Brian Leggero for Mayor 2017
I am running for Mayor because I love Rockford. I was born and raised here, and want to give every Rockford resident a voice in our community. If you choose me as Mayor I will initiate an open-door policy for all community members. My platform for the office of Mayor can be found below; I would love your feedback in order to ensure that I am representing you in the best manner possible.
Crime – Public Safety
Per recent FBI statistics, Rockford is now the number 1 most dangerous City of our size in the entire United States. When I am out talking with people, this is the Number 1 most important issue in this election. We must take a proactive approach to reverse this trend.
- Restore streetlights that were removed by the current administration and light up more of our neighborhoods. Criminals prosper in the dark. Witnesses cannot see in the dark. Over 4 years and the lights have yet to be returned.
- Bring back our public scanner channel. More informed citizens are safer citizens. Citizens helped police more when the public channel of the scanner was on.
- Reach out to the entire community and bring people together. The more community involvement, the easier it will be to address the current crime levels.
- CDC just reported an increase in heroin overdose deaths in 2015. The heroin epidemic in Rockford needs to be resolved. We need to focus on treatment and rehabilitation options in a manner that increases the likelihood of drug users seeking help.
- More effective use of law enforcement officers. Focus on victim related crimes instead of victim-less crimes.
- Situational Awareness! More situational awareness classes need to be supported.
- Educate residents on the Eye's on the Street Citizen Initiative.
- Encourage citizens to get concealed carry permits. I am a State of Illinois Certified Concealed Carry Instructor and was actively involved in the implementation of the ACT. We need to offer more cost effective classes to help citizens obtain the training and concealed carry permit.
High Taxes – Property Taxes
We have some of the highest property taxes in the entire nation!
- Conduct a complete audit of all TIF districts, departments, contracts and every ordinance in the City of Rockford.
- Eliminate TIF Districts.
- Eliminate / combine duplicate unnecessary programs and departments. (I am a big advocate for combining the City and County elections offices for example.)
- Find and cut waste, fraud and abuse everywhere it is. There is plenty of revenue coming in. We have had multi-million dollar deficits every year in our City the past 12 years. Our government needs to live within its means. We can do better!
- Lower the burden of education funding on our property taxes. Get more of the lottery money to fund our schools and after school programs.
- NO new Utility Tax!
- No new pension programs! Eliminate the offering of pensions to any new City hire. City employees will be offered enrollment in traditional 401k programs.
- We need to lower property taxes to make it more affordable to live here. People have been leaving our City at an alarming rate. Census reports 1,000 or more people a year leave here.
Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
Unemployment is on the rise in Illinois and Rockford. Businesses are leaving here.
- Rockford needs to be more business friendly to bring more work and good paying jobs into our city. We need to eliminate ordinances and regulations that put a unnecessary burden on businesses and private citizens.
- We need to decrease the hurdles and costs of starting and running a business here in Rockford. Small businesses become large businesses and create more jobs.
- Encourage growth on Rockford’s West Side. Putting people back to work will also decrease crime. Most people want a hand up not a hand out.
Low grades and low graduation rates here in Rockford.
- Bring back control of our education system back to the local level wherever possible.
- Re start vocational training in high school. A lot of students and families cannot afford the cost of college especially single parent families. Some people do not even want to attend at all. High Schools should prepare students to enter the workforce directly with skill sets that can benefit both themselves and the community!
- Lower the burden of education funding on our property taxes. Rockford’s property taxes are currently so high that Rockford does not qualify for state lottery money to fund our schools and after school programs.
- Increase and encourage public after school programs and athletic programs. Keep the library open longer on Friday nights and weekends. Get more of our youth interested in extracurricular programs such as the successful First Tee program (golf). Athletics help build great qualities such as sportsmanship, ethics and honesty. Rockford’s top notch park system already has the infrastructure which will allow for the expansion of activities such as basketball, baseball, golf and soccer leagues. Rockford also has art, craft and drama activities that can be expanded.
- Examine what is working in other communities and incorporate those practices into our community.
- Build a private / public scholarship program that would offer Rockford high school graduates the ability to receive scholarships to Rock Valley College for vocational training programs as long as the student remains a Rockford resident while taking courses.
Roads - Infrastructure
Better maintain our streets and bridges.
- Prioritize fixing our current city infrastructure and eliminate projects that have no return on investment. We need to maintain our roads and bridges and manage our tax dollars better. No more bridges to nowhere!
- We need to have fewer potholes that damage cars. Low quality work increases costs and damage to the property of our residents and visitors.
- Improve traffic patterns throughout our Rockford.
- After the Primary on February 28, 2017, I will be announcing a couple of major infrastructure projects that I believe will benefit our community.
Sense of Community
- Reach out to every area of the community in order to bring people together. United we are stronger to solve the problems here and make Rockford a better and safer place to live.
- Increase private sector involvement in public events.
- Establish a citywide volunteer database to assist residents in identifying public and private opportunities to serve one’s community as well as build community spirit.
- City Market is a great event on Fridays and needs to be expanded.
- Stroll on State is a great event for our community. We need more events that are more than just one day a year.
- Bring back Waterfront and Air Show and other events we have lost the past 12 years. We need to be more advanced and forward thinking. Rockford is always behind the times here. Let's go BIG and BOLD!