Rockford City Council to vote on 6th ward pick Monday - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford City Council to vote on 6th ward pick Monday

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Rockford's sixth ward has been without representation for the last two months.  The seat could be filled soon though.

Only five months into his four year term, Alderman Vernon Hilton, a Democrat, announced he would give up his post, after deciding to move to Texas for work.

The responsibility to choose a replacement fell on Mayor Larry Morrissey. His pick is Marcus Hill, also a  democrat.

14th ward Alderman Joseph Chiarelli says he would also have liked to see Pamela Connell considered, she's the Republican candidate who ran, and lost, against Hilton in the April elections.

"I'm a little disappointed that the Republican who ran in the race was not chosen, but I can understand the mayor's philosophy on that," says Ald. Chiarelli. "He's following how he makes his appointments, this one was a Democrat, and so he did make a selection for a Democrat. That ward needs representation and I'm glad at least it's getting to the point where they will have the representation that they deserve."

Back in November of 2010, a similar situation developed. Then-alderman Joe Sosnowski chose to resign after he was elected State Representative. His successor, Dr. Tim Durkee, also a Republican, was appointed by Mayor Morrissey.  

Durkee was voted in by the city council members one month later and took his seat immediately, even voting on resolutions that same night.

If Marcus Hill is elected on Monday, he could be expected to do the same. Alderman Thomas McNamara looks forward to having full staff once again.

"From time to time we come up against tough votes, and I think having the most aldermen as resources is best. The one that comes to mind to me is the one about the meeting time change, that was lost by one vote," says McNamara. "I think definitely being at full strength is an asset and I think Marcus individually will being a lot to the table."

Hill works for the SAFER Foundation's downtown office, an agency that rehabilitates ex-offenders and helps find them employment.

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