West Side residents add their names to petition - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

West Side residents add their names to petition

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People on Rockford's west side are persistent in their fight against closing their neighborhood driver's license facility. A town hall meeting added a few more names to a petition against the closure. We told you about that petition last week, the idea is to send a message to Springfield.

"This isn't a forgotten matter, this isn't a forgotten subject, we're still very much aware of the fact that we need a facility on the west, northwest side." -says 67th District State Representative Chuck Jefferson.

We don't know the final count of signatures on the petition, since some citizens are waiting until they get to Springfield to hand them all in. Some west side residents have collected hundreds on their own. Cherece Rigsby gathered 500.

"I go door-to-door, I go to the different local businesses here. I stand outside some of the businesses as people are coming in and out, just go up to them and ask them if they mind signing the petition, explaining to them what it is." -says Rigsby.

The Secretary of State's office has come up with a solution to reinstate a facility on the west side, but, at least one local leader says that won't work.

"They've given us the instructions of finding a facility on the west side of Rockford that they can operate out of rent free. What they're going to pay, what they're not going to pay, they have not expressed that." -says 7th Ward Alderman Ann Thompson-Kelly.

The new facility, designed to replace the Auburn and Central office, is at I-39 and Baxter Road, nowhere near any Rockford mass transit bus routes. For people who don't drive, it limits their options for getting a state ID, or being able to participate in the next election.

"Where are residents going to register to vote in the next couple of months with an election coming up? That's a disconnect." -adds Thompson-Kelly.

Alderman Linda McNeely will deliver the petition to Secretary of State Jesse White's office tomorrow.

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