Rockford Mayoral Forum

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Thursday a group of Rock Valley College students had a chance to listen to and question Rockford's three mayoral candidates, and there were several issues that took center stage.

Rock Valley College student Aaron Funfsinn has a vision for Rockford's future and a list of issues he wants addressed. One of his concerns is Rockford's school system, a topic all three mayoral candidates touched on.

"We have an antiquated education system; we have to do things differently," says Republican mayoral candidate Gloria Cudia.

Independent candidate Larry Morrissey says we're experiencing a truancy crisis in Rockford schools. He says Rockford's truancy rate is four times the state average.

"We miss out in $7 million in state money, if we were just average, and I don't want us to be average and settle for mediocrity, we'd be bringing in that much more money," says Morrissey.

Democratic incumbent Mayor Doug Scott talked more about higher education and his desire to transform the old Barber Coleman Center into an educational center.

“Enhancement for South Main which is a gateway to downtown, and could provide additional educational benefits which I think are extremely important," says Scott.

The shoe was also opened on the casino issue.

"It generate $7-10 million would require $140-200 million of local gambling losses. Who's loosing it? It's not Aurora because they have boat, it's not Elgin, they have a boat," says Morrissey.

"A casino, I don't support it simply because of the social ramifications," says Cudia.

"People do have problems with gambling, people are addicted, but they're already here so we end up with the burden and no revenue to help the people we have here already," says Scott.

The mayoral forum was hosted by Rock Valley College's Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.