Rockford community suggests ways to improve the city during a public forum

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rockford region has many neighborhoods all with the same goal, to live a high-quality life

"I came because I want to talk more about the basic services and the bread and butter of the community,” said Nancy Gdowski who attended the neighborhood revitalization meeting.

Gdowski has lived in Rockford for 31 years and says Rockford is turning into a dirty city.

"I grew up in Chicago and we had a cleanup week so everybody can get involved," Gdowski said.

She also suggests adding a GPS on snowplows.

"That way people can go online and see when their street is going to be cleaned and where they are so we don't get all those phone calls downtown,” Gdowski said.

Gdowski was one of several community members who attended a meeting hosted by the city of Rockford and the National Resource Network.

"Without citizen input, it leaves us relatively blind in how to respond to changing the circumstances,” said Matthew Flores, City of Rockford.

"I can tell from any of the books that say these numbers mean this you should invest over there. But what does it mean on the community level," said Michelle Juma, National Resources Network.

By learning from the community, National Resource staff members can look into the data and find ways to tackle the problem.

"Our hope for the neighborhood stabilization strategy is that it help the city identify what are its priority’s, and what do we think will have the biggest impact in the shorter versus the long-term. But doing it in a way that makes sure whatever we chose will be successful,” Juma said.

"I mean there are so many ways we can efficiently operate and we are not doing that right now,” Gdowski said.

The National Resource Network hopes to host a few more community meetings in December.