Power is being shifted in the City of Freeport. On Monday, George Gaulrapp will become the new mayor.
Local leaders and residents of Freeport came together Friday to thank outgoing Mayor Jim Gitz for eight years of service to the community. During his two terms as mayor, the city has undergone several changes.
“You see accomplishments everywhere. We’ve gotten a new library, addressed long standing environmental issues, created [the] city’s first industrial park,” said Mayor Gitz.
Freeport is also working with Stephenson County for a new economic development district that pork processing plant Trim Rite could eventually set up shop in, but Mayor Gitz says there’s still more to be done.
“Need to tie into Rockford’s fiber optic opportunity that is there presently. Need more retail."
Mayor Jim Gitz says it’s now time for Mayor-Elect George Gaulrapp to grab the reigns.
“My hope is that Mayor Gaulrapp will be able to build on the things that we've done. I hope he'll have a successful term in office and he'll recognize that there are some larger issues out there bigger than Freeport."
As for Mayor Gitz, he plans to take some time off and in the future use his experience as an attorney, former state senator and mayor to serve once again and has this advice for Freeport’s youth: “I challenge youth in Freeport and everywhere: if you don't like what’s going on, change it; you to can become mayor."
On Monday, Mayor Gitz will give closing remarks at the City Council meeting, and then leadership will be handed over to Mayor-Elect George Gaulrapp.