Mayor Morrissey’s monthly media discussion briefs

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In his Oct. 19 monthly media discussion, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) talked about his recent trips to China, Sweden and Kyrgyzstan.

The mayor spoke mainly about insights gained while visiting Rockford’s Chinese sister city Changzhou. Morrissey stressed international “business match-making” to bring more local businesses into the global marketplace.

Morrissey also argued in favor of hiring outside counsel for labor negotiations with city workers. The mayor hoped the city council would vote to hire Franczek Sullivan, P.C., for arbitration services at the rate of $275 per hour.

Asked whether a board of trustees would be established for the recently acquired historic National Guard Armory, the mayor said the Rockford City Council is the Board of Trustees and that there’s plenty of public involvement.

Mayor Morrissey was also asked about the status of an ad campaign to educate citizens about the newly amended panhandling ordinance. Morrissey told an anecdote about how he’d personally educated a panhandler who’d knocked on his car window recently.

“Shortly, we will have an intense educational component of educating the public on the new ordinance,” Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson said. “How to say ‘no’ and inform the panhandlers where this activity is allowed.”

The new ordinance was passed Sept. 25, at which time city officials promised at least a month-long grace period to get the word out before enforcement begins.

From the Oct. 25-31, 2006, issue

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