ROCKFORD - Momentum, stability, and structure are the three words area leaders are using to describe their reasoning for supporting
Wednesday, the Winnebago County Board president and
"I feel very strongly that we're in the best position that I can remember in my lifetime for being able to accomplish that goal," said Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey.
The goal is to improve Rockford Public Schools. Make the classrooms 21st century learning environments. To do this, Mayor Larry Morrissey not only voiced his first public support of the referendum, but announced plans for the Rockford Area Metropolitan Agency for Panning to partner with Dstrict 205.
The two will work together on shared investments like sidewalks and building projects.
"[It] ultimately says, how by working together can we get done what we can't do alone," said Morrissey.
School Board president Harmon Mitchell says the timing to take on these projects is right. District 205's bond rating is the highest it's ever been.
"It means that the taxpayer gets a better return on the sale of bonds," said Mitchell.
If the 139-million dollar referendum passes, schools leaders say taxpayers will not see their property taxes rise. That's because they plan to reinvest expiring bonds.
Winnebago County Board chairman Scott Christiansen also believes the timing is right for this investment.
"Curriculum were working very hard on, vocational working very hard on, now it's time to get our physical plant in order," said Christiansen.
If the referendum isn't approved, property owners
will see a smaller tax bill. And with a
large percentage of people in
But Mayor Morrissey says the best gateway out of poverty is investing in education.
"[We] have great teachers, great partnerships, but literally have buildings collapsing around us," said Morrissey.
Voters will have the final say on whether or not school leaders can undertake any of the improvements laid out in the districts 10-year facility plan when they take to the polls next Tuesday.