Candidate statements, proposals for April 1 election

Candidate statements, proposals for April 1 election


Consolidated primary elections for Winnebago County will be Tuesday, April 1. A number of city and county positions will be on the ballot, along with a number of city and county proposals.

The Rock River Times asked each candidate to submit a candidate statement of 100 words or less for publication. Following is a list of candidates for each position and a statement for each candidate who submitted a statement. Some statements have been edited to meet the 100-word limit. All proposals for the City of Rockford and Winnebago County voters are also listed at the end of the candidate statement listings.

Latest election results and totals can be found online at

Village of Cherry Valley

Village Trustee

Marie Tovo (I)

Lori A. Laye (I)

Sally M. Hollembeak (I): At this time, I am asking for your support for re-election. I bring to the council the ability to share and preserve our history and heritage. I have worked to keep our environment clean and healthy, the Village a safe place for our families, and will continue to work in this direction. I pledge to continue to make Cherry Valley the safest, cleanest and best place to raise and nurture our families. I can do this with your support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 332-4259.

Richard E. Anderson (I)

Ross L. Clifford (I)

Village of Durand

Village Trustee

Pete Wilson (I)

Fran Waller (I)

Bob Slocum (I)

Village of Machesney Park

Village Trustee District 2

Charles Garlock (D)

Jerry Stringer (R)

Jerry Lemmons (I): As the owner of a home and business in Machesney Park, I am committed to our village personally and professionally. As an independent, I will stand up for the best interests of our citizens. For too long, residents have not been involved in important decisions that affect their daily lives. If elected, I intend to change that. I will host town hall meetings. I will speak regularly with my constituents and get answers to their questions. I will work hard to ensure every village tax dollar spent is spent wisely. I will work hard to make our residents’ voices heard.

Village Trustee District 5

Mark L. Sorrentino (D)

Village Trustee District 6

Charles V. Gagliano (D)

Larry A. Brostrom (R)

Village of Pecatonica

Village Trustee

Toni R. Seagren (I)

Daniel R. Mathews (I)

Ginger R. Binger (I)

Derek J. Howard (I)

Village of New Millford

Village President

Bonnie Beard (I)

Village Trustee

Timothy H. Owens (I)

Robert M. Allard (I)

Patricia Earls (I)

Village of Rockton

Village Trustee

Lester J. Peterson (I)

Dennis K. Meade (I): When elected, I will continue to serve the citizens of Rockton with honor and integrity. I will vigorously pursue the cleanup of the Wagon Wheel property; the development of Village parks, and the take-over of the Sanitary District. The Village is equipped to operate the total wastewater operation; we will reduce all users’ fees, and provide 24/7 accountability. I am keenly aware of our Comprehensive Plan, and will continue to work for expansion of our commercial/retail/industrial base within that dynamic document.

Scott Wallace (I)

Martha J. Dwyer (I): As a Rockton resident for 51 years, I have a comprehensive knowledge of community history. Today’s weakened economy with the reductions in state and federal funding requires leadership in government to be fiscally responsible in spending. Growth must be managed, development needs to be balanced, and infrastructures should be in place with a vision for the future. Priorities of needs over wants must be established, such as a new well versus another undeveloped park land acquisition. Alternative revenue sources such as sales tax and commercial/industrial development … must become a priority over raising real estate and user taxes.

Village of Roscoe

Village President

H. Ward Sterett (I)

Lowell D. Smith (I)

Village Trustee

Mary L. Abernathy (I): As a Roscoe resident for over 20 years, I propose to curtail our village’s current deficiencies, i.e.: deficit spending and uncontrolled residential growth that is not balanced with adequate industrial and commercial development. This is causing our costs to skyrocket for school and public safety needs. Meanwhile, the village lacks adequate sewer, water and road improvements needed by current residences and as attractions for potential industrial growth. But we do not need a four-lane limited-access (Perryville) truck route plowing through our residential areas that would also strip vital traffic flow from our existing commercial areas!

Aaron Benkovich (I)

David D. DeCarlo (I)

David L. Bergeron (I)

Leonard R. Porter (I)

Village of Winnebago

Village Trustee

Shirley Crawford (I)

Stephen Butler (I)

Vivian Gaines (I): I am running for Winnebago Village Trustee to finish some work that I have started during the past two years. I was elected to finish out a term for someone that was unable to complete the term for which he was elected. We, the Village Board, are striving to keep our “small town” atmosphere, but at the same time allow the Village to grow, and I want to be a part of that task. I also am currently on the Finance Committee and want to complete what has been started to keep our finances and expenses in balance, which is difficult in these difficult financial times. I appreciate you thinking of me.

Martin G. Speracino (I)

City of Loves Park

Ward 1

Greg Jury (I): I’m seeking a second term as 1st Ward Alderman to ensure Loves Park continues to provide the high level of efficient city services residents have enjoyed for years. I also look forward to working with the mayor and council to see the completion of the city flood control project this year. This will save residents thousands … in flood insurance. I am committed to the policy that the city provides services without levying a property tax, imposing city vehicle stickers, parking meters, or a utility tax. I will encourage new businesses to our city to keep sales tax revenues growing.

Gerald Rodewald (I): I have been asked to run for alderman in the 1st Ward in Loves Park by citizens of the city and ward. We are upset with the direction the city is taking with their reckless spending. I will work to help curb that.

The biggest challenge will be to operate this city in a manner that will not require a property tax. We need to support economic growth of Loves Park in all areas of the city.

Ward 2

John Pruitt (I)

Ward 3

Michael Zawlocki (I)

Tiry E. Smith (I)

Ward 4

Kenneth L. Thomas (I): Many positive things are happening in the city of Loves Park. By providing affordable housing, low-interest loans to North 2nd Street businesses, first-time homeowner loan guarantees, and other programs, we continue to make this city a wonderful place to live and invest. Very careful spending by all departments to and city officials has allowed us to keep our Zero Property Tax. Chairing the Public Safety Committee for the past six years has allowed our police and fire departments remain one of the finest in northern Illinois. I would appreciate your continued support April 2, 2003. Please vote.

Ronald Adams (I): I want to ensure our voices are heard and represented on the City Council. The representation of this area is lacking, and the council is not acting in the best interest of those they represent. It is my goal to host periodic citizen input meetings. I will work to help complete the Flood Project ahead of schedule, so our citizens will no longer be burdened with mandatory flood insurance.

I will eliminate unnecessary spending, also ensure code enforcement on vacant, abandoned or run-down projects. I hope to promote neighborhood watch programs and give attention to damaged sidewalks and street repairs. I will ensure our city stays at a zero property tax rate by pushing for balanced growth.

Ward 5

Robert Miller (I)

City of South Beloit


Randy Kirichkow

Tom Conery


Lynn Bullard (I)

Bob Stone (I)

Pam Clifton (I)

Todd W. Edge (I)

Robert “Bob” Redieske (I)

Bradley Cole Meisenburg (I)

Maurice Kehoe (I)

John LaMendola (I)

Cherry Valley Public

Library District

Library Trustee

John J. Monahan (I) – 6-year

Ross L. Clifford (I) – 6-year

Susan McCabe (I) – 6-year

JoAnne Sandman (I) – 4-year

Donna M. Riha (I) – 2-year

North Suburban

Library District

Library Trustee

Susan Pruitt (I)

Linda Sun (I)

Gayle Olson (I)

Nancy D. Flanagan (I)

Pecatonica Public

Library District

Library Trustee

Jeffrey J. Clarke (I): I’m a 33-year resident of Pecatonica and avid reader. My purpose as a board member will be to lobby for the acquisition of more and up-to-date books on our library shelves. Too many subject areas of popular interest need additional and updated volumes.

Public information and public relations regarding board actions and plans also need attention. The recent relocation of the library facility and disposal of the old one to the village has generated needless negative reaction that could have been avoided. The public needs to feel they are involved in these decisions. I want to help.

Mary A. Arenson (I)

Debora A. Gulbrandsen (I)

Talcott Free

Library District

Library Trustee

Charlotte Faye Johnson (I)

Nina Herzer (I)

Ruth Pennycook (I)

Winnebago Public

Library District

Library Trustee

Barbara R. Tanaglia (I)

David L. Weber (I)

Edward L. Whitford (I)

Durand Community Unit School District No. 322

Board Member

Kevin Hallisey (I) – 2-year

Ed Johnston (I)

Travis L. Mitchell (I)

Thomas J. Walsh (I)

Scott Bryden (I)

Cathy Korwin (I)

Susan K. Kinney (I)

Aaron M. Funfsinn (I): Dear constituent, I’m seeking this office because I have a strong field of experience. Because my family is molded around this school, I carry the perspective of a student, teacher, bus driver, and small business owner. With my background as a student for the last 12 grade years, I know that success comes with education and not tif. We must not only develop good character at school, but we must bring forth the good from home. This election day, journey forward with me to a future of excellence. “Let’s build a great school for a great day.”

Harlem School

District No. 122

Board Member

Debbie Kerr (I): I’ve been attending Harlem School Board meetings for the last 13 months as an observor. Currently, I’m serving as co-chairman for the Committee For Harlem Schools, a volunteer at Maple Elementary, OSF Saint Anthony Pink Ball treasurer for two years, room mother, Harlem Music Booster supporter, Harlem Dinner Dance contributor, Harlem Fans Club stand volunteer.

I am running because we need new ideas. I would like to investigate fees from new construction. I believe cuts can be made without affecting the education of Harlem students. I would also like to restore programs that have been cut as funds become available.

Marlon G. Knittel (I)

Sandi Johnson (I)

Will Ashford (I)

Gloria Jeanne Kelly (I)

Hiawatha C.U.S.D. No. 426

Board Member

James C. Williams – 2-year

Jack Novelli

Brenda Lillstrom

Kathy Laskowski

Hononegah Community High School District No. 207

Board Member

David J. Kurlinkus

Bob Zoeller

Kerwood Watts

Kinnikinnick CCSD No. 131

Board Member

Jeffrey L. Lightfoot (I)

Dean Senglaub (I)

Teal Meyers (I)

Meridian C.U.S.D. No. 223

Board Member

Barbara Reeverta

Gordon Green

Richard Daniel Janes

Bruce Larson

North Boone Community Unit School District No. 200

Board Member

Mary Guthrie

C. Don Kinser: I am a retired professional engineer with more than 40 years of management experience. We have a unique opportunity … the board must hire a new superintendent, build a new high school and make a … decision on the best use of the old high school. The test scores at our schools need to improve, and we need a program to attract and maintain the best teachers and staff. I am well qualified to assist the board in all these important areas. If elected, I will work hard to improve our schools and see that our tax dollars are spent prudently. Thanks very much.

Barb Martenson

Denise A. Balsley

Robert Cassidy

Glen Gratz: I am running for the school board because I care about the quality of education the children of our area receive. I believe I have the skills to contribute in assuring that this goal is met.

Budgeting requires math skills. I have a B.S. in Math/Computer Science. We need to hire a new superintendent. I have experience in hiring, having hired over 30 employees in my business as owner of Micro Resales, Northern Illinois Computer Exchange and State Line Computer Exchange.

The most important issues or problems facing our district are: 1) Need to hire a new superintendent; 2) need to hire and retain good teachers; 3) need to oversee planning of a new high school and plan for future growth.

Tom Giesecke

Pecatonica Community Unit School District No. 321

Board Member

Jered G. Pruitt (I): My hope, when elected to office, is to effect positive change in five key areas by utilizing my skills of leadership, effective governance, and management. The five key areas of my campaign are to 1) encourage and promote increased state test scores, 2) Continue and hopefully expand state programmatic funding through effective lobbying,

3) Increase communication and interaction with the community, 4) Increase enrollment to post-secondary institutions through promotion and education of outcomes, 5) Decrease alcohol and drug use among school-age children through early education, intervention and community support. To learn more, visit my Web site at

Don Miller (I)

Gary P. Jacobs (I)

William H. Smull (I)

Deborah A. Bark (I)

Scott Harker (I)

Prairie Hill Community School District No. 133

Board Member

Jeffrey R. Aronson (I)

Gary R. Wycklendt (I)

Pam Boggs (I)

Rockford School

District No. 205

Board Member Sub District A

Michael J. Williams (I)

Board Member Sub District B

David Strommer (I)

Karol Hammond (I)

Board Member Sub District C

Alice Saudargas (I)

Allen Ginsburgh (I): For more than 12 years, I have participated on many committees, volunteered my time in strategic planning for the District and for school technology. I started Rockford Computers For Schools, putting more than 2,200 computers in schools at no cost [and] had a significant role in starting the Rockford Mentoring Collaborative, putting hundreds of mentors in school and community mentoring programs. For more than eight years, I have been the … business representative on the Instructional Council, consisting of teachers and administrators reviewing new books and curriculum for District schools.

Board Member Sub District E

Scott Carter (I)

Cy Key

Robert Evans

Board Member Sub District G

David L. Kelley

Mike Bliss

Rockton School

District No. 140

Board Member

Brenda Warren (I): Serving on the Rockton School Board has been an enjoyable experience for me. Our board is made up of people who really care about children and the education they receive. We are a group that works well with each other and our administration. We greatly respect our staff and the job they do. Unfortunately, the current state school funding crisis may require some creative and hard choices over the next few years. I would like to be part of the team that makes those decisions, and continue to serve my community to the best of my abilities.

Anne Pearcy (I): I was appointed a year and a half ago, and am now running for a four-year position. As the mother of five children (including one with learning disabilities), I am very committed to excellence and integrity. My goal, as a board member, is to continue helping ensure that we maintain our educational mission of providing the best education that we can for all students. It is increasingly important to be diligent in the review of the district’s budget and long-range goals as state and local budgets are squeezed. I want to continue as part of a good team that works hard to accomplish these things for the Rockton School District.

Larry C. Schubert (I)

Chandice Michowski (I)

Shirland School District No. 134

Board Member

John Allen (I)

Joel Sharp (I)

Mark A. Baker (I)

Antoinette E. Bortoli (I) – 2-year: I have been a resident of the Shirland School District for 12 years. I have two children in attendence at the school. I have been employed at Saint Anthony Medical Center since 1985. I am a first-time candidate for the school board.

I am committed to improving the relationship between parents, school board, teachers, and administration to make Shirland School what it could be—EVEN BETTER! I am willing to be a voice for the community that wants to keep Shirland School open and independent. Please vote YES Twice April 1!

South Beloit Community Unit School District No. 320

Board Member

Debra E. Ring (I)

Terry A. Neblock (I)

Theodore A. Zierath (I)

Tracy A. Blaske (I)

Winnebago Community Unit District No. 323

Board Member

Michael John Crandall (I)

Michael K. Reinders (I)

Mike Weerda (I)

Janet Klinger (I)

Charles Fricke (I) – 2-year

Kishwaukee College


Linda R. Mason (I)

George Smith (I)

Suzanne Juday (I)

Richard Ohlinger (I) – 2-year

Rock Valley College


Owen Carter: The primary goal of every community college is to provide quality education that is accessible, affordable and responsive to the needs of its students, faculty, staff, administration and the community at large. As a member of the board of trustees, I will work to create an open forum where the concerns of the entire college community can be heard. I will identify opportunities for continuous improvement and will always maintain responsibility to our taxpayers through effective management of our resources. I would appreciate your vote April 1.

Katherine M. Kelley: 1. [A] life-long resident of Rockford, [she] has completed three degrees at Rock Valley. 2. She has more than 20 years experience in accounting. She understands financial reports and the importance of a balanced budget. She will push for expansion to be focused on increasing the number of classrooms. …It’s a shame to turn potential students away for lack of classroom space. 3. She’ll push for the establishment of on-site daycare for students who are parents. Costs can be controlled by partnering daycare with the childhood development curricula. 4. Employed part-time, she has … time to devote to … serving on the Board.

Mark C. Philpot – 2-year: … [T]he role RVC has played in our community is commendable, but there is a saying that “to whom much is given, much is expected.” The time has come for RVC to do more. I believe … RVC has the responsibility to keep tuition affordable. I believe that an additional responsibility of the college is to be of service to the community by addressing the issue of re-training our area workforce that has become displaced by recent manufacturing plant closings, relocations and layoffs…. In addition, RVC should become a mecca for the arts, the training of future educators and for research.

Ann Dempsey – 2-year

Randall J. Schaefer – Full term

Donald Magill – Full term

Donald B. Johannes – Full term

Regional Board of School Trustees

Boone and Winnebago

Thomas J. Ferrara — Boone County

Dennis Ellingson — Boone County

Lee and Ogle

Connie S. Shannon — Lee County

Russell Williams — Ogle County


Marshall Hayes

Russell Deverell

Barbara Tuttle

Luan Olson

Larry Forsberg

Rockton Fire

Protection District


William Campbell (I)

Stillman Fire

Protection District


Silas T. Bucey (I)

Robert Brass (I)

Michael P. O’Hare (I) – 4-year

Winnebago County Fire Protection District No. 1


Gerald O. Duerst (I)

Rockford Park District


Harris Agnew (I)

Laura Pigatti Williamson (I): I am seeking re-election to the Board of Commissioners to continue the legacy of the Park District as the community’s Crown Jewel. I am committed to supporting programs for children and families. As our community continues to grow, the needs of the District change and so must the programs we provide. We must set aside land for the needs of future generations to ensure they will have a place to live, work and play… [We provide] a quality of life that keeps our residents here and helps to attract new businesses. I have worked to establish a strong role for the Park District in providing services to families and supporting tourism efforts. In a time of financial constraints, I work with the Park District’s staff [for] a balanced budget and to stretch the community’s investment.

Ann Thompson (I)

Sumner Park District


R. Dale Melancen (I)

Glen A. Wiegert (I)

Winnebago Park District


Gregory R. McIntyre (I)

Proposals for

City of Rockford Voters

1. General obligation street improvement bonds of $8.2 million for the city of Rockford. 2. Tax increase for the Rockford Park District. 3. Tax increase for Harlem School District. 4. Tax increase for Winnebago Community Unit School District No. 323.

Proposals for

Winnebago County Voters

1. Should the Village of Rockton … obtain control of and acquire all assets, liabilities and responsibilities of the Rockton Sanitary District?

2. Should the Rockford Park District be authorized to levy and collect an additional tax of 0.225 percent?

3. Shall the Cherry Valley Fire Protection District levy a special tax at a rate not to exceed 0.30 percent?

4. Shall the maximum annual tax rate for educational purposes for Harlem School District No. 122 be increased and established at 3.79 percent?

5. Shall the annual tax rate for the education fund of Shirland Community Consolidated School District No. 134 be increased and established at $2.46 per $100 of equalized or assessed value upon the full, fair cash value of taxable property?

6. Shall the Board of Education of Shirland School District No. 134 improve the sites of and alter, repair and equip school buildings … and issue bonds … to the amount of $200,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

7. Shall the maximum annual tax rate for educational purposes of Winnebago Community Unit School District No. 323 be increased and established at 3.15 percent?

8. Shall the maximum annual tax rate for educational purposes of Kinnickinnick Community Consolidated School District No. 131 be increased and established at 2.32 percent?

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