Rockford city leaders cannot pass 2013 budget before new year - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford city leaders cannot pass 2013 budget before new year

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3rd Ward Alderman Doug Mark 3rd Ward Alderman Doug Mark

Rockford city leaders break a two-year streak by not passing the 2013 budget until the new year. The goal was to approve it before January 1st but it'll take at least another week since some city council members have lingering concerns.

3rd Ward Alderman Doug Mark helped push budget approval down the road a few more days. He and other aldermen are not satisfied with the lack of communication regarding the city's geo-policing plan. That idea would split up the Rockford Police Department into three districts. Each district would have its own building.

Mark has concerns, like "The locations, where we're going to go, the timeframe we've got set up for the PSB and how we're going to exit it." -he says.

Another unsettling aspect, a new project city leaders are calling "Eden." It places city-funded non-profit organizations under one umbrella. According to Alderman Mark, the organizations receive money from the city as a group now, instead of individually.

"The Eden group, their funding was established in the budget, but I don't think it ever went through a Planning & Development process of approval and then to the council for approval to be a part of the budget process. It just is in the budget. That's a little strange for me, I'm not sure how we did that or how it happened because we got some information on what the proposal was but I don't ever think it went, in my opinion, through the proper process." -Mark adds.

Alderman Linda McNeely seemed to agree, she quickly seconded Mark's motion to lay the budget approval over. This resulted in an automatic lay-over, no vote was needed.

City leaders have until March 2013 to finalize the budget.

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