes, and because of this,I am a huge advocate of neighborhood groups. Some portions of Ward 2 are struggling, and the focus on those portions will be more than on the ones that arent. We need all the people in Ward 2 to get together to help their neighbors by helping each other and protecting our neighbors. If everyone in Ward 2 works together, I know we can be the best and brightest ward in Rockford.
I will also work hard with other members of City Council to continue to improve the Rockford area. Vote for me on April 5 and experience the difference.
My name is Dan Lewandowski, and I am the Democratic candidate for 3rd Ward Alderman. I am an attorney with OBrien, Healy & Zuba. And before entering private practice, I worked as a staff attorney with Prairie State Legal Services.
I am running for 3rd Ward Alderman to help Rockford reach its full potential. I will work to address the needs of all my constituents in a timely manner, no matter where they live in the ward. And I will work with both sides on the Council floor and with the administration to benefit Rockford. The 3rd Ward deserves a leader on the City Council whose sole purpose will be to help this community move forward and who will be proactive, with a clear vision for Rockford. I am that leader, and I ask for your vote April 5.
Eight years ago, I first ran for alderman for the 9th Ward. I told of being a lifelong resident and my dedication to west and northwest Rockford. I spoke of and identified needs and goals for this area of Rockford. I have stood by my principles, kept my word, and there is marked improvement. I have established the foundation on which I can work toward more contributions for our neighborhoods and the city. I have been proactive, positive and unbiased in my representation. I maintain a supportive, positive and approachable relationship with all city workers and their unions. I am a participating friend to all neighborhood groups. I vow to continue to do my very best to provide unbiased representation to all the people of the city and its 9th Ward. I am deeply grateful for your past support. I ask that you speak to your friends and neighbors in further support of me. I am hopeful of earning your continued support and the support of a great many others. I ask for your vote April 5, 2005.
The next four years will be very important for the future of Rockford and the 12th Ward. I believe it is time to bring strong representation, new ideas, and a broader vision to the City Council so that we can position ourselves to make Rockford a better place to work, live and raise families.
I believe that service comes first. As alderman, my highest priority will be the needs of my constituents. I will serve as their point-of-contact to find the resources they need from City Hall when they need them most.
I will take a proactive approach to economic development and work with area business leaders, city representatives and economic development organizations to create a comprehensive revitalization plan for North Main Street and develop real solutions for the Eagle and Essex properties.
I would appreciate your vote on April 5!
For more information, please visit www.elect-matt.com.
As a long-time resident of Rockford and growing up in the 14th Ward, I understand the important issues that face the citizens of the ward and Rockford community. While owning Frankys on Broadway (1985-2001) and in my current position, I have spoken with many of our citizens and local businessmen. I know that they are dissatisfied with our current city leaders. As alderman I will: listen and speak for the 14th Ward and not the special interest groups; work to create safer neighborhoods; encourage growth and attract new businesses to the area; search to find alternatives to tax increases. I firmly believe that Rockford needs change in the mayors office as well, and although I am a Republican, I am endorsing Larry Morrissey for mayor. I believe that Larry will be a mayor of action, not just words.
Gerald O. Albert–Republican
Rockford Township Supervisor
Albert graduated from Auburn High School and attended Rock Valley and Judson colleges. He has been involved with various local political campaigns as a volunteer, consultant, campaign manager, and co-chairman. He is now an appointed vice chairman of the Winnebago County Republican Central Committee and precinct committeeman. Other community organizations: serves on the board of Janet Wattles Mental Health Center, was past chairman of the Board of Crusader Clinic (two terms), past board member of Rockford Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation, past member of Lewis Lemon Community Service Advisory Board, past member Fairgrounds Neighborhood Community Service Advisory board, member of Northwest Political Black Caucus. Also a Rockford mayoral appointee to the Community Development Citizens Participation Committee, West State Street Corridor Study Committee member, and past Billboard Task Force Committee member. He would work to consolidate township government offices, increase access to programs through online application assistance, develop one stop constituent services while enhancing general assistance programs and services, work to keep the Township General Assistance tax levy at the lowest level possible.
William K. Sjostrom
Rockford Township Trustee
Age 61, Employment: Rock Valley College Facilities Director; BBA, University of
Iowa; MBA, Northern Illinois. Experience: 12 years Rockford Park District Commissioner, two years President, nine years treasure, eight years Rock Valley Trustee, Winnebago County Crime Commission, past Board Zion Development president, two years past member Alpine and Heritage Kiwanis, past president of both.
Position: As township trustee, my primary concern is that fiscal decisions promote community needs above special interests. As a trustee, I will uphold state statutes, execute fiscal responsibility, develop conscientious policies, and foster intergovernmental agreements to address economic regional development. Now, as a sentimental (township) patriot, I am eager to serve my community and believe that I have the skills and dedication to do so effectively.
John A. Rundquist
Rockford Township Trustee
For four years, I have worked to ensure that Rockford Township citizens receive the best representation for their tax dollars. My commitment includes balancing budgets for all departments, working with General Assistance Fund for those in need and assisting the Township Highway Department with road maintenance and repair. As an elected Township Trustee combined with experience as a business manager, my background affords me the expertise needed to make qualified and responsible decisions. Through handling finances of a family business, I have established a strong foundation in cost effectiveness and budget management. I will continue to ensure that funds and services are available to all, and run a cost-efficient Township.
Rock Valley College
David F. Black
Trustee for RVC
My goal as a Rock Valley Trustee would be to make the Colleges resources more accessible. I favor the offering of credit courses on Rockfords west side. I also see the need to provide child care so students with small children can pursue higher education. Finally, the high cost of textbooks has become a burden for some students. We either need to bring down the cost of books, provide financial aid for their purchase, or both.
The College is situated on a beautiful piece of land in what has become an over urbanized area. We need to take stewardship of this land, preserving open spaces and making sure that any new building on campus takes into account the fragile ecology.
More colleges are relying on part-time instructors to teach an ever-increasing number of courses. I am committed to maintaining educational quality by keeping a high ratio of full-time professors to part-time instructors.
City of Loves Park
While campaigning, I have had several residents ask me, What are you going to do for me? It is not so much what I am going to do for you, but what we can do together as a community and as a City Council. Being an alderman is not a one-man show; it is part of a team, a team that works together for the betterment of the city. Being a Loves Park firefighter for the past nine years has helped me learn the value and importance of teamwork and as your alderman, I will work diligently with the mayor and City Council to make Loves Park an even better place to live, work, shop, and play. I have no intentions of running for any other elected positions, so I will be committed to the First Ward and dedicated to the City of Loves Park. April 5, vote Jerry Caskey.
During my tenure on the Council, remarkable progress has been made. We put in place the means to manage and ensure quality developmental growth, improve infrastructure needs and bring jobs and capital investment to our city, all while levying a Zero Municipal Property Tax Rate. Much has been accomplished to protect our quality of life, but there is much more to be done. I recommit to prioritizing issues of public safety, balanced growth, economic development and neighborhood revitalization. As we map out how our city will evolve over the next 20 years, Im committed to the principles of sensible growth and community input. These are a few of the issues I will continue to work toward: Maintain Loves Parks Zero Municipal Property Tax rate; eliminate unnecessary spending; increase public safety; ensure code enforcement on vacant & rundown properties; attract & support the growth of business; street lighting, sidewalk & street repairs; strengthening of Loves Parks infrastructure; city-wide bike path connection & implementation plan; regional police & fire training facility; availability to hear concerns.
Board Candidate–Karen Bell
Harlem School District
Do you support the referendum for Harlem Schools on April 5, 2005? I believe that the referendum is a misunderstood issue and needs the continued explanation to the people (community) about necessary increased school operations without any hidden agendas. As with any budget, increased operating expenses are bound to occur, and intelligent decisions must be made to offset these essential expenses. Inflation is necessary; we live in a country where our federal deficit has exceeded an astronomical amount of more than $400 billion. Deficits should be a familiar thing to the American people. Some annual increase must realistically be expected; however, not at the expense of taxpayers and parents! Harlem District taxpayers have every right to be concerned, angry and even frightened about the possible increase in taxes; however, I believe we must all try to work towards obtaining stable and adequate funding for Harlem schools whether there is a tax increase or serious budget and program cuts. The perception needs to change; no one wants to invest in failure… our school system. In the end, all children deserve a good, sound public education without the jeopardy of a growing deficit.
Machesney Park Mayor
As opposed to a closed-door policy, I am people-oriented and will consider all the peoples suggestions and concerns. I will go into the position of Mayor with an open mind to make Machesney Park a better place to live. I have 40-plus years of experience in management, planning, and negotiating in business. Some concerns: Reinstate the original plan Build Machesney Road program. The roads are in very bad condition. Work with the County Board to eliminate or reduce fees on Harlem toll bridge, work with Dave Syverson and others to make the I-90 interchange a reality. Work with name-brand stores to come to the mall and other areas of the village. We have enough banks, credit businesses and used car businesses. Review ideas to organize a Machesney Park Police Department. Police patrol in some areas is very under manned.
Village of Rockton
Rockton Village President
I ask for your vote to allow me to continue in my efforts to improve the quality of life for all Rockton residents. Both my opponent and I have many of the same goals. The difference is, I have a proven track record. I have established dialogue and a working relationship with local, state and federal government. I have the time necessary to pursue the sometimes rigorous schedule needed to fully represent our community. I have the support of both private and public groups to help determine, define, and develop Rocktons future. I have the leadership skills, the knowledge, the experience and the ability required to guide us further into the 21st century.
Robert F. Turner
Rockton Fire Protection District Trustee
I attended University of Illinois; served in all capacities of Rockton Fire Protection District including Fire Chief and presently on Board of Trustees. Officer in the following fire service organizations: Winnebago County Fire Chiefs Association, Illinois Firefighters Association, Southern Wisconsin-Northern Illinois Firemens Association, National Volunteer Fire Council (founding member), instructor at International Fire Instructors Conference. Trustee for Village of Rockton. Goals: to continue as a trustee on Fire District Board, providing superior medical and fire service; Rockton Fire Protection District needs to continue being responsive to growth in area; maintain expertise of district paramed
ics/firefighters; maintain insurance ratings for district; and maintain fiscal responsibility.
Village of Rockton Trustee
My name is Dave Winters, and I am running for Village of Rockton trustee. I am 35, married, and the father of two children. I am currently serving on the Rockton Planning Commission and the president of the First Baptist Church Foundation. I am running for trustee to become more involved in the community, and I feel I can represent the newer parts of Rockton which are currently under-represented. My goals if elected are as follows: I want to see continued commercial growth that makes sense in Rockton to help alleviate the tax burden on our citizens. I want to see proper development of the former Wagon Wheel property and surrounding areas. I want to develop Rockton as a destination point with a focus on our downtown area. I want to develop a comprehensive plan to continue maintaining and improving our streets and walkways. I will work to see that the Old Settlers Park is completed in a fiscally responsible manner with community involvement.
Tana M. Vettore
Hononegah School Board
I am grateful to live in the Hononegah School District, where our schools are the cornerstone; where parents are active participants in their childrens education, where we have master teachers, and students excel. Unfortunately, this could change. To maintain excellence, it is imperative that we work with elected officials to better control the rate of growth as well as push for equitable and increased funding for education in Illinois. We need to communicate and work with our stakeholders. For strategic long-term planning, a study of projected growth needs to be conducted as well as a need assessment developed. As a business owner, educator, former Kinnikinnick School Board member and invested parent of students who recently graduated from Hononegah, I have the knowledge and experience of Hononegahs strengths and weaknesses, experience with school governance, balancing budgets and strategic planning along with a willingness and passion to serve the Hononegah community.
Owen Township Assessor
I have worked with the Owen Township Assessors office for six years as a volunteer, deputy assessor, and currently as the Owen Township Assessor.
During this time, I have worked with the Owen Town Board, the Board of Review, the Winnebago County Assessors Association, the personnel at the Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessments Office, and residents and businesses in Owen Township. My main concern is continuing to make sure assessments are fair and equitable for all residents, thus making sure the township multipliers remain low while also providing assessment uniformity.
The Assessor position carries with it a need for responsibility, knowledge, and expertise that I have acquired over the years. With your help I wish to continue to use my experience to serve the community. I would appreciate your consideration of voting for me on Tuesday, April 5.
Owen Township Assessor
I am Jolyn Fasula, candidate for Owen Township Assessor. I am a Certified Illinois Property Assessor; have completed 75 hours with the Illinois Property Assessment Institute and the Illinois Department of Revenue; have legal experience relating to real estate and Board of Review; have 20 years experience with computer; and have been a property owner and taxpayer for 23 years. I am active in my community and St. Bernadette Parish. I am president of Rockford CSA. I always give 110 percent, and honesty is a priority to me.
Owen Township is one of the few townships that does NOT have their property information computerized. I have the expertise to make this happen. Since the person who has been the Assessor for many years is not running, it is time to put someone in that office who can get the job done. Vote for honesty and hard work, vote for Jolyn Fasula.
Village of Cherry Valley
Cherry Valley Township Assessor
As a township trustee, I have seen the Assessors expenses almost double from 2001-2003. The number one issue is cutting spending. Illinois law mandates that the Assessor in ANY township MUST produce fair and equitable assessments. Fair and equitable assessment is the MINIMUM that is required, but it need not cost what it currently costs Cherry Valley Township residents. The office has three full-time workers. One of these employes is my opponent, granddaughter of the current Assessor. Comparable townships have LESS than three full-time workers for assessing. I will CUT spending by a minimum of 25 percent. When elected, I will ensure that the office will function with maximum efficiency and minimal funds. With my lifetime experiences, continuing assessment education, and fiscal responsibility, I will return this office to expected levels of accountability to the voters of the township. I would appreciate your support in accomplishing this goal.
Cherry Valley Township Assessor
I am asking for your vote on April 5. I am an independent candidate, and I feel that politics should not be involved in this position. The Assessors position is one of the most important positions in local government, and the only issue in this race is who is the most qualified and experienced candidate. I am a Certified Illinois Assessing Official, and I have worked in the Cherry Valley Township Assessors Office for six years. Correct, fair and impartial assessments are the most important job of the Assessor. I am dedicated to this and will serve as a full-time Assessor to see that this is achieved. Also, my experience and knowledge of the procedures of the assessment office will allow me to run the office efficiently and keep spending at a minimum. Please remember that experience matters!
From the March 30-April 5, 2005 issue