City Council Delays Decision On Fire And Police Commission

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

On a night when Rockford mayor Larry Morrissey publicly voiced his confidence for his fire and police commission picks, 11th ward alderman Jeff Holt motioned to lay over the nominations one week, approved barely by the city council 7 to 6.

"The mayor is pretty adamant about these individuals. He feels he has a lot of confidence in them, and this just gives us another week for him to explain why he has the confidence in them, and why he feels they would be best served in this role," Holt said.

Aldermen who wanted to vote Monday night are disappointed the nominees - former city employee Jim Powers, former Winnebago county board members Henrietta Dotson-Williams, and businesswoman Lorayn Logan - can't get their important work underway.

"It won't delay them to wait seven days, but it is kind of disrupting that you just want to get on with business," 1st ward alderman Joe Sosnowski said.

But some aldermen in opposition - like the 13th ward's Linda McNeely - argued the commission’s choices don't represent her constituents. She hopes Morrissey reconsiders, and retains at least one former commission member for the selection of a new police chief.

"We are looking at choosing the next chief for the city of Rockford. We have a number of crime issues, and I personally I know my constituents would want individuals that have some experience, some background in that," McNeely said.

But Mayor Morrissey says he isn't budging on his commission choices, getting agitated as he reiterated the candidate’s qualifications.

"I think they did an excellent job, but it's the prerogative of the Mayor's office to appoint nominees. They may not like the nominees I put on the table, but they're there, and I expect a vote to be voted on next week. Up or Down. Let's move on," Morrissey said.

In other Rockford news, the city council unanimously approved a littering ordinance which would fine messy neighbors. It takes effect in ten days.


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