Letter to the Editor: Town Hall Meeting

Dear Rockford Residents,

My name is Ken Phillips and I am running for Rockford City Council.  I declined to participate in the Town Hall meeting because it is sponsored by Rockford Forward a Political Action Committee (PAC) and I believe it is inappropriate for a PAC to hold this meeting.  A Political Action Committee is defined in the dictionary as “an organization that raises money privately to influence elections or legislation; that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, legislation.”  I do not support the use of PACs at any level of government and I will never take money from a PAC.  I believe the intelligent citizens of Rockford can decide for themselves who should sit on the City Council.

Another reason I declined to participate in the Town Hall meeting is the grading of the candidates.  In the first Town Hall meeting, the candidates weren’t told they would be graded, they didn’t receive any criteria for the grading process and didn’t know who would evaluate them.  There was no mention of the grading process in the material I received from Rockford Forward for the 2018 Town Hall meeting.

The third reason is question 10 on the Town Hall questionnaire, an analogy to the Monroe Street condo development, which I thought was divisive and unnecessary.  I prefer to look forward to the future of Rockford and not dwell in the past.

In my August 26th email to Rockford Forward, informing them of my decision, I offered an alternative.  I proposed a true town hall meeting be held at the Rockford City Offices, with all of the candidates present, for two hours in the evening.  This would provide an opportunity for people to ask the candidates questions in an open environment.  I feel this would be much more beneficial for the citizens of Rockford.

Ken Phillips