Ian Linnabary Endorsement

We are in the midst of a great communal duality. Together, we are traveling down a calculated path of positive, transformational change, while we also struggle with issues related to widespread poverty, violent crime and the fiscal challenges we face at both the local and statewide levels.  We need leaders—just like Frank—who are committed to maintaining our progress toward true transformation as a means of addressing our challenges. 

Frank’s campaign has been one of inclusion and shared values. These themes are particularly refreshing in our current political climate. All too often in modern politics, campaign rhetoric does not translate into commensurate governance. I know Frank will honor his pledge to usher in a new era of accountable, collaborative, and transparent government.  

Ian Linnabary

President, Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners, Chairman, Winnebago County Regional Tourism Facility Board, Secretary, City of Rockford Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, Co-Lead, Transform Rockford Healthy Lifestyles Spoke Team, Partner, Reno & Zahm LLP




Winnebago County Host Fee Dollars

I was recently asked what I thought about how future Host Fee dollars should be spent. These are the dollars collected from the landfill when other communities pay to dump their garbage here.

Regarding purpose, I support the idea that fees be directed toward economic development initiatives. This includes but is not limited to development projects (Ex: MRO), workforce (RVC Aviation Maintenance Program expansion), tourism (Ex: Reclaiming First) and other spends that lend themselves to long-term economic growth, primary jobs, and growth of our tax base.

I do NOT support, under any circumstances, that fees be redirected to the general fund during tough budget years (they are all tough) and used as part of the operational budget.



100% Focus Down The Stretch

For immediate release

RVC Trustee Frank Haney will step down to focus on County Chairman Campaign

Rock Valley Trustee, and candidate for Winnebago County Board Chairman, Frank Haney, will step down from his trustee position to devote more time to his campaign for Chairman in the final four months before the November 8 election. Haney has served as a college trustee since 2013.

“I am forever grateful to have served on the board of Rock Valley College as both a Trustee and Board Chairman. As an alum of RVC, I appreciated the opportunity to give-back to a place that literally changed the trajectory of my life and the lives of thousands of others. Additionally, we have a dynamic team that works together to get things done. Much has been accomplished by having a partnership mentality; none of which would have been possible as an individual organization. The exploration of utilizing the City of Rockford-owned Barber Coleman building as a possible future site for a regional career and technical education facility is the latest example. Aligning our efforts to both play to our strengths and address our challenges will be key to our region’s transformation. I plan to take this approach to public service with me when elected Chairman of the Winnebago County Board, said Haney.

“I owe my supporters and people of Winnebago 100% focus as this campaign closes out. We are in the home stretch of a 14-month primary and general election process and it is critical we continue to build on our campaign’s momentum and execute on our plan to engage voters. Additionally, the people in the RVC district deserve to have full representation on the board and I look forward to passing the baton to the next contributor. That person will be joining one of the best boards in the region and one of the community’s most important organizations. Education is the silver bullet – there is no substitute. Building a culture of education in our community is the key to economic development, reduction in crime, and the long-term success of our citizens,” said Haney.

Here is the article from the Rockford Register Star: Frank Haney resigns from RVC Board to focus on Winnebago County Board Chairman Campaign.

Frank Haney





Candidate Remarks from Summer Kick-off Party

Below are my remarks from the Summer Kick-off Party at the Prairie Street Brewhouse on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Over 300 supporters attended the event.
– Good evening, thank you for being here and supporting our campaign….
– Housekeeping 
– Sponsors
– Dad in town
– Leslie
– Every now and then, sometime, someplace, somewhere you need to plant your feet, stand firm, and make a point about who you are and what you believe in. And when that time comes, you simply must do it.
Speech pic
 – In 4 years, I believe we will be here….. In fact, there is no excuse for NOT being there…… 
– People will feel safer in their home, streets and community than they do today.
– In 4 years, domestic violence rates will trending in a positive direction. Safe homes = safe streets and a safe community.
– Religious groups and non-profit organizations will be having a greater impact on improving the lives of our at-risk youth. There will be less fragmentation and more alignment.
– The County and City will be looking back at what was a new era of collaboration. There will be no room in our politics for folks who want to re-fight yesterday’s fights.
– The Region will have made in-roads in decreasing high drop-outs and increasing the # of adults who get their GED or diploma. Only then will we solve our Region’s GED crisis.
– Winnebago County Gov’t will have closed the gap between legal / illegal, ethical / non-ethical…….. and the focus will be on best practice
speech pic 2
– In 4 years, men’s groups, religious and otherwise, will take the lead in talking about fatherhood. One example is the Father Encouragement Project. There is no transformation of our community without strong dads.
– The Region will be executing on a bold marketing agenda that celebrates all aspects of our County; not just parts of it.
– Young people will grow-up hearing more of the good things about our community and will be challenged to come back as adults and lead.
– In 4 years, more civic-minded, business leaders will be running for elected offices in the area. Public service will be seen as a positive thing not a suicide mission or the plague. And if they don’t come to us, we will go get them.
Speech pic 6– Taxpayer trust in Winnebago County Gov’t will have been restored not because of perfection but because of a complete and total commitment to making it so.
– Leaders throughout the State will be talking about how Winnebago County and the Rockford Region IS leading the comeback of the State of Illinois.
– More 3rd graders will end the school year reading at grade level.
– The Regional Planning Commission will be clicking on all cylinders and will serve as an efficient model for bringing regional elected together around big issues.
– We will be more competitive in attracting and retaining business and talent because we have shifted to a more collaborative approach in working together across governments.
– We will continue to play to our strengths as a region: Location, aviation, advanced manufacturing, health care, and sports tourism.
– In 4 years, our region’s brand will be that this is both a cool place to visit AND a cool place to live.
Speech pic 8
 – Our focus will have shifted when it comes to helping those in need. The focus will be towards moving people from poverty to success; not from poverty to more poverty. Results, accountability and the fundamental belief in the God-given potential of all residents will drive these discussions.
– The county-wide elected officials will be seen as a great team.
– In 4 years, the county board will be seen as a great team.
– We will sell the whole story about education in the region; not just part of it. 205, other public schools, as well as great private school options – parents like options. We also have great post-secondary options in education and career training.
– Host fee dollars. In an era of funding struggles, the County will have remain committed to spending host fee dollars on strategic economic development initiatives with an emphasis on primary job growth, workforce development, tourism, and tax base growth.
Speech pic 3
– 1% Public Safety Tax. In an era of funding struggles at the state and local levels, we will not turn our back on prevention and rehabilitation programs via the 1% PST.
– Over 60% of those in jail have an addition problem.
– $25,000 to incarcerate. $3,500 for an addiction program.
– Over 60% of those released from jail re-offend.
– Accountability and reporting out results will be a key reason why programs maximize their effectiveness.
– Funding discussions on public safety and prevention programs will be data-driven and not sound-bite driven. There will be less emotion and more strategic planning.
– We want to make Winnebago County Gov’t BORING again. Get out of the headlines. Get into better oversight, best practice approach in management, and better report-out to the community.
– #ACT will be part of the fabric of county government; not just a tagline in my campaign.
Speech pic 7
– More business leaders will be involved in the political process but not because they want a sweetheart deal or payback in some way.
– Even the most cynical, pessimistic and doomsday among us will have to admit that we are heading in the right direction.
– In 4 years, we will not have arrived but we will be well on our way to being a top tier community in the United States….
Speech pic 4
– #Momentum but also have A LOT of work to do!!
– 14 month process of engaging voters
– Policy side more important – benchmarking against other governments
– 7th event, more in the future
– 9 parades before election
– Average 5 events per week
– 350 individual contributions. Goal of 600
– Closing in on 100K…. want to raise 70K
– 200 volunteers to walk neighborhoods
– 3,000 emails, want 2,000 more – updates
– Goal: have several hundred yard sign locations, want to get to 2000
– 3 Foot Rule
– We will not get out-worked.
– BUT the only thing we have earned is the right to have a little bit of a platform to talk about our vision up through the election.
Speech pic 5
3 Questions People Ask Before They Vote For You
  1. Do you trust me?
  2. Am I committed to excellence?
  3. Do I care about you?
  1. Event sign-in
  2. Donate $25 or more dollars.
  3. Social Media Army: Facebook Event Check-in. Hash Tag- #NextChairman
  4. Walk in a parade: June 18 in Rockton, July 4 in Rockford, Cherry Valley, or Winnebago
  5. Walking / Calling: We need 200 volunteers (2.5 hours of time)

Speech pic 9 Thank you for being here today.

Thank you for your support.
Thank you for your future support.
May God continue to bless you, your family and our great community.

2016 Memorial Day Speech at Kishwaukee Cemetary

It was an honor to be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Memorial Day event at Kishwaukee Cemetery. Click below to hear my remarks.

About Kishwaukee Cemetery: Founded in 1845, the Kishwaukee Cemetery is believed to be the oldest burial spot for European settlers in Winnebago County. It contains the remains of veterans from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

– Chuck Sweeny, Rockford Register Star


Public Comments – Winnebago County Committee Meeting

My “public comments” from the joint Winnebago County Board Finance and Operations Meeting (May, 2016)

Given the current situation at the County, I wanted shared some thoughts at the joint Finance / Operations Committee Meeting and asked the Board to consider the following:

  • Review of the County’s procurement processes; specifically when it comes to the use of outside legal and project-related consultants.
    • Outside expertise is needed to compliment internal talent; however, we may want to narrow what is considered an acceptable ‘no-bid situation.
    • Require that these decisions adhere to a public process (vs. closed door process) in which the administration recommends a course of action and the County Board approves, amends, or denies.
  • Review of legal contracts and MOU’s (memorandum’s of understanding) from three perspectives:
    • Risk management perspective.
      • Are we managing risk as it relates to the handling of taxpayer dollars?
    • Board approval process perspective.
      • What comes to the board for approval? What does not?
    • Legal perspective.
      • What contracts require legal review by the board attorney? Which do not?
  • Internal collaboration. Commitment from County-wide electeds; including the next Board Chairman, to operate within the established budget formally approved by the board.  This is critical and will take the commitment of all involved to front-load the discussion before the budget is passed.  This will require a total commitment to collaboration between the county-wide electeds to consider new cost-saving measures, sharing of resources, etc.  This will reduce the need to eliminate staff and / or increase taxes.
  • Board Approval. No more circumvention of the board process. Direction to department heads, whether elected or otherwise, should NOT come off-line from 2-3 board members nor from either caucus. They should come from official board action.  The confusion I witnessed the last month regarding the sheriff being given “a green light” to spend money that wasn’t formally approved by the board as a whole is odd to me. This is not fair to the sheriff, the rest of the board, or the community. 
  • Review of the Counties’ nepotism policies as compared to best-practice for public institutions around the state.
  • Re-financing of jail bond. Although I was not in favor of the recent jail bond re-financing for operational needs, I understand it was suggested as a stop-gap. I also understand that only one step in the multi-year process has been completed. I would recommend no further operational monies be spent from this strategy until the FBI investigation of the county has been completed and findings are shared publicly. I do not want to borrow additional monies that we may be able to find in our existing budget.