Note: This was written for Chris Green at the Rockford Register Star for his article titled “Winnebago County Board members weigh in on chairman’s 60-day report“. He used a few of my quotes below, so I thought I’d add my thoughts here in their entirety:
I was certainly surprised to see this report when it was first presented to us recently and of course it’s taking me a lot of time to look over in full detail. My initial thoughts are that as a board member and citizen legislator, our day-to-day interaction with the various departments in Winnebago County can greatly vary. We rely on our administrative team quite a bit to make sure we get the right information so we can make the right calls.
A hard look at internal improvement is exactly what we have been fighting for since I began my term 2 1/2 years ago. Regardless whether or not the allegations are true, many of us on the board felt the need to push for greater oversight and more transparency last year because of potential issues just like these. I think we can all agree there is definitely room for improvement in our County just like anywhere else, and as a board member I will continue to put pressure on all levels for us to improve from within!
Nepotism / Bullying / Sexual Harassment
I personally was not aware of any Nepotism / Bullying / Sexual Harassment issues at hand. Due to privacy issues, board members typically don’t get presented with issues on Nepotism, Bullying or Sexual Harassment unless it is confirmed and action needs to be discussed in a closed session setting.
1 % Public Safety Tax
Because of the crime crisis in Winnebago County I firmly believe that any elected official that takes office should make public safety their first and foremost priority. Anything less is a disservice to our entire county. We’re always happy to work with Sheriff Caruana and staff to take a deeper look to find anything more we can do with the 1% Public Safety tax, and I have full confidence in their expert ability to help us manage this. As a county, we cannot take for granted and say that this is “the City of Rockford’s problem”. Not only is that attitude cruel and unsympathetic, but naive to the fact that crime knows no boundaries.