Winn Co. Forest Preserve Board candidates debate - – Rockford’s News Leader

Winn Co. Forest Preserve Board candidates debate

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Three candidates trying to get a spot on the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District Board had a chance to debate their positions on issues in front of voters in Rockford.

This race may be a little more high- profile than expected because of recent controversy on the board. Board members removed the president for creating a public safety position the majority of the board didn't approve of.

Two incumbents and a newcomer are all want a spot on the board. Lee Johnson and Cheryl Maggio are both current board members. They believe their experience counts. Bev Moore tried to show it may be time for some new leadership.

"I've worked with the Belvidere Park district on how to have events to raise funds."

Bev Moore doesn't have any experience with the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District but she believes her background working in Boone County can show that there's a new way to do things.

One thing she'd do differently is not raise taxes to help the forest preserve.

"I've done fundraising things -  a poker run on prairie path to raise money for the Boone County Conservation District. So we'll just look for other ways to find money," said Moore.

Incumbent Trustee Lee Johnson says a small tax hike doesn't hurt when people consider everything it helps in the forest preserve. He believes the increase is worth it.

"The little amount of increase it is won't harm anyone's budget. I live on social security I live in very modest means. There are ways of being creative with raising money, but I am in favor of raising it to the limit," said Johnson.

One question all three candidates agree on is that some form of hunting should be allowed in rural areas.

"Someone came to us at the board and asked us to implement it in Seward because the farmers are having such strife's with the deer eating the corn," said Cheryl Maggio.

The debate was held at St. Peter Cathedral and moderated by the Register Star's Kevin Haas.

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