Morrissey announces schedule to unveil policy positions

Larry Morrissey, independent candidate for Mayor of Rockford, outlined a schedule to provide Rockford residents detailed information regarding his positions on policies and provide direction and leadership for the city.

“Our residents need to understand that there are clear differences between the candidates. My priorities are very different from the current administration, and my approach is also very different. I have priorities focused on improving our fundamentals: schools, public safety, and jobs. And we will unite our community and make decisions, rather than continuing to plan, study, and defer making the tough decisions,” said Morrissey. “We’ve been task-forced to death in the past four years with no real accomplishments to show despite hundreds of meetings and false hopes. The current administration has admitted that they do not have a list of priorities for our city. I find that to be a dismal statement after four years in office.”

During the next six weeks, Morrissey will unveil detailed priorities and policies for Rockford. Among the topics for which Morrissey will provide direction include:

Job Creation, Technology, Tourism & Economic Development (Week of March 7)

Education, Life-Long Learning & Solving the Truancy Crisis (Week of March 14)

Public Safety, Public Housing, Social Services & Neighborhood Development (Week of March 21)

Leadership, Management & Administration (Week of March 28).

“Over the last four years, this administration has failed to show decisive leadership for getting this city to work together on improving on our core fundamentals. Four years have passed and the best I can tell is that this administration is more concerned with a $100 million convention center than improving our schools or reducing our crime rate,” said Morrissey.

Rockford’s River District Priorities: Infrastructure, Zoning & Planning, Marketing & Sales

Earlier this month, during a speech given at the River District Annual Membership mayoral forum, Morrissey outlined three specific priorities for the downtown area: Infrastructure, Zoning & Planning, and Marketing & Sales.

Infrastructure: Under a Morrissey administration, the city would work with the county and the Park District to adopt a coordinated, four-year capital investment program that addresses critical infrastructure needs for the District. The three Rs of Rockford’s infrastructure needs are: Riverwalk, Roadways, and Rail.

“If we want development along our Riverfront, we must build a Riverwalk like they have done in cities throughout this country. The city has failed to build anything resembling a complete, connected Riverwalk,” said Morrissey.

Additionally, with his leadership, the city will:

Identify and invest in a common-sense road plan that ends the maddening confusion of one-way streets and dead-ends;

Support a fiber-optic infrastructure plan and, unlike the current administration, the Morrissey administration would practice common sense and fair play and put the construction of that network out to competitive bid;

Accept nothing less than a rail connection to our airport which then can connect to downtown. “We simply cannot be satisfied with Belvidere getting the action and hope that in some future Phase II, the central city and the airport get a connection,” he said.

Zoning & Planning: Zoning and planning should give investors the confidence that their investments in our downtown economy can be accomplished and protected for the long term. However, Rockford still lives with a zoning and land use plan that allows incompatible uses to co-exist. This discourages development.

Marketing & Sales: The city must market and sell to the entire world the many advantages of being in the District. Morrissey would help create tools and incentive packages and get these into the hands of the private marketplace.

“I envision the River District as a vibrant, busy, everyday economy. Rather than simply being that place you visit during the Fourth of July or On the Waterfront, the River District must be an ‘everyday place’ with a multitude of great restaurants and retail stores; legal, government, and technology jobs; and museums, movie theaters, and educational opportunities,” he said. “To get results now, we must not make a convention center, a gambling boat, or an entertainment megaplex at Davis Park the priorities. They are the hallmarks of a ‘novelty, economy—expensive price tags with oftentimes marginal impact.”

For more information on the Morrissey for Mayor campaign, including volunteer opportunities, please call the Morrissey campaign office at 815-965-MORC (6672).

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