When Larry Morrissey takes office as Rockford's new mayor on April 25, we can expect some big changes in the days following. Those changes will come at the guidance of about 20 people, the mayor-elect's transition team.
In the next few weeks a lot of changes will be taking place at Rockford’s City Hall. Larry Morrissey will step into office as mayor, and make no mistake, he says, his administration will bear his stamp.
"Obviously if I thought things were perfect in Rockford I wouldn't have run for mayor. I ran for mayor because I do think there needs to be changes," says Morrissey.
A transition team will help him make those changes. Its 20 members were announced Friday.
Tom Furst, president of the Furst Group, will lead the team, assisting the mayor-elect on interviews with department heads at City Hall, deciding who should stay and who should go,
"The first thing you want to do is sit down and really have an opportunity to find out what their goals are, where their priorities lie, what their hopes and dreams are," says Furst.
Using his campaign platform as a roadmap, Morrissey will keep the spotlight on crime, economic and educational issues. That will mean, he says, greater cooperation between the city and the county on public safety matters as well as forming a better relationship with District 205, working together on problems like truancy.
"We've got to be able to say to parents and students: if they violate state law, they're not going to get away with it," says Morrissey.
And to meet all these goals, Morrissey says his priority and his transition team's priority for the next few weeks will be staffing and structuring his administration for success.
Morrissey says expect to see the bulk of the changes at City Hall within 30 days after he takes office. The mayor-elect will be sworn-in April 25.
Thursday, Morrissey met with Mayor Doug Scott for about two hours, discussing details of that handoff. Morrissey says Scott was very supportive.