City hires communications officer

City hires communications officer

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

Rockford Mayor Doug Scott is beginning to fulfilling his campaign promises. Not only has he stepped in hard on the airport issue, he has also launched a new era of professionalism to pierce the apprehension that many have felt in relating to the city’s administration.

On Monday, June 4, Scott announced his choice for a new communications officer, John Strandin, for more effective communication between City Hall and local media and residents.

Scott said that for many years, he thought the city needed a communications officer. He also noted that during the mayoral campaign, the need for such a position came up.

Independent candidate Larry Morrissey brought up the idea during the campaign.

“I think it was a great move by Doug Scott,” WNTA talk show host Chris Bowman said. “I have all the respect in the world for John Strandin. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard Larry Morrissey talking about it.”

Strandin’s salary will be $55,000 yearly, and he will begin his new job June 25. Scott stated the decision was also made June 4, noting the word got out through local media.

Strandin has is known as a quality-driven professional among local media organizations and is a well-liked personality in the community.

“We actually had a tremendous response,” Scott said. “We were looking for somebody who had local media experience.”

Scott noted that he chose Strandin because “he’s somebody that has covered the City Council and the city government.” He knows the beat.

Strandin is leaving his job at WROK radio after more than 20 years.

Strandin has been a news anchor and reporter for WROK radio and has been the news director of Cumulus Broadcasting’s four Rockford radio stations. Strandin moved to Rockford in 1977 after attending the University of Illinois and being a news director of a Danville radio station for eight months.

Strandin said he left his job because he believes the position to serve as the communications director for the city is one that might never arise again. “It’ll be different for me to be on this team,” he said.

Strandin will be responsible for public relations, supervision of public information material and press releases, planning special events, meetings and press conferences. He will also advise the mayor’s office and other city departments and City Council members. He will be the spokesman for Scott when the mayor is unavailable.

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