Protestors March Against Removal of City Streetlights

By: Stephen Johnson
By: Stephen Johnson

Kari Humphrey is one of dozens of residents hoping to brighten Rockford’s future by shinning a light on the city's crime rate.

"It's unsafe. I mean Rockford is the ninth most dangerous city in the U.S. so removing streetlights just doesn't seem like a smart thing to do. We pay high taxes here. We should be adding streetlights, not taking them out”, says Humphrey.

Humphrey and 21 other Occupy Rockford protesters braved the rain and cold temperatures to march from the downtown public safety building to city hall...voicing out against the removal of twenty-three hundred streetlights.

Protestor Bill Weiss says, "Rockford has a lot to be proud of. Taking the lights down makes it seem like it’s hiding all of that. We need to turn the lights back on, bring back the safety to the people of this city and bring some pride back to this town."

The city hopes to save three million dollars by reducing thousands of streetlights. Mayor Larry Morrissey says the cost cutting plan is an alternative to laying off police officers.

"We're limited in what we can do so we're looking at every area. What we're building is an actual protocol for streetlights and if we need to put some back we'll certainly do that, but we can't afford to be inefficient the way we have in the past”, says Morrissey.

The reduction isn't having a financial impact on residents...taxpayer money was not used for the project. Com-Ed is paying the entire cost of the removal.

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  • by Tim Location: Rockford on Nov 28, 2011 at 11:06 AM
    Please, please people. As it was quoted by Mr. Hanson, a city official, when this story came out a couple weeks ago, they're STREET lights, not security lights. Illumination of dark areas where criminals may plan on doing something has nothing to do with security. And we should trust and believe Mr. Hanson. After all, he's an administrator. I bet if you drove to his house at night you'd see that he doesn't have any security lights, and it'd be pretty easy to see because I imagine his property is well lit from street lights (that provide no security of course).
  • by sandee Location: rockford on Nov 27, 2011 at 06:00 PM
    who is paying for all these extra projects rockford really does't need: the river walk or the building down on s. main street they want to rehab.
    • reply
      by Taxpayer2425 on Nov 28, 2011 at 08:15 AM in reply to sandee
      @sandee....Street lights are not one of the Mayor's pet projects. He is only interested in improving those parts of town where he and his family have a financial interest. Rover Walk, South Main, Seventh Street, Garrison School, Madison Street, Downtown, etc. Vote them all out in 2013.
  • by pam Location: rockford on Nov 27, 2011 at 04:37 PM
    sorry how much will rockford pay when a mugger hurts me @ 130 am when i come home from WORK and the criminal gets me NOT A DIME BECAUSE I WORK NO WELFARE GO FIGURE
  • by judge Location: rockfod on Nov 27, 2011 at 04:25 PM
    Take down lites keep cops keep lites cops only help other cops call rite now watch the lites n c how slow they r
  • by In The Dark Location: Rockford, Il on Nov 27, 2011 at 01:35 PM
    I contacted our Alderman last week about vandalism and property damage that occurred the first week following the removal of our streetlight. To their credit, I received a prompt reply stating that they understood our frustration. However, it was the next statement that infuriated me . . . . . they wrote that they hoped in next year’s budget they would be able to find funds to re-illuminate the streetlights that had been removed! Now, I am the first to admit that I am not a brilliant economist, but that seems ridiculous to me. If I got rid of my washing machine because I didn’t need to do laundry this week, and purchased a new one next week because my dirty clothes needed laundering, this household would be in bankruptcy court in no time. I realize that this is a simplistic view of what may be a complicated situation, but try as I have, it makes no sense to me at all. What does make sense, is to send a message on Election Day. We may be left in the dark, and powerless to change our city today, but tomorrow is another thing. Let’s be part of the solution, and that solution will arrive the next opportunity we have to elect our future city leaders.
  • by Taxpayer2425 Location: Rockford on Nov 27, 2011 at 12:44 PM
    How about cutting salaries and benefits. There is no city employee who needs to make $100,000/year plus outrageously generous benefits in today's economy. Last year the Mayor refused to give up 5% of his salary to help balance the budget. Take away some city owned cars that employees drive home and can use for personal driving. They just spent $1 million on street lights for Kishwaukee street. They have their priorities all wrong. Vote them all out in 2013.
  • by Concerned Location: Citizen on Nov 27, 2011 at 12:05 PM
    I'm tired of Italians and Unions running this city into the ground. Steal from the poor and give to the rich.
  • by Nick Location: Rockfrord on Nov 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM
    Our Mayor is a failure. Please do not vote him in again please.
  • by wtf Location: rockford on Nov 27, 2011 at 09:08 AM
    grab some flashlights and take your neighborhood back. don't just sit there and expect our worthless leaders to do it for you. so do your part and take a stand against the violence. If you live in a high crime area you don't pay as much in taxes, those of you who actually pay taxes at all. but you still get to send all your kids to school and get your streets plowed. not that these sorry schools are anything to brag about. but it still costs $9000 per year per student. the system is broken but you can't hold teachers accountable because the union is so strong. I pay over $3000 in taxes and send my kid to private school. i can't even claim it as a deduction. i don't understand how the house values go down but taxes go up. what a joke. but until the citizens step up and elect someone who actually gives a d its not gonna change. that includes this entire corrupt state. chicago runs the show and the rest of us suffer. how are we the last state not to have a concealed carry law? illinois is a joke. vote out all incombents and we might have a chance.
  • by citizen on Nov 27, 2011 at 08:33 AM
    Oh that is just great, more crime. We are so affraid even in our own homes now adays! Now it will be darker and that will not help. Plus, ComEd paid to have them removed? Wonderful, now our high electric bills will go up even more!!
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