Rockford City Council Discuss Bringing Back Home Rule

Rockford City Council Discuss Bringing Back Home Rule

Rockford is the largest city in Illinois without home rule

Rockford City Council meets for a weekend retreat. Mayor Larry Morrissey on hand.


Some familiar faces and some new faces. They are hoping to get on the same page.

 

Ninth Ward Alderman Teena Newburg says "we found out what other city council members were interested in, and what they feel, and of course we got right down to the home rule as the juicy thing to discuss." 

 

And home rule was the hot topic for many of the Alderman.

 

Home rule would give more power to Rockford city leaders. Something they have not had in almost thirty years.

 

It was stripped by voters in 1983, due to citizens fearing a spike in their taxes.

 

But Alderman say that's not the motivation behind the move to bring it back.

 

Third Ward Alderman Tom McNamara says "I think everyone in Rockford feels that we're taxed to the heels. I think home rule is often too simplified in saying that if you pass home rule you're just going to tax us more. Well no one on city council today wants to tax citizens more."

 

Rather, officials say home rule would give them the opportunity to get more revenue from non-residents. That includes hotel stays.

 

McNamara says "what we could consider is taxing those residents that are not from Rockford, and I think if we did that, we could lessen the burden for the residents of Rockford, and put more on the burden of those who are coming into our city."

 

Many city council members walked away feeling home rule is the direction Rockford should head in. Now they just need to convince the citizens.

 

Newburg says "we as a council, we have to get a group together that convinces the people, one that we're trustworthy enough to give us the ability to govern our own city."

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