On April 5, voters have a big decision to make. In both Ward 4 and 9 it's either going to be out with the old and in with the new, or in with the old and out with the new.
In Ward 9, the choices are current alderman Republican candidate Bill Timm or Democratic candidate Charles Laskonis. Timm has represented the ward since 1997. Laskonis is an electrician and has a strong labor union background. Timm says he's proud of his efforts to clean up the 9th Ward.
Timm says, "The 9th Ward is the cleanest ward in Rockford. We don't put up with that. Immediately after I get a call I go out and take a picture and call the proper authorities."
But Laskonis says he's still picking up trash daily. All the garbage and all the noise in the ward would top his to-do list.
Laskonis states, "So we don't have trash blowing around and it's a more peaceful neighborhood, that's the first order of business. It's easy to do and it should've been done a long time ago."
In Rockford's NW side Timm says retail development is finally going up. The new
Wal-Mart is close to being open and more exciting news should be coming shortly.
Timm tells 23 News, “I look at 15 to 20 new businesses in that area and they'll be business that work and work well."
Laskonis isn't against Wal-Mart, since Wal-Mart means jobs, and if elected he is intending to really advocate to increase our employment numbers, but Laskonis worries about the mom and pop stores that tend to leave when such a retail powerhouse moves in.
Laskonis states, "We need to do what we can to bring that here and encourage that. Definitely clean streets and a livable community that's up there on the list."
The Ward 9 race has two different candidates with two different visions, so now it's up to you to compare and contrast to determine just who you want to represent the 9th Ward for the next four years.
Last week, 9th Ward alderman Bill Timm stated that he was having problems with sign stealing. His opponent, Democratic candidate Charles Laskonis, replies by stating that he or his supporters have had nothing to do with any disappearing signs.