With the goal to implement objectives outlined during the campaign, Rockfords Mayor-elect Larry Morrissey named 18 members of his transition team April 15. The team will advise Morrissey on how to achieve his priorities of schools, public safety and infrastructure improvements, which consists of constructing a river-walk, roads and commuter rail service.
Morrissey said there would be no lapse in services during the transition from the current administration under Democratic Mayor Doug Scott to Independent Morrissey. Morrissey said he met earlier last week with Scott, City Administrator Einar Forsman, and police and fire officials.
Morrissey also met with Rockford School District Superintendent Dennis Thompson and Rockford School Board President Nancy Kalchbrenner. He plans to work with school officials to target truancy and truancy enforcement issues. Thompson said April 18 on WNTA radios Ken DeCoster Show that truancy is a community problem, and he looks forward to working with the new administration.
Morrissey said he and Scott agreed on a protocol to meet with department heads. He added that a full review of department heads should be completed within 30 days of taking office, which is scheduled April 25.
The transition team will assist Morrissey in identifying specific priorities, and how to best utilize limited resources to achieve his goals.
Transition team member Tom Furst, president and chief executive officer of the Furst Group, said at the press conference that he was proud to be part of the group who will advise Morrissey.
In January 2003, Furst and two other community leaders questioned the integrity and severely criticized The Rock River Times in a paid advertisement for its initial article in an investigative series of mismanagement at Rock Valley College. The series helped oust Fursts friend, former RVC President Roland Chapdelaine. The series was awarded a second-place certificate for outstanding news reporting by the Illinois Press Association in October 2004.
Another bridge to the past in Morrisseys advisory group is former Democratic mayor and William Charles Investments employee John McNamara. He was Rockford mayor during the 1980s and mentor to Mayor Charles Box during his administration.
In addition to Furst and McNamara, other members of the transition team are:
Peter Provenzano, large-money contributor to Morrisseys campaign, and president and chief executive officer of Supplycore Inc.;
Robert Funderburg, large-money contributor to Morrisseys campaign, and chief executive officer of Alpine Bank;
Ted Biondo, Rock Valley College Board trustee, and former Rockford School Board member
Ann Dempsey, Rock Valley College Board trustee, and attorney with Oliver, Close, Worden, Winkler & Greenwald;
Patrick Hayes, attorney with the law firm Guyer & Enichen;
James Powers, retired U.S. Army colonel and former Rockford Public Works administrator;
Mary Ann Smith, member of the Friends of the Coronado Theatre;
Bill Shannon, retired chief financial officer of Ingersoll;
Ryan Brauns, Rockford Consulting and Brokerage;
LoRayne Logan, chief executive officer of WorkPlace;
Robert King, relationship banker with Bank One;
Jon Lundin, chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries and The Abilities Center;
Ray Montelongo, president, Montel Technologies;
Rebecca Kopf, president of PR Etc.;
Jim Thacker, political consultant and Morrissey for Mayor campaign manager;
Tonya Lamia, former employee of Center Events and Council of 100;
Gary Anderson, local architect at Gary W. Anderson and Associates; and
Laura Williamson, Rockford Park District commissioner, and economic development associate at Amcore Bank.
From the April 20-26, 2005, issue