Tom McNamara

City of Rockford

Rockford’s mayor will get a chance to hone his leadership skills with a select group of peers this summer.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said he was surprised and honored to be among the 40 Edgar Fellows chosen this year for the executive leadership program created by former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar. The group will attend the program at the University of Illinois in August.   

McNamara said he’s excited by the program’s nonpartisan emphasis on learning better ways to get things done for one’s community.

Victor Yehling /WNIJ

Voters in Tuesday’s primary election rejected the effort to re-implement home rule authority in Rockford. WNIJ spoke with people on both sides of the issue about what this means for Rockford’s future.

The Illinois Constitution grants home rule authority to municipalities that have at least 25,000 residents. Others can gain that authority through a direct ordinance. Rockford naturally qualified in 1970 due to its population, but a referendum removed home-rule status in 1983.

The Rock River Times

The Rockford City Council approved a resolution Monday that would allow residents to recall aldermen and mayors if they go against certain provisions that are part of a bid for home rule.

A referendum on the March 20 ballot asks Rockford residents to grant home rule authority. But the council already has approved provisions to limit how the city raises property taxes and takes on debt.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara joined local Dreamers and leaders on a conference call Thursday to discuss why a legislative solution for Dreamers is so urgent for Illinois and America, and to call on U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, to pass a standalone Dream Act.

“We have invested in these young people through education, and they’re truly paying us back with being teachers in our community, engineers, small business owners,” McNamara said on the call. “I just don’t want to see us squander their talents and penalize cities such as Rockford and our entire nation. “

City of Rockford

Aldermen in Rockford have approved a resolution condemning hate groups after a violent white nationalist rally in Virginia.

The Rockford Register Star reports that the resolution was adopted 14-0 on Monday evening. Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara offered his support to the mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the city's residents. One person was killed and others were injured at the Aug. 12 rally and protest in Charlottesville. Two Virginia state troopers also died in helicopter crash while patrolling the protests.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Democrat Tom McNamara took home the Rockford mayoral race with 68 percent of the vote.

Independent Rudy Valdez was runner-up with 16 percent. Republican Brian Leggero claimed 14 percent of votes, and Independent Ronnie Manns had two percent. 

McNamara will replace Larry Morrissey , a three-term mayor who decided last fall to not run for re-election.

McNamara serves as alderman in the Third Ward and worked as an insurance agent. 

Rockford May Extend Distressed Homes Tax Refund

Dec 21, 2016
City of Rockford

Rockford may extend a property tax refund for distressed homes.   

The Homebuyers Property Tax Refund Program was created in April.  It returns funds to owners who bought foreclosed properties or "short sale" homes.  These properties have mortgage amounts higher than their actual value.