On April 5, voters in Rockford decided the city needed new leadership. They choose independent candidate Larry Morrisey to be their next mayor.
It’s time for change. Mayor Larry Morrisey used this as his campaign platform, telling voters the city needs to concentrate on the three R's: road, rail, and rivers. But 30 days after taking the oath of office, Morrisey says he's now focusing on the three S's.
“Staffing the organization for success, structuring the organization for success and making sure we have standards of excellence," said Morrisey.
Friday Morrisey announced he'll be hiring a new Community Development Director and creating two new positions: Director of Tourism, Culture and Special Events and a Director of Education and Lifelong Learning, a position Morrisey has been promising.
“Education being a top priority. The only way for this community to have a lifelong approach for learning work force development from cradle to grave is to have someone at the mayor’s office looking at these issues," Morrisey said.
Morrisey says by focusing on education he plans to cut down on truancy, which will help lower crime rates. Since Morrisey has taken office there have been three more murders raising this year’s homicide total to eight.
“Probably more conversations and meetings relating to criminal justice issues, crime issues than any other category since I took office," said Morrisey.
Morrisey says right now the city has a shortage of officers on the streets and needs more resources to fight crime. He's been working with the county and expects to make an announcement on stepped up crime prevention efforts within the next few weeks.