Less than a week before April 9th's mayoral and city council elections, Rockfordians are still trying to find a candidate for any office that doesn't smell like bullshit. In a last minute "bombshell," which was probably meant to be an "April surprise," a "concerned citizen" came forward to various news agencies claiming the sitting mayor's development group, Morrissey Realty Group, was being fined $1000 a month for accepting $400,000 in TIFF dollars, then showing no progress on a 7th Street loft project which the ever-optimistic Rockford register Star opined three years ago would revitalize downtown. It may have revitalized someone's wallet, but as far as helping spur development in Midtown (because the reporter mis-identified which neighborhood 7th Street is in), not a single visible sign of construction has begun. Three years after accepting the money, the development group is blaming the downturn in the real estate market for putting the project on the backburner. But they already took the money. If they don't want to not use their own money that's fine, but they took OUR money.
What was interesting about the story wasn't the in-your-face level of blatant corruption, but the fact that several news agencies reported the story emanated from a "concerned citizen" who turned out to be Louis CK lookalike and 1st Ward Alderman Brian Leggero. Leggero is a Republican, which is irrelevant in Rockford where party affiliation just tends to slow one down, but more importantly, many believe he has another axe to grind.
Listen, Mr. Alderman, if you're not getting your share in Rockford, you only have yourself to blame. There's plenty to go around. Don't hate, participate. As for the rest of Rockfordians disillusioned by the process, The Rockford Register Star conducted a poll whose results indicated a three way heat for the mayor's election this Tuesday. This time apparently a Republican AND a Democrat decided to run, and although nobody knows who either one of them are, they know they're not the current mayor. And in Rockford that just may be enough to get you elected. It has been before.