Candidates Views – General Elections April 6 – Rockford 14th 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.


Rockford 14th Ward General Election - 2021

NameMark StefanicMark Bonne ✔︎
Mark Bonne
Street AddressNo response1308 Charlotte Drive
CityNo responseRockford
Preferred public campaign contact methodNo responsemark@markbonneforalderman.com, markbonneforalderman.com, site under construction, markbonne@comcast.net
Highest Education AchievedNo responseFour-year College Degree
Field of Experience, either paid or volunteerNo responsePrint journalist for nearly 25 years; communications executive; constituent advocate and legislative strategist
Candidate PartyRepublicanDemocratic
Elective OfficeNo responseAlderperson
Constituent AreaNo response14th Ward
Candidate StatusNo responseChallenger
Why do you want to be on the City Council? What prompted you to run for office?No responseThroughout my career, I've given people a voice so they can be heard and fought for open government and inclusion. I believe government still can be a force for good, and I want to further contribute to making Rockford a better place.
How much time, in hours, do you think you will have to spend each week in committee meetings?No response4
How much time, in hours, will you have available each week to address constituents concerns, discuss issues, and personally meet with some constituents?No response10
Do you have any plans, or ambition, to seek other elected positions in government after serving on the City Council?No responseNo, This office is my only goal.
Do you plan to hold regular public constituent meetings?No responseYes, Quarterly
What are the special challenges of your constituent area and how do you plan to address those needs?No responseI'm skilled in drawing attention to issues, and the southeast side has lived in the shadows too long. East State from Alpine to I-90 desperately needs sidewalks, and why not Strong Neighborhood apartments to address crime in the 14th Ward?
What specific talents from your previous experiences make you a good candidate for your office?No responseI'm persistent and inquisitive, and I think outside the box. I have a deep understanding of the political process, and I know how to cut to the chase. I've lived a middle-class life, and I've worked with people from all walks of life.
For Rockford aldermanic candidates: On which committees do you wish to be a member? No responseRock River Development Partnership
Planning & Development
Code & Regulation
Historic Preservation
Rockford Area Venues & Entertainment
What specific skills do you bring to the committees?No responseMy work as founding president of Friends of Lincoln Middle School earned two Historic Preservation awards, and I fought to save the Catholic chancery and school from demolition. I have a long history reporting on and supporting the arts.
What is your experience in group negotiations for stated goals? (In partisan situations certain guidelines may need consensus.)No responseI've led many volunteer efforts that depended on consensus, which is essential when no one's being paid and no one's obligated to follow directives or chain of command, the Kids Win! referendum for Rockford Public Schools being an example.
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?No responseVote with my knowledge and experience. That's why I was chosen to represent.
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?No response1. If Rockford wins, the ward wins. 2. In response to the previous question, absent a referendum, how do you know what constituents really want? That's subjective, and opponents to a public question often make more noise than supporters.
What is the core reason(s) for crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole.No responseMayor McNamara is on the right track confronting domestic violence, which breeds crime outside the home. Poverty and lack of jobs that paying a living wage are the other culprits.
What ideas do you have to reduce crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole? Please include funding ideas.No responseCommunity-wide: Reduce poverty through living-wage jobs and education. In 14: Adapt the Strong Neighborhood House program to apartments where resident police offices might be more effective than publicly-funded security cameras.
Do you support retraining police to reduce confrontational police tactics?No responseYes, police retraining is needed and additional social resources are needed to augment the ability to keep the peace.
What method would you support to pay for additional social resources to keep the peace?No responseRe-allocate current police funding to pay for additional social resources. No higher taxes.
What do you think the community can do about the increase in gun violence that has not already been done?No responseThe gun buy-back program under Mayor Box was effective.
What ideas do you have for more commerce that brings jobs to the community for middle-class wages and benefits?No responseThe potential of the Rockford Promise partnership with NIU is tremendous. We must continue to invest in our airport and the aerospace industry, and the Rock River is an under-played asset. We must fully support passenger rail to Chicago.
What do you think needs done to address the issues of social-economic and race inequity this community?No responseLiving-wage jobs and educational opportunity. But also brutal honesty.
Concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, what mitigation-level rules you support?No responseMandatory CDC-recommended masks and 6-foot social distancing.
Please state any other areas, important to you, that you want the public to know.No responseI live in the house where I grew up, raised my son and now care for my mom as she struggles with Alzheimer's Disease. To become a Top 25 community, we need more thoughtful people to stick their necks out and run for public office.
LWVGR-Candidate-Questionnaire-1/2021