Larry Rockford first candidate to announce run for open seat in Springfield's Ward 4

Steven Spearie
State Journal-Register
Larry Rockford

Larry Rockford is the first candidate to throw his hat into the ring for Springfield City Council Ward 4 alderman.

Ward 4, which covers the north side of the city, became vacant after John Fulgenzi announced in June that he wouldn't seek a third term.

Rockford said he talked to Fulgenzi and longtime Ward 5 Ald. Bob Vose about running.

It is Rockford's first run for office.

Rockford, 60, a brother-in-law of Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, recently retired from City Water, Light & Power as division chief at the property management center. He had previously worked with the Springfield Recreation Department, which was then part of the city.

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"The north end is the place I am most passionate about and why I decided to run,” Rockford said. "I want to be the spokesperson, the earpiece for the residents out here and I'll do a good job and work hard for them. That's all I can tell them."

The city, Rockford said, needs "a more comprehensive solution to repair and upgrade older infrastructure."

Rockford said he was familiar with work recently being done on the north end to evaluate the condition of the sanitary and storm sewer manholes.

The work follows up an administrative order the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued against the city in 2013 after documenting sanitary sewer overflows. The overflows, or SSOs, violate the federal Clean Water Act.

Rockford said different jurisdictions often adds to the confusion of who is responsible for what repairs.

"You have the state that handles some roads, and you have the city doing some roads," he said. "One example is Peoria Road and Ninth Street. It's a state road, but people don't know that. They see roads and say, why doesn't the city fix it? You have to work together and get things done."

Rockford vowed he would walk all of the ward's precincts and talk to constituents about issues.

“I will be a strong voice for Ward 4 neighborhoods, so we get the strong results we deserve," he said.

A Lanphier High School grad, Rockford has coached baseball at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School and football at Springfield High School. Rockford has also been involved with the Junior Football League of Central Illinois and the STRIDE running program.

He has been married for 31 years to his wife, Jean. The couple has three children: Alexandria, 29, Nolan, 27, and Lucas, 22.

Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, sspearie@sj-r.com, twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.