Nov. 6 Rockford City Council briefs

Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) proclaimed Nov. 6 to be Food for the Needy Kickoff Day in Rockford. In its 36th year in Rockford, the Salvation Army’s Metro Food for the Needy drive is expected to collect 100,000 pounds of food in the next six weeks. Three thousand boxes of food will be assembled and distributed to the needy. Registration for the needy will take place at 416 S. Madison between Nov. 27 and Dec. 8. Residents are encouraged to donate canned goods and other non-perishable items for those less fortunate this holiday season.

The mayor announced garbage collection will be unaffected by the Veterans Day holiday, but said City Hall will be closed Nov. 10 in observance.

Mayor Morrissey gave an update about Rockford’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The mayor reported the city’s request was at the bottom of a stack of 250 FOIA requests from elsewhere. Morrissey wants FEMA to share its data that was the basis for denying relief funds for Rockford. The mayor said this data is essential to the city’s appeal process.

The mayor proclaimed November to be National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in Rockford. An estimated 4 million Americans suffer from the disease.

Against the mayor’s wishes, the council did not vote on adjustments to health plans for the city’s more than 200 non-union employees. The plan is virtually the same as a tentative agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which union leaders will vote on Nov. 9. The unions have been without contracts since the end of last year. The council is expected to vote on the health plan for non-union workers Nov. 13.

The City Council debated amending its 2007 Draft Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant program. Ald. Jeff Holt (D-11) argued for an amendment to transfer $92,000 from Emergency Shelter Grants to Human Services for serving only those who can prove Rockford residency. Holt said the city’s services are attracting homeless from outside Rockford. The council agreed to look into the possibility of residency restrictions, but did not pass the amendment.

From the Nov.8-14, 2006, issue

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