This week in The Times: Steve Bennett

Vitals: Steve Bennett, 61, is originally from Bakersfield, Calif., but moved to Rockford in the late 1970s. Currently, Bennett is a retired machinist who now enjoys taking care of his lawn, fishing and watching football.

1. If you could speak with any elected official – local, state, or national – one-on-one, who would it be and what would you say? I’d like to speak with [Illinois] Gov. Pat Quinn (D), and I’d ask him about the security of my retirement funds. I worked hard for years to get that, and now I don’t feel like I trust too many people to manage that money for me.

2. If you were to move away from the Rock River Valley, what three things would you miss most? I’d miss the weather, the people and beauty of the landscape here.

3. Do you plan on attending Fall ArtScene Oct. 1-2? Perhaps. I usually don’t attend too many events in downtown, but this may be one of the few that lures me out of my home. I like industrial art, and I’ve heard and read there will be a nice collection of art made from metal and other industrial materials.

4. In your opinion, how would attracting Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University help Rockford? Well, it seems like that campus would help raise Rockford’s perception around the Midwest. Anytime you bring a high-tech school to your city, you’re also bringing new jobs and more tax dollars. Right now, Rockford doesn’t have the reputation of a high-tech city, but still more of an industrial city. This could potentially change outsiders’ perceptions of Rockford.

5. Question from the previous “This week in The Times” participant, Erik Stephens: Who do you admire and why? Admiration changes as you get older, I’ve come to realize. I think I admire my wife the most because she has put up with me for all these years.

“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 Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2010 issue

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