Vitals: Dan Branson, 35, is a Rockford native and a graduate of Machesney Park Harlem High School. He is the owner of Dollar Diggins’, a resale shop in Rockford that sells household items, jewelry, books and furniture.
1. If you could choose any elected official – local, state or national – to speak with one-on-one, who would it be, and what would you say? I would speak with former President of the United States, George W. Bush. I’d ask him one simple question: What were you thinking?
2. If you were to move away from the Rock River Valley, what three things would you miss the most? I’d miss downtown Rockford, the Rock River, and my friends and family.
3. In your opinion, what could be done to improve safety in Rockford schools? There needs to be more severe punishment for students who are truly disruptive; and if the teachers are really paying attention, they know who these students are. Also, the punishment for students who are less disruptive, or are just being kids, should be less severe. However, this punishment should reflect the school system’s stance on behaving at school so that other students aren’t prevented from learning.
4. What could Rockford’s elected officials do to improve the city’s chances of attracting new businesses? The city should lower property taxes, revitalize the downtown area and shape up local schools.
5. Question from last week’s “This week in The Times” participant Gilbert Elizondo: What was your most memorable Christmas gift as a child? I’d have to say my most memorable gift was an actual VHS video camera, which you had to carry on your shoulder along with the cord to the battery pack. I used it the whole year after that.
“This week in The Times” is a weekly survey of people selected by The Rock River Times staff. The column does not accept unsolicited submissions.
From the December 2-8, 2009 issue