Candidates Views – General Elections April 6 – Belvidere 5th Ward

Groovy Ballot Box

On January 9, 2021 The League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford sent a questionnaire to reachable candidates in the Municipal Elections being held April 6, 2021. Early voting started March 12, and mail-in ballots available when a request is sent to: Rockford Board of Elections at voterockford.com, Boone County Clerk’s office and the Winnebago County Clerk’s office.

The results below are for the Rockford and Belvidere city races only. Candidates not submitting questionnaire information will have their names present, all candidates are in ballot order.


General Voting and Election Information

Ballots, voter rights, contact info, literally everything, is on the LWVGR Voter Information page. Office winners are checked.


Belvidere 5th Ward General Election - 2021

NameChristine GardnerMarsha Freedman
Christine Gardner
Street Address925 Whitney Blvd.No response
CityBelvidereNo response
Preferred public campaign contact method815-566-5957, facebook.com/Grow.With.GardnerNo response
Highest Education AchievedFour-year College DegreeNo response
Field of Experience, either paid or volunteerElections & land records from Boone Co Clerk & Recorder's office. Designing exhibits, caring for artifacts at Boone Co Museum of History. Former President, Secretary, Treasurer for local women's sports team. On two local museum committees.No response
Candidate PartyDemocraticIndependent
Elective OfficeAlderpersonNo response
Constituent Area5th WardNo response
Candidate StatusChallengerNo response
Why do you want to be on the City Council? What prompted you to run for office?I care about the people in my town, and I wanted to give back and represent them. I want to work together with the rest of city council to make our town the best it can be for everyone.No response
How much time, in hours, do you think you will have to spend each week in committee meetings?4No response
How much time, in hours, will you have available each week to address constituents concerns, discuss issues, and personally meet with some constituents?4No response
Do you have any plans, or ambition, to seek other elected positions in government after serving on the City Council?No, This office is my only goal.No response
Do you plan to hold regular public constituent meetings?Yes, Annually.No response
What are the special challenges of your constituent area and how do you plan to address those needs?There are several issues with trees growing up through power lines. I would press to get them removed before they become a larger issue for the neighborhood. There are also drainage and road issues that I will vote yes to fix.No response
What specific talents from your previous experiences make you a good candidate for your office?I worked in the Clerk and Recorder's Office for many years, and I was able to be efficient and precise while working with land records and elections. In my current position of museum curator, I am able to be creative and precise.No response
What specific skills do you bring to the committees?I am a problem solver, and I like finding creative solutions to issues. If there is a more streamlined way to do something, I will find it. I am willing to compromise for the good of all. I have worked with budgets and light bookkeeping.No response
What is your experience in group negotiations for stated goals? (In partisan situations certain guidelines may need consensus.)I am on two museum committees and am a trustee at my local church. We discuss, compromise and negotiate at every meeting. We work together for the good of the project.No response
If you feel strongly about a particular issue and your constituents feel the opposite, how would you vote when the issues comes up on the Council?Vote with my knowledge and experience. That's why I was chosen to represent.No response
In decisions where your constituent area will gain at the expense of the community as a whole, where does your allegiance to your constituent area end and your concern about community-wide issues begin?If it's something that's good for only part of us, but detrimental to the rest, I would not support it. If it was part of a rotational plan that didn't actively hurt another ward, that would be a different story.No response
What is the core reason(s) for crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole.Domestic violence, drugs and robbery are all very high right now. Covid-19 has stripped people of incomes, health, and homes. We have not taken mental health as seriously as we should have, and a global pandemic has laid that fact bare.No response
What ideas do you have to reduce crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole? Please include funding ideas.We should make sure that everyone has their basic necessities met, and increase spending on social services to get people back on their feet. At the same time, we should be actively recruiting new businesses and opportunities to our area.No response
Do you support retraining police to reduce confrontational police tactics?Yes, police retraining is needed and additional social resources are needed to augment the ability to keep the peace.No response
What method would you support to pay for additional social resources to keep the peace?Re-allocate current police funding to pay for additional social resources. No higher taxes.No response
What do you think the community can do about the increase in gun violence that has not already been done?I think we need to increase availability of mental health services for our communities, as well as make sure everyone has basic necessities. Then we can better address the violence of people using weapons.No response
What ideas do you have for more commerce that brings jobs to the community for middle-class wages and benefits?I think we should concentrate on bringing in some living wage jobs in the manufacturing and utilities fields. We could have our own trade school and encourage small businesses through loans and create more parking downtown.No response
What do you think needs done to address the issues of social-economic and race inequity this community?We need to bridge the gap by understanding each other's points of view, and, even if we don't agree, use that as a starting point to promote change. We must be open to changing our minds when presented with new evidence.No response
Concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, what mitigation-level rules you support?Mandatory CDC-recommended masks and 6-foot social distancing.No response
Please state any other areas, important to you, that you want the public to know.No response
LWVGR-Candidate-Questionnaire-1/2021