by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Monday evening’s July Rockford City Council meeting had, what was most certainly, an unusual twist. Making a presentation before City staff and council members, past Rockford City Manager Joe Salitros (1980-1984) had scheduled a stop in Rockford to thank the City for the role it had played in his 30+ years of public service. Salitros has recently retired from public service, having served as either city administrator or city manager for five municipalities throughout the Midwest. Salitros haltingly told the Council that, “Rockford carries a special place in my heart. We started our family here and I feel I laid part of the foundation of what Rockford has become today.” We learned, that evening, that the first time Salitros was introduced to Mary Eadie was when both, driving separate vehicles, arrived at the same time in the center of an intersection. (He didn’t say who was at fault!) Coincidentally, Eadie was a Rockford Councilwoman at the time, a position she still holds to this day. Salitros’ stop in Rockford was part of a multi-city thank-you visit to the cities he had served in moving on in the furtherance of his career. In a gesture, heretofore unheard of by your reporters, Salitros said he felt compelled to offer up a nominal token of appreciation (based on length of service) on behalf of himself and his family to each and every city he was privileged to serve. Salitros then presented City Manager Michael Young with the original 1982 Rockford City Code Book, a codebook he was proud to have been a part of developing. Moving on, Salitros closed his presentation by presenting the City with two checks, one in the amount of $300 to the Rockford Area Community Endowment and the other in the same amount to the Rockford Rotary Club to be used towards Rotary Pavilion improvements. Way to go Joe, Rockford in turn thanks you. All retiring public officials should be so beneficent.
by Beth Altena Steve Jazwiec—former mayor and mayor pro-tem going into the regular Rockford City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 8—was elected mayor after some confusion. Both Jazwiec and former mayor Rich Moll were both nominated for the honor. Jazwiec was nominated by Councilmember Brien Dews and Moll was nominated by councilmember Mary Eadie. Dews was nominated and voted into the position of mayor pro-tem. In Rockford City Manager Michael Young’s report, Young noted the City has taken possession of its newest plow truck, the largest in the fleet, which was parked at City Hall for Council to inspect. He stated that Huntington Bank has committed to sponsoring another year of the Huntington Bank Rogue River Blues Series with an option to sponsor the year after as well. During public comments, resident Mike MacIntosh questioned the wisdom of covering the Wolverine World Wide tannery site with six feet of topsoil, which is in the company’s plan for the site. He compared the step with covering melanoma and said the last week of demolition was the dustiest of the summer-long teardown of structures. Council discussed the transfer of the front half of the Rockford Promenade to new ownership. Young noted that, although the building appears to be one structure, it is actually two buildings connected by a promenade. Two years ago the southern half of the building was sold to Natureview Properties and recently the northern building was bought by Rockford resident Dan Trieweiler. Young said Rockford has been working with the new owner to remove unnecessary language from the original Planned Unit Development (PUD) agreement. Young told Council that most of the language being removed addressed issues of the original construction. Other conditions of the PUD, which mostly regulate what sort of businesses can occupy the building as tenants, will remain in place. “We don’t want to cater to in-and-out traffic,” Young explained. Restricted uses are businesses such as video rental, salons and convenience stores. Council discussed and then approved, with two votes against, a resolution requested by Trieweiler, which states the City will never charge for parking in the Promenade parking lot, which is open to the public. Young said he could not foresee the City ever charging for parking in any public parking […]
by CLIFF and NANCY HILL A tsunami of change swept the nation on last Tuesday’s national election day. The giant wave had enough inertia to even affect Rockford’s non-partisan City Council election. Five well-qualified candidates were vying for two open seats on the five-member Rockford City Council. In a stunning defeat Rockford Mayor Janice (Chi-Chi) Rogers was unseated in her bid for an eighth term on the Council. After the votes were tabulated for the hotly contested two open seats Rogers found herself in third place, thus ending a career of service to the City of Rockford that began in 1991. Strong voter turnout resulted in the following Final totals: Jerry Coon 713 Winner Steve Jazwiec 712 Winner Janice ‘Chi Chi’ Rogers 570 Roger Strauss 448 Robert Winegar 431 Rogers tells the Squire, “I had a great run, I’m sad but not disappointed and I respect the voters choices.” Over the years Chi-Chi had enjoyed strong support from Rockford City voters but this time around it was not meant to be. Chi-Chi said, “I’m proud of my many accomplishments and achievements in office, especially when my fellow Councilmen saw fit to honor me, four separate times, to serve as Mayor of the City I love.” In Rockford the office of Mayor is largely ceremonial and is not determined by Rockford City voters in an open election. But rather, City Council members choose amongst themselves who will represent the City as Mayor. In general, the duties of Mayor are to preside over City Council Meetings and to represent the City at various functions throughout the term of office. Additionally, Mayors are empowered to officiate at weddings, something that Chi-Chi dearly loved to do. During her terms as Mayor she officiated at the weddings of well over 200 couples. “I was able to preside over the wedding of my own son and the weddings of many grandchildren,” said Chi-Chi, adding, “During the last two years I had the distinct pleasure of marrying twelve of my Rockford Meijer co-workers.” Chi-Chi summarized by saying, “I loved being on ‘Council’ and being someone that City residents could easily approach with their concerns.” “It was always obvious that Chi-Chi thoroughly enjoyed her time on City Council. She took the position of […]
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) is proud to announce that they will be hosting a candidate forum from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22. The event will take place at Boulder Creek Golf Club, 5750 Brewer Ave., Belmont, and will feature the candidates running for Michigan’s 73rd District House of Representatives. The 10 candidates—nine Republicans and one Democrat—were all invited to this exciting event so they could get their message out to their potential voters. The candidates are vying for the seat that Rep. Tom Pearce is vacating due to term limitations. The seven appearing as of most recently are: Bruce Hawley (R), Jeanine Herlacher (R), Paul Hibbard (R), Steve Jazwiec (R), Peter MacGregor (R), Tom Norton (R), and Dennis Smith (R). Dr. Michael Shibler, superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, will be moderating the event. The forum format will allow for each candidate to address the crowd for five minutes and then the moderator will ask the candidates questions that the attendees will have submitted during the actual event. Cost for the candidate forum will be $10 and reservations are required. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served. Please call Jeannie at (616) 866.2000, or e-mail email@example.com at your earliest convenience so the RCC may plan for the event. Deadline for reservations is Thursday, June 17.