“Home Rule, we believe, will give decision makers tools to improve our community. Therefore, it will make it more appealing to visitors. Therefore, they’ll spend more money. Therefore, the City of Rockford will have a lower dependence on property taxes,” said Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (RACVB) CEO John Groh.
The RACVB Board last week unanimously said they will vote ‘yes’ on the March 20th referendum to bring Home Rule back to Rockford.
Groh believes the power will allow local leaders to insure Rockford’s best interests. “Entrusting our local elected officials, who we as citizens elected to do the right thing, and hold them accountable, will benefit businesses in the community, will benefit ordinary citizens,” Groh said.
“I believe in local and I believe in supporting our local community, so if Home Rule is going to resolve some of those issues with property taxes to help people and families, I’m all for it,” said Meridian Sales Representative Anthony Nencarini.
Nencarini and several other local business leaders were at Giovanni’s on Tuesday night for Winnebago Buy Local’s 2018 Kick Off Event. The organization promotes collaboration between Winnebago County Businesses. Nencarini says he still isn’t quite sure about his vote, but adds it may be the best option to handle the city’s deficit.
“I think Home Rule is about taking action now and saying enough is enough. We’ve gotta do something about it,” he said. “I get what some people say the disagreement about it is, but we have to do something at the end of the day,” he added.
That budget deficit is something PC Tech 2U owner Robert Lockwood says shouldn’t fall on taxpayers.
He says there’s a reason residents voted it out over 30 years ago. “You can’t justify going out and spending more than you’re making,” Lockwood said. “I understand it’s for the benefit of the community, but some things have to be cut, they just have to be you can’t just keep spending,” he added.