While he says Monday is business as usual at City Hall, Rockford's community development director James Caruso can't deny there's a different emotion in the building.
"It's a sad day. He is leaving, but as I've mentioned in the past, I've been trained as a community developer, and my goals will remain the same," Caruso said.
The departure of Mayor Doug Scott and the swearing of mayor-elect Larry Morrissey Monday evening mean staff changes could be made in all of the city's departments. Caruso says he met with Morrissey in recent days, but wouldn't specify on his or his staff's job security.
"I'll have a meeting with him next week, and we'll talk further about the operations of the department. I'm sure there will be discussions about directions that we're going to take, but I'm not going to speculate at this point," Caruso said.
Caruso points to his department's neighborhood rehabilitation projects, and assisting in the execution of the Global Trade Park as the department's biggest successes. On a day of transition, Caruso says he'll now make sure the city projects started under Doug Scott's watch will finish with Larry Morrissey.
"I think they'll be a different twist here or there, but the ultimate goal is improving quality of life in this community and making Rockford the central city of a very strong region," Caruso said.
It’s a job soon in the hands of a new mayor, and a new era for city departments.