With area lawyers looking on, Rockford's three mayoral candidates faced a collective city cross examination.
Asked about the Forest City's biggest challenge, independent challenger Larry Morrissey pointed to better leadership. Republican Gloria Cardenas Cudia argued improving the city's schools, while Mayor Doug Scott stated better job growth.
"That takes care of so many things. That brings private investment, that helps people who are hungry, out of work. The more economic development, the better we'll be," Scott said.
"I have been working in this community for over 30 years as a volunteer, as a community servant and an activist. I know this community inside and out," Cudia said.
"Leadership is provided by the mayor's office, but the people who do the heavy lifting. Those are the people investing in homes and small businesses," Morrissey said.
Aside from economic development issues, the candidates also addressed their ideas to improve the city's infrastructure, ranging from the West Side to improving downtown roads and the Rock River.
"There's the other issue of our water system, it's not that clean. You look at the river. It's horrible to look at, so those are dollars that are out there ready to spent," Cudia said.
"We don't have the growth and tax base on the West Side in property taxes and sales taxes. It has forced the northeast side to take on too much of the burden," Morrissey said.
"A lot of emphasis on neighborhoods and housing, with houses that we put up as well as subdivisions that we've assisted, so I really feel good about our ability," Scott said.
City leadership abilities one of these three mayoral candidates will assume come April 5.