Newly elected Rockford aldermen share their priorities for the Forest City

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Many Rockord families will have new people representing them when making decisions at the local level.

Voter turnout for Tuesday’s consolidated election was relatively low, but better than numbers from two years ago. Nearly 11% of voters in Winnebago County cast a ballot.

Rockford participation was also at 11%. It was over 15% in Boone County and the largest percentage in Stephenson County at 17%.

In Rockford, we caught up with the new 12th Ward Alderwoman Gina Meeks, who says rebuilding the damage left by COVID-19 is a top priority.

“Helping our local businesses pull themselves out of the COVID pandemic that we’re in, so we really want to focus there and figure out what the resources are that our businesses need. We want to focus on growth in the area, and I really want to bring a level of communication back to the ward that I think is so important so people really know what’s going on,” said Gina Meeks / (D) 12th Ward, City of Rockford.

Meeks replaces Ginger Hanley who filled John Beck’s seat after he passed away last year. Beck served the Forest City’s 12th Ward for nearly two decades.

Another new face on the city council will be 14th Ward Alderman-Elect Mark Bonne. The democrat takes the seat left vacant by Joe Chiarelli.

Chiarelli was elected as Winnebago County Board Chairman in November.

Bonne says he will focus on fighting blight in the 14th Ward and making constituents feel safe in their neighborhood.

“Crime is on most peoples mind and we talked about expanding the Rock House program where the city purchases homes in problematic neighborhoods and police officers live there rent-free as a deterrent to crime and I talked to the mayor about expanding the program further ease to the 14th ward,” said Mark Bonne, (D) 14th Ward Alderman.

Bonne defeated republican challenger Mark Stefanic with over 52% of the vote.

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