FREEPORT - Freeport voters weighed in Tuesday on the city manager referendum and the numbers from Stephenson County show the measure failed.
A look at the numbers show 6,063 said no and 3,278 said yes to this ballot question. Supporters wanted someone trained in professional government running the daily city hall affairs and not Mayor George Gaulrapp. They say that's a more efficient way of operating.
But opponents like Gaulrapp and didn't see the need to hire someone else to do his job. The mayor says he's glad to keep that job to continue a solid system at city hall under his leadership, but referendum supporters said the potential was there to make it even more solid.
"It works very well, it really does, it works well. You look both inside and outside this community and you see a changed city. You see a city on the move; a city working together."
Dave Fonda says, "If we do a successful job in this community of transforming the government into a managerial form of government we're going to be in a lot better footing than we are now." Fonda was the man leading the charge for the city manager referendum. Going forward, he says he's considering a possible bid for mayor in the next election.