Winnebago County residents reject changing government structure, chairperson elect weighs in

Current board members say despite the outcome they’re just happy residents had a choice.
Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 6:18 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Winnebago County voters will not be changing its government structure after voters say no to the executive form of government.

“What I couldn’t live with was the county board short stopping the decision process," said Winnebago County Board Member Jean Crosby.

Crosby says she has no regrets putting the question before voters even though the measure failed.

“I believe it was the voter that should decide what the powers of the chairman should be and once they made that decision I can live with that," said Crosby.

County board members operate under the current township form of government where those members make the decisions. Winnebago County Chairperson elect Joe Chiarelli says it doesn’t matter what the results are his job will remain the same.

“I know the job I have to do for economic development and you know our other priorities for this county so that wouldn’t inhibit form or the other form," said Chiarelli.

Crosby says she has faith in Chiarelli and hopes the board will too.

“I think he’ll be a very good chair I only pray that the board members have the common sense and good will to reenact those powers and give them back to the chairman, so they can function and do their job," said Crosby.

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