Winnebago County Board

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The Winnebago County Board Chairman is trying to decide if merging the County Clerk and Recorder offices is a good idea.  Many counties in Illinois already combine the two. Others are moving in that direction.  So what’s going on?

The office of County Clerk administers elections and vital records like birth certificates, marriage and business licenses.  The County Recorder of Deeds administers a library of land records and real-estate transactions, including information needed for deed and title searches such as tax liens and mortgages.

Winnebago County

The Winnebago County Board rejected a budget amendment that would provide funding to 17th Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Joe McGraw for four juvenile detention corrections officers, a bailiff, and law books.

Board members noted a $2.5 million deficit in the 1% public safety sales tax and a $1.7 million deficit in the county's general fund in rejecting the request.

Democrat Dan Fellars will be the Winnebago County Board member for District 19.  Preliminary election results had had incumbent Republican John Guevara in the lead.  However, the county recently certified the race's mail-in ballots.  They put Fellars ahead by 47 votes.  

The Rockford Register-Star reports Guevara isn’t ruling out a recount.  If the results stand, the board will have 12 Republicans and 8 Democrats.  

Republican Frank Haney won the race for Winnebago County Chairman over Democrat John Nelson.  With all precincts reporting, Haney beat Nelson by nearly seven thousand votes.  

Nelson led from the start and for much of the evening.  He amassed a big numerical margin in Rockford but Haney built a lead in the rest of the county as the night wore on to first narrow the gap and then surpass Nelson. 

Incumbent Chairman Scott Christiansen did not seek re-election. 

City of Rockford

  Winnebago Board County Chairman Scott Christiansen abandoned plans for a vocational school in downtown Rockford. 

He says the program, known as Winnebago County Works!, would duplicate programs already carried out by Rock Valley College and Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois.  Community leaders raised concerns about overstepping the county’s role as well as proposed startup costs.  The Chairman withdrew a request of $600,000 in county operating support.   

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