Larry Morrissey

photo courtesy of City of Rockford

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey has a new job lined up when he leaves office May 1st.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Democrat Tom McNamara took home the Rockford mayoral race with 68 percent of the vote.

Independent Rudy Valdez was runner-up with 16 percent. Republican Brian Leggero claimed 14 percent of votes, and Independent Ronnie Manns had two percent. 

McNamara will replace Larry Morrissey , a three-term mayor who decided last fall to not run for re-election.

McNamara serves as alderman in the Third Ward and worked as an insurance agent. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Back in 2005, a young lawyer running as an Independent shocked the establishment by beating the Democratic incumbent in the Rockford mayor’s race. Now, 12 years later, he’s ready to hand the keys to his 8th floor city hall office to the next mayor. In today’s Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Susan Stephens sat down with Larry Morrissey to talk about his three terms as mayor and his plans for the future. 

State of Illinois

A program designed to help spur economic development in Rockford and other river cities in Illinois got a new lease on life this week. Tuesday, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation extending the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program until the beginning of 2018.

City of Rockford

Outgoing Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey will discuss a potential utility tax this evening.  

The city faces a $5 million budget shortfall, mostly due to an increase in pension costs.  In 1999 and 2001, the Illinois General Assembly lowered the public safety retirement age from 55 to 50, guaranteed annual 3 percent cost of living increases and agreed  to continue paying spouses of retired firefighters and police officers who die the same pension they got while alive.  A report says pensioners are also living longer after they retire.  

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