West Side residents sound off on losing Auburn St. Drivers Servi - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

West Side residents sound off on losing Auburn St. Drivers Services Facility

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People on Rockford's west side get a chance to tell local legislators how they feel about losing the driver's license facility in their neighborhood.

Representative Chuck Jefferson arranged this evening's meeting and invited the Secretary of State's Office. No one from the department showed. Jefferson believes by not coming Jesse White's office showed exactly how much it cares about people here in Rockford.

"It's a long way for us to go it's over 20, 25 miles for us to go to east state. With the gas prices the way they are right now it's terrible that they would even think about closing the one on Auburn street," said town hall attendee Carol Shook.

About 70 people packed the auditorium at Rockford's Ellis Arts Academy to talk about why they need the drivers facility on the west side and what can be done to get one back.

"I'm angry, the way they treat people on the west side, disabled veterans, the veterans, senior citizens, poor people I'm really angry about it," said Prophet Yusef.

For Rockford Aldermen tonight was a chance to speak directly with constituents and get that message to Jesse White's office - in the form of a petition.

"The Secretary of State has forgotten who he serves and what services he needs to provide and who to not to his staff not to the political party but he needs to provide service to the citizens of this community and blatantly his office has just done totally the opposite," said 7th Ward Ann Thompson-Kelly.

Many folks on the west side say they're concerned about elderly and disabled people having to travel to the East State facility to register to vote or get ID cards. Something that used to be much closer.

"The location on the west side was kind of convenient for people it was more accessible I think you get business taken care of a little bit faster and I think it was a great asset to the community," said Antoine Bailey.

Alderman Thompson Kelly tells me the city is hopeful about getting another facility in Rockford, but leaders don't have any idea where it might be or when it would be here. Until then people will have to use the new facility coming to I-39 and Baxter road. Which is set to open in September.

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