Election 2000, Candidate Statements

Election 2000, Candidate Statements

By Statements from Chuck Henerson, Dave Winters, Larry Drury, George Fagerstrom, Paul Gorski, Randy F. Sturm, Pearl Hawks, Mark C. Philpot, Polly Berg, Terrence W. Peterson, Jim Peterson & William C. Peterson

16th Congress. Dist. Rep.

Chuck Hendrickson (Democrat)

The taxpayers of Illinois are not getting a fair return on their congressional investment. Illinois is fifth in what we pay in taxes to Washington, but we are 46th in what we get back. This means we are subsidizing roads, schools, jobs and opportunity in other states. This is unacceptable. We need a congressman who will work relentlessly with the people here and with his colleagues in the House to see we get back what we pay for in taxes. Secondly, we need to pay down the national debt so that our children are not shackled with that economic burden during their working lives and so that ALL citizens can get a substantive tax cut when the debt is eliminated. Finally, we need a fresh focus on the daily concerns of families back here on Main Street, Illinois: jobs; schools; agriculture; healthcare; and a secure future. Let’s go to work!

State Rep. 69th District

Dave Winters


I have done an effective job representing Winnebago County in Springfield. I have fought against tax increases, including Governor Ryan’s Illinois First taxes. I was the sponsor of the downstate property tax caps; the Home Repair Fraud bill; legislation to lower drug abuse by welfare recipients; and alcohol abuse by motorists; and worked to expand programs providing prescription drug assistance and tax relief for seniors. My office is always open when constituents need help fighting through governmental paperwork.

I believe that some of the issues we face for the future of our state and community are property tax relief; improving education outcomes; and preparing the state for further growth.

My proposal for property tax relief would be to allow local school districts to pass referenda, which would raise the state income tax and devote all the additional revenue to residential property tax relief. This would allow local voters to choose the blend of property and income taxes raised locally to suit their own needs.

The state has increased funds to school districts from $3.9 to $5.9 billion over the last six years. Now we need to implement the full statewide testing program and improve the schools and teachers where students are not learning.

The state must anticipate future growth and issues that our utilities, transportation services and public infrastructure is prepared. We must also keep Illinois an attractive place to expand business and prepare skilled workers for computer-reliant economic growth.

I have considered it a privilege that you have placed your trust in me to represent you in Springfield, and I would appreciate your vote on November 7th.

Illinois Supreme Court Judge – Dist. 2

Larry D. Drury, J.D. (Democrat)

I am the candidate for the Illinois Supreme Court, Second Judicial District, because after 30 years of being a litigator, criminal defense counsel or class action counsel for consumers, taxpayers and the people of Illinois and throughout the United States before the bench, it is time to bring fresh eyes and a new perspective behind the bench.

I have litigated as class action counsel against companies and entities such as Microsoft; AOL; Commonwealth Edison; City of Chicago; County of Lake; Lake County Assessor; Chicago Medical School; LaSalle Bank; Ameritech; Ford Motor Co.; General Motors; and Arista Records (i.e., Milli Vanilli), on a state or nationwide class basis since 1976.

I have considerable criminal trial defense experience and, as a part thereof, have advocated the protection of an individual’s constitutional rights at the trial and appellate level. Additionally, as part of my civil and criminal practice, I have briefed and argued more than 40 appeals including appeals in the Illinois Supreme Court. My opponent cannot say that, and he is currently on the appellate court. I have argued successfully in the Illinois Supreme Court, and he has not. I have judicial experience in that I am an administrative law judge for the Illinois State Board of Education in teacher dismissals and special education matters. Unlike my opponent, I have not taken substantial campaign contributions from special interests.

I feel that I will represent an independent and equal voice for all.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 1

George Fagerstrom


Winnebago Co. Board District #1 covers the western half of the county plus some. Preservation of prime farm land is now challenged by development and bedroom communities. This increases the need for better cooperation between the county and local governmental units.

Taxes can impair economic growth and development. Government agencies need more prudent spending habits. Increasing revenue should come from real growth, not inflation, not increasing user fees, and not increasing taxes.

Schools and the education of our children go hand in hand with the taxpayer.

Quick-take: forget this! It’s wrong and not needed. The zoning in Winnebago County carries a tremendous burden: the preservation of farm land; the effect on green space; the environment; economic development; our school districts; and emergency service districts. Proper zoning can minimize or eliminate the negative effects on our communities.

Development plans must be followed by the villages, townships and county by working together with openness and accountability at all levels. Development heads must be held responsible for budget costs and over-runs. Reviews must hold everyone to the contracts.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 5

Paul Gorski (Democrat)

We need more public input in our “public policy.” I don’t presume to know what all residents want, and I will work to prevent zoning surprises. I’ll hold open forums to review existing county land use plans. Many of the plans have been on the books for years and are not well known. County government and residents should work together and develop a new fiscally sound road map for the future.

While reviewing these costs, I’ll focus on upgrading our roads and maintaining essential services such as River Bluff Nursing Home. The county can offer quality services and better manage the personnel for most services by directly employing county workers. Contracting out some services could actually cost more money, just as costly as spending money on poorly planned bike paths and other projects. I won’t support mistakes with tax increases. For more information, please see: http://www.gorski4c.com or call 983-0171.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 5

Randy F. Sturm


Winnebago County Board continues to face the challenge of providing taxpayers with the best services while using available resources efficiently and economically. A planning study is underway to address overcrowding issues in the jail and to look at public safety overall. Economic development, while providing additional tax base, puts a burden on taxpayers by requiring new infrastructure. The desire to maintain the quality of care at River Bluff Nursing Home is offset by inadequate state reimbursement for those patients on public aid. These are the issues I hope to work to resolve as finance chairman.

I am running because I have an interest in county government and feel I have something to offer my district because of my business background. (I have been owner and president of Valley Manufacturing for the past 15 years. Prior to that, I served as vice-president of administration at Kysor Industries of Byron for eight years. Before that, I was internal auditor for Sundstrand for three years.) Voters should elect me because my experience has shown that I vote to protect the interests of my constituents even when they differ from my own.

During my six years on the county board, I have served as chairman of the Operations Committee, and for the past year, as chairman of the Finance Committee, serving on [the latter] for all six years. I have served on Public Safety for one year; Economic Development Committee for one year; Revolving Loan Committee for four years; and as liquor commissioner for four years.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 6

Pearl Hawks (Democrat)

As a county board member, I will continue to try to make knowledgeable decisions which are in the best interest of my constituents and Winnebago County. I will try to get the younger generation to be more aware of the impact politics have on our lives and seek more involvement in the political process.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 6

Mark C. Philpot


I am running for the office of Winnebago County Board member for the 6th District. For too long, our district has existed in a vacuum on three planes: leadership, information and economic development. Our neighborhoods have been deprived of the most basic services. Our neighbors have been ill informed on decisions that affect not only our livelihood, but that of our children. It is the responsibility of the county board member to be not only a leader, but to educate and inform the community and give them a sense of connection to government. When I am elected, I will strive tirelessly to provide that connection. I will serve as the “people’s voice.” I will work with the various community groups; churches; businesses; and most importantly–the average person, to make sure that their voices are heard. I will help existing businesses flourish by the creation of a West Rockford Businesses Web Site to help area entrepreneurs show their wares and entice new businesses by seeking a Free Enterprise Zone, which would lower the taxes for new and possibly existing businesses. I will ACTIVELY solicit, across the country, if necessary, a developer will put a full-size grocery in our neighborhood, and I will adamantly fight for the rights of our property owners and renters against those who endanger OUR interests. It’s not too much to ask for our representatives to stand up for our rights; in fact, we demand it!! It is my goal to see that all areas of our community are represented from Concord to Centerville, from Simpson to Springfield and from Safford to Seminary. Our voices will be heard! I will see to it.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 7

Polly Berg (Democrat)

After nearly eight years as a member of the Winnebago County Board, I feel I have accomplished a great deal for my district. However, several critical issues remain unsolved. One of the most important areas of concern is the need for more jail space.

We cannot release offenders simply because there is no room in the county jail, and we cannot risk overcrowding. Although conditions have been improved since the opening of the satellite jail and the construction of additional cell space in the Public Safety Building, these are interim measures, and more space will have to be found soon.

Protection of our environment and ground water is also a [priority]. Some steps have been taken in this area, but much remains to be accomplished. Efforts must be stepped up to reduce the use of toxic chemicals to protect the groundwater and waterways in our area. I will continue to monitor the county roadsides where we were successful in banning the use of pesticides. This was a great breakthrough in order to protect the natural habitats and wildflowers for future generations. Some signage for no-mow areas along the roads will begin next spring.

Land use planning remains a critical issue. I must reiterate my position concerning the Harrison Avenue extension. The quick-take action used against the Ditzler property was, in my opinion, absolutely wrong. Nor do I approve of eminent domain… Extending Harrison Avenue through the west side of Rockford has always been one of my priorities, because I believe it will benefit the community. But I still think Pierpont Avenue would have been the most economical and less intrusive way to go.

Planning for farmland preservation must be considered, and I do not believe the proposed “farmette” zoning issue will help that cause. I will continue to work for improvements in northwest Rockford.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 7

Terrence W. Peterson (Republican)

I am a lifelong Rockford resident. I have committed my entire adult life to service of our country and community. In furtherance of this, I am seeking the position of Winnebago County Board Member in District 7.

I am the father of two daughters, ages 6 and 8. I am an active member of Cathedral of St. Peter Church. I am a member of its pastoral council, fill in as usher and assist in any other manner I can. I am an 18-year veteran of the Rockford Police Department and the Recording Secretary of the State Executive Board for the Policeman’s Association.

It’s my firm belief that there is a great deal of commitment associated with this position and that it is a privileged service to represent you, not a part-time job. I have been walking this district, talking to many residents. I have given my commitment of service to them. I vow to do my very best as their representative on the Winnebago County Board.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 13

Jim Peterson (Democrat)

As a member of the county board, I will advocate for responsible county government, a clean environment and responsive county services. I will also advocate for crime prevention and crime reduction. I will work towards ensuring an effective and efficient government. Citizens pay their taxes for which they can expect good government services that will allow us all to enjoy a good life.

Winnebago Co. Board Member – Dist. 13

William C. Peterson


I am seeking the position of Winnebago County Board Member, District 13, vacated last year by the resignation of Judith Barnard.

I am a lifelong Rockford resident. I serve our country in Korea and have attended both Bradley and Marquette Universities. I have been married to my wife, Loretto, for the past 49 years. We have nine children and 14 grandchildren. I am an active member of Cathedral of St. Peter Parish, assisting as an usher and having served on several boards and committees. I have been actively involved with youth for 32 years, through scouting.

It’s my firm belief that there is a full-time commitment associated with this position. I am recently retired and have this time to commit. I have been walking this district, talking with many residents and providing information about my values, qualifications and myself. I relay my commitment of serving on the Winnebago County Board.

Please. Don’t get confused with the ballot. I am William C. (Bill) Peterson.

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