Primary Candidate Statements

Primary Candidate Statements


(Has pulled out of the election.)

Rockford Township Highway Commissioner

Ken Blakley – Republican

For personal reasons, I no longer will be a candidate for the position of Rockford Township Highway Commissioner. I would like to thank all the people that worked with me.

As a taxpayer and longest-serving employee (22 years) of the department, I am concerned about the corruption and the abuse that has been bestowed on it. The pride is gone, the shop is untidy and a disgrace, maintenance on trucks and equipment is neglected, and morale is at an all-time low.

I sat down and met with Pete MacKay and was very impressed with his knowledge of township government and how it functions. He understands the problems, and will restore honesty and integrity to the department. I am asking all of my supporters and voters to give Pete MacKay their vote.

Alderman – 7th Ward

Richard “Dick” Goral – Democrat

I am a candidate for alderman of the 7th Ward in the city of Rockford. Being born and raised in Rockford, I am personally committed to this unique community. My wife, four daughters and one grandson have graduated from the Rockford schools, and I have three grandchildren enrolled.

My experiences include: President of Roosevelt United Neighbors, Task Force member of the Council of Neighborhood Organizations (CNO), and co-chair of the Winnebago Triad Group for Seniors. I presently serve on the City of Rockford Homestead Board and am a member of the Rockford Affordable Housing Coalition.

Following are my goals for the 7th Ward:

l Getting more residents involved in the challenges of their neighborhoods.

l Work with law enforcement to close more drug houses, reduce drug traffic and prostitution, not only in my ward, but within all wards in our city.

l Continue my crusade against distressed and boarded-up properties by stronger enforcement of housing codes and regulations. Review building permit rules and regulations regarding boarded-up houses and remodeling projects. Make stronger demands on city, county and state attorneys and our court system to shorten the time limits on violations. Inform neighbors when code violations hearings are to be held.

l Keep neighborhoods safer by adding more street lights, keeping alleys clean and useable to deter drug dealers.

l I will work with other aldermen, city department heads and residents for the improvement and beautification of the West Side Corridor.

l I will be a full-time alderman who will work hard to serve and earn the trust of the voters of the 7th Ward.

Alderman – 11th Ward

Jeff Holt – Democrat

I’m running for alderman in the 11th Ward because it’s time for new energy, new ideas and new enthusiasm in the area I call home. My neighbors in the 11th Ward want an alderman who works hard from the day he is elected until the last day he serves. And our City Council needs aldermen who develop plans that work and who avoid making empty promises just to make voters feel good during an election year. It’s time to change the way we think about the 11th Ward. It’s time to promote the positives of the area and recognize that achieving real improvements means changing the way we address our problems. I’m developing solid proposals to help residents and businesses in the 11th Ward. My proposal for a TIF district in the Broadway business district would help current businesses expand and provide incentives to attract new business. My proposal for an alley-payment program would allow residents to extend their payments for alley improvements over time rather than being burdened with the full amount up front. Voters have a clear choice in this race. What I don’t offer is a desire to get my name in the newspaper with election-year proposals that do little to offer real change or improvements. What I do offer is a real commitment to always being available to address the needs of 11th Ward residents and to respond to their needs in a timely, professional manner. Working together, we can make a difference.

Alderman – 11th Ward

Ed Akre – Republican

The key in my ward is to keep focused on economic development, infrastructure and day-to-day battle on crime. In the last four years, we have come a long way, but there is still a lot to do. I am very fortunate to have MidTown District and Zion Development; together we have a vision of

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what can become of the 11th Ward, a place where families choose to live. Also, we must look forward in electing a new mayor, one, in my opinion, who will have to work very hard at bringing a closure to our problems in District 205, so we can bring new business to the city and to make sure that the companies we do have want to stay in Rockford. Development on the west side must continue so that we can expand to the west as well as the east. We need to think of Rockford as a community working together, not as East vs. West. West State is one of the main corridors coming into the City of Rockford, and everybody deserves a good quality of life.

Rockford Township Trustee

Adam Prymak – Republican

Rockford Township is one of the largest in Illinois. I am a former Township trustee, and my decision to run for office is based on my concerns as a taxpayer. In my opinion, the five voting members of Rockford Township (trustees and supervisor) stuck their hands into taxpayers’ pockets and helped themselves. Look at the record.

Trustees and officials attended several conferences in Washington, D.C. at taxpayer expense. Are the trips beneficial and cost effective? I’m not convinced.

Trustees (one dissenting vote) and the supervisor approved raising per diem for the last Washington trip from $42/day to $75/day. Someone must have forgotten to tell them that State of Illinois workers only get $28/day, and City Council members seldom get per diem.

Trustees and supervisor unanimously approved a 75 percent salary increase for trustees. Meetings averaged less than 1 1/2 hours; there is little or no preparation or homework to do. (School board members work for free.) Next, they approved what amounts to about a 25 percent salary increase for the supervisor and assessor. These increases are not realistic with inflation.

The 150-year-old township’s horse-and-buggy, rural economy days are gone. Rockford Township is urbanized. Let’s consider a nonpartisan committee or ask the League of Women Voters to study Rockford Township to see if it is still viable and that services and government are not being duplicated. Taxpayers benefit if the current high administrative costs can be reduced or eliminated, and the services to those that need them are met.

Rockford Township Trustee

Louise (Luci) Hoover – Republican

In my opinion, the most “basic” government system is the township. I have not only lived in Rockford my entire life, but I have worked in the community and volunteered in the community in areas which are serviced by Rockford Township.

I work on a regular basis with the Rockford Township Assessor, and I have a thorough understanding of how that agency operates. This provides me with excellent knowledge of the agency’s procedures and, in turn, allows me to objectively view their budgeting and expenses.

I have been involved as a volunteer for CONTACT of Rockford for more than 15 years and for more than five years, I have been a volunteer with the Red Cross Homeless Shelter. Both of these organizations service people who utilize the services of Rockford Township General Assistance. In order to objectively view the budgeting and expenses of the program, it is important to understand the services being offered. I believe I can offer that experience through my volunteer efforts.

I have a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Business Management and Communication, as well as a paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University in Chicago. My educational background provides me with the tools necessary to evaluate and understand the programs which are the responsibility of the Rockford Township Trustees.

I would welcome questions from any individuals. I can be reached by e-mail at

Rockford Township Clerk

Angela M. Perez – Republican

I am running for Rockford Township Clerk, an important liaison between the Township Board and the public. With experience in a variety of roles ranging from public school teacher to community volunteer, I welcome the opportunity to effectively and competently serve Rockford Township. I am well qualified to execute the duties of the position because of my extensive background in keeping records and maintaining communications for school and volunteer committees. Because the job of township clerk requires maintenance of a website where information about the township board and its activities is made available to the public, my up-to-date training in computer applications will be very helpful. My educational background includes a degree in English from U.C. Irvine and a master’s degree in education from Rockford College. Research, record keeping and accurate reporting are not only activities I do well, but that I enjoy. Many years of interaction with colleagues, students’ parents and fellow members of the community make the prospect of providing a service through this position an exciting one. My other activities and affiliations include: 2001 Golden Apple Foundation Teacher of Distinction; member of Holy Family Parish; Booster Club member of Guilford High School; script writer for Spring Creek School video; former church newspaper reporter; soup kitchen volunteer. I look forward to the opportunity to serve Rockford township as township clerk and ask for your vote in the Republican primary on Tuesday, February 27. Thank you.

Harlem Township Trustee

Phillip Johnson – Democrat

Phillip Johnson has a bachelor of arts in history from MacMurray College and a master of science in education from NIU. He is a teacher with the Rockford Public Schools and has taught 27 years. He belongs to the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is a delegate and treasurer of Rockford United Labor. He is on the Labor Day Parade Committee, is a member of the Untied Way Board and Concordia Lutheran Church.

Johnson is a precinct committeeman for Harlem 22, member of the Harlem Democratic Club, vice-president of the Democratic Central Committee, and 16th District COPE member. He is a past county board

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member from District 3. He has served on Winnebago County Finance, Health and Human Services, Operations, Economic Development and Forest Preserve executive committees as a county board member for six years.

Issues he has focused on are:

1. A. Keeping taxes as low as possible with the rising cost of services. Experience on the county board shows how governments can cooperate to save money and how to deal with a lack of resources and rising expenses.

B. Maintain the excellent services the township provides to those who seek its help. The townships provide the last hope for those who do not qualify for other help.

2. As the township acquires more people, we will need space for recreation. Considering the shortage of finances, perhaps cooperation between various governmental bodies can help achieve this need.

Machesney Park Village President

Steve Kuhn – Democrat

I offer Machesney Park residents experience, education and professionalism. I’ve also built an important network of contacts for the village and have proven I can work well with legislators and other community leaders for the best interest of the village.

Public safety is an ongoing top priority. Making our bar closing hours consistent with surrounding communities has reduced crime, but we must remain vigilant. Preventing crime is much easier than reducing it once it takes root. Running an efficient village government without collecting a local property tax is essential. To do this, we must be aggressive in our pursuit of commercial development so we can grow our sales tax revenue base. Machesney Park can be both better and bigger.

Our plan for fixing streets offers residents a voice and a choice. We’re committed to helping residents find ways to pay for their streets, and the village has committed $32 million to addressing the drainage problems that seriously shorten the lifespan of roads.

We’re shaping a new and better image of Machesney Park. The North Second Street beautification project is a good example. Also, we plan to continue empowering residents to improve their neighborhoods through forgivable home improvement grants and low-interest home loan programs.

I’m very proud of the work produced at village hall by just eight staff people. A prudent attitude toward spending village funds has strengthened our financial position.

This election is about leadership, vision for the future and moving forward rather than backwards.

Machesney Park – Village Trustee Dist. 3

Sonia M. Straight – Democrat

As we are well aware, many of the roads in the village need to be repaired properly or replaced properly. How should that be handled, you may ask? Well, I believe that the subdivisions that have deteriorating roads, flooding problems, or some other type of problems should have some input in the decision-making process because ultimately it affects the families that live in those subdivisions.

As a mother of a young child, I feel that it is very important that we as a community become more active in our children’s lives. We need to continue supporting programs that are available in our community for children like the Harlem Community Center, the Carlson Boys & Girls Club, the Harlem Teen Peer Court Program, as well as the activities that go on at all of the schools.

I know that I don’t have the political experience that my challenger has, but I am willing to take on the role of village trustee for my district and listen to the community when major and minor issues come before the board, weighing the pros and cons. Machesney Park is growing by leaps and bounds, and more and more younger families are moving into the area, and I believe I would help represent those families as well as the families that have been in the village for many years. I look forward to serving my community to the best of my ability, and with your help, I can do that.

Machesney Park – Village Trustee Dist. 3

Paul Stralow – Democrat

I’ve been on the board for 16 years, which basically comes out to four elected terms. I have served on the administration, finance, public safety, and zoning and building committees and numerous other committees. Basically, I am running because I feel the service is needed to the community and the members of Machesney Park. One person cannot be the sole decision maker and do everything; they must work with fellow trustees/aldermen to get things done. I always decide when I vote on items, that I am also a citizen of our village, that I am also going to be responsible for upholding laws and orders. Sometimes people feel that some rulings are made against certain people. It is very important to enforce building and zoning, traffic regulations. A good point when you look at natural disasters we’ve had worldwide, some of the rules and regulations were never upheld in their entirety or the way they were designed. I have never been a “yes” man or ever had anyone come up to me and say, “We supported you or helped you get into office. You have to vote this way.” Even though I’ve been a long-term member of the village board, I always step back and look at my actions and remember. Even though 16 years seems a short time, things have changed even in that short period of time. I’ve adjusted my style of voting and leadership style to changes of time.

Machesney Park – Village Trustee Dist. 4

Stanley Wentland – Democrat

I’m asking for your support to be elected trustee on Feb. 27 primary. If elected, my governing style would be a common-sense approach with an open-door policy listening to my residents and responding to their needs. I would learn as much as I can about an issue, then act in the best interest of my district and the village—and do so with a smile and ask, how may I help you? A consideration of your vote would be greatly appreciated.

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