While the spring resignation of Mayor Steve Meyer – along with the town’s clerk and deputy clerk – are now in the past, the focus now turns to the upcoming general election.
Still, it’s a somewhat sleepy affair. Only incumbent Robert Tollefson, Council Position 5, is receiving a challenge in the form of Marine veteran William Benson.
Age: 50 years.
Family/How long living in Rockford: After working in Southern California (post Marine Corps – I’m a native of Virginia!). I moved here in 2004 to help my former spouse care for her parents. Since then, I have embraced Rockford as my hometown.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? I am a two-time veteran (USMC 1984-1997, US Army 2006-2010) and after so many years defending “the System,” I felt that it was time to step up to the next phase of public service and participate to a greater extent.
What are your goals for the Rockford Town Council? We are in a period of transition. The mayor and the Town Council are reestablishing certain standards and are bringing the focus of their efforts toward preparing the town of Rockford for the future. It’s an exciting time, and I want to be part of it. I bring my belief in our political process, my faith in the mayor and other members of the council, who have the perfect blend of skill sets and perspectives, and my willingness to tackle the tough decisions that face the Town Council with objectivity, intellect and compassion.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? There were times when the town chose a cut-rate bargain philosophy, and decades later we are feeling the impact. We need to embrace the concept of sustainability in our infrastructure. We are in the process of upgrading our town infrastructure, and if we make the initial investment in well-designed and sustainable systems, we may spend more now, but we will save in the long run.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? Right now, no one issue stands out among the rest. We’re dealing with a number of hard-hitting issues simultaneously.
What differences separate you from your opponent? My opponent is a good man, and has served the town of Rockford ably, even during times of adversity. He believes as strongly in what we do as I. If there is a difference, it is that I am more traveled. I have been to many countries where the “leaders” place their own agendas over the welfare of the people, where individual rights are an afterthought, and the rule of law is no more than a vague set of suggestions. Having seen this in other communities strengthens my determination to ensure that the will of the People is carried out in our own local legislative process.
Web site? Just Facebook, facebook.com/councilmanbill.
Age:I am 55.
Family/How long living in Rockford: My wife Mary Jo and I have three children: two boys, and six grandkids. I have lived in Rockford for about 30 years. My wife has been here all her life.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? I ran for office to help my community.
What are your goals for the Rockford Town Council?
1. Open transparent government.
2. Getting the job done.
3. Look to the future.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the city in the immediate future? The timely and correct finishing of all projects the town has ongoing.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? There's no surprising concern by people, just normal questions and comments by citizens of the community when I speak with them.
What differences separate you from your opponent? My two years of experience on council mostly, Bill and myself both have the best wishes for our town and its citizens.