Winnebago County Board

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.   

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A Winnebago County consultant who wrote a letter offering tax breaks to MercyRockford Health System for the board chairman also was hired by MercyRockford to lobby the Rockford City Council to annex land for the hospital campus.

The Rockford Register Star reports some aldermen view that as a conflict of interest, but consultant Jennifer Hall told the newspaper it wasn’t.

The chairman of the Winnebago County Board will not run for re-election. Republican Scott Christiansen is dropping out of the March 15 primary. 

In Winnebago County, the chairman of the county board is elected by voters, not chosen by the board itself.

Christiansen has held the position since 2004 and, up until Sunday, it appeared he would run again. That’s when he told Rockford Register Star political editor Chuck Sweeny he was ending his re-election bid for health and family reasons.

Special meeting focuses on landfill expansion

Jul 9, 2012

Winnebago County Board members will take a vote Thursday on whether or not to give local approval for a landfill expansion. Last night, board members heard from Derke Price, a hearing officer recommending approval of the expansion. He did not speak with reporters after the special meeting. But he told board members the Winnebago Landfill, near Baxter Road in Rockford, is expected to reach capacity in less than a decade. It was built in 1972. The expansion would provide enough room until 2047.

The Illinois Attorney General's office says an elected official in northern Illinois has to decide between two jobs.  But Ted Biondo won't give up any elected seat while state lawmakers consider changing a law that would make it legal for him to hold two offices.