Freeport, Illinois — May 25, 2017 — On Monday May 22 the City of Freeport officially swore in Lowell Crow as the city’s first City Manager. After being sworn in by newly elected, and Freeport’s first part-time Mayor Jodi Miller, Crow addressed the public in what he says he hopes is the longest address he will make in front of the council.
After thanking the council and Mayor’s transition committee for putting their trust in him as the city’s first city manager, Lowell said he is excited about the future Freeport faces.
“We have an exciting opportunity to move at lightening pace” Crow tells Freeport citizens and council members. “Our goal is to make Freeport a top tier 21st century city.”
Lasting a little over 4 minutes, Crow’s address covers his role in city government and to the people as well. “Under the manager form of government, I and the city staff work for the elected body in executing the policies of the elected body.”
Crow says that because of the decisions on policy and the future of the community made by the entire government body, instead of one individual making all the decisions, council manager governments are more often engaged in involving their residents in the decision making process.
Crow says the city has many ordinances that need to be updated as well as structures that need to be changed to reflect those changes. Crow says his goal is to make these changes rapidly and seamlessly.
Over the next 90 days Crow says as part of the budget process they will be looking at how to more efficiently deliver services. They will be looking at the structure and staff currently providing city services and says they may make adjustments and propose changes deemed necessary to move Freeport into the 21st century.
This will included the execution of a street crimes unit to focus on gun violence and high crime neighborhoods, as well as a task force to develop new public safety planning that works for the community.
In his address Crow also touched on improving neighborhoods, blight reduction and property maintenance enforcement. He spoke of working better with the staff and non profit organizations in the city to bring new businesses and help retain businesses that are key to the city’s business community.
Part of Crow’s address was regarding Freeport’s old city hall and a plan to offer the building up for bid from private investment. Crow said “we are looking at the best options for either selling or re-commissioning the building or demoing it over the next coming months”.
Over the next year Crow said he will sit down every 90 days with the council to evaluate his progress, as well as the staff and make adjustments where necessary to move Freeport forward.
Crow says the goal is to make Freeport a destination place for new businesses, visitors, as well as a true beacon in the State of Illinois.