City Aldermen Discuss Upcoming New Era in City Hall

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Rockford aldermen Bill Timm and Dan Conness agree the election triumph of Larry Morrissey proves voters wanted a new injection of ideas for their city, and City Hall as a whole.

"I think they sent the aldermen a message, and I think it's very necessary we talk to the people of Rockford and hear what they have to say," Timm said.

"Larry Morrissey has promised change, and I think within reason we have a responsibility to work with the mayor and move things along," Conness said.

By Monday night, Morrissey will have one-on-ones with each of the city's aldermen. The mayor-elect, and the 14 who will decide how to move his agenda forward, discussed possible staff changes and issues facing each Rockford ward.

"I've had some great conversations with the aldermen. They, like myself, are very concerned about the city, and concerned about the staffing and the structure of the city administration. It's my opportunity and my responsibility that I'm working well with them," Morrissey said.

Topping the list of Morrissey's first 30-day initiatives is integrating an education director into city leadership. To pay for it, the mayor-elect wants to revise the budget, replacing funds set aside for a green communities and special projects coordinator. Amending the already approved budget requires a yes vote for 10 of the 14 aldermen.

"I think we owe it to the new administration to work with him within reason. If they want to make some changes, we're certainly glad to look at it and move things along," Conness said.

"I think we all have to take a look at the budget. We have to sit down with the mayor and we have to find out exactly what he wants and what we want and then have to melt those ideas together," Timm said.

It’s a new melting pot of change, for a mayor-elect, and the 14 city reps in charge of melting that vision together for the good of the city.