Our View: Recommendations for Winnebago County Board
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
By The Editorial Board / Rockford Register Star
Published March 14, 2020
The Winnebago County Board has spent too much time worrying about ordinances, specifically those aimed at taking authority away from the chairman, and too little time addressing the issues that matter to residents’ lives: roads and public safety.
There are six contested races heading into Tuesday’s primary election.
The board needs a shake-up, which will occur naturally after David Boomer, R-4, abruptly resigned Thursday. Boomer was the chairman of the Republican caucus.
The board badly needs new faces and fresh ideas for how best to deliver the services that Winnebago County residents deserve — at a price they can afford.
Our recommendations reflect that. We did not interview every candidate, but we researched our own archives, campaign websites, social media and the words of supporters and critics in letters to the editor.
Here are our picks.
District 17: Robert Young, president of Midwest Packaging & Container, first caught our attention when he ran for the Rock Valley College board of trustees last year. We said when we endorsed him then that he was the prototype for the kind of person we like to see run for elected office: smart, successful and homegrown.
His opponent is Art Bardsley, who advocates creating a public bank for Winnebago County.
It’s an interesting idea, but we believe Young can be a leader on the board if he wins the primary and then defeats incumbent Fred Wescott in November. Young is endorsed.