City of Rockford advocates county to appoint Puri

Before a scheduled vote at the Sept. 7 meeting of the Rockford City Council, developer and political heavyweight Sunil Puri withdrew his name from a nomination to the Greater Rockford Airport Board. Puri made the withdrawal after The Rock River Times published an article Aug. 18 revealing his ownership of land within one-quarter mile of the airport (see “Puri nomination raises development concerns”).

However, Puri cited his expected move from the city to the county within the next four months as the reason for the withdrawal. Had Puri been named by the city to the airport board, he would have had to resign his position after his move into the county due to residency requirements.

Revelations about his residency issues were brought to light Sept. 3 by Stephanie Caltergerone on her WNTA 1330-AM radio show. Frank Schier, The Rock River Times’ editor and publisher, was a guest on that show.

Rockford officials said they hoped the county would consider appointing Puri to the board in the future. That appointment would have to be made by Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen, who was appointed to his position in May.

Puri’s nomination was possible due to the Aug. 13 death of attorney Edward Telling.

Rockford appoints three of the seven commissioner positions on the airport board. Each commissioner serves a five-year appointment. Winnebago County appoints two positions, and Machesney Park and Loves Park each appoint one commissioner.

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