By Margaret Downing


MARGARET DOWNING, PHOTO - The Journal Pictured in Mayor Darryl Lindberg’s office recently from left are: Juan Terre, Secretary/Utility; Lindberg; and Assistant to the Mayor, Gail Daughtry.

Pictured in Mayor Darryl Lindberg’s office recently from left are: Juan Terre, Secretary/Utility; Lindberg; and Assistant to the Mayor, Gail Daughtry.


Loves Park Mayor Darryl F. Lindberg, after serving in that position for 20 years, has announced he will not seek re-election in April. He says he is ready to retire, although he will most likely stay involved in some activities. Lindberg was born and raised in southeast Rockford and is a 1963 graduate of Rockford East High School. He recalls how he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do after graduation, and took a full time job at Camcar, working a couple of months as a Machinist on the 3-11 p.m. night shift when he took on working in Production Control at the Company. “I was involved with expediting and moving parts on out the door!” he says, “and I learned a lot.” In 1965 he was offered a position at Barber-Colman as a Production Planner, a job he held for about 10 years. “I was in the division that dealt with small motors, such as motors used in eight-track tapes by Delco and used in all General Motors vehicles.” In 1968 Darryl moved to Loves Park and has been there ever since. He started out in 1971-72 as a volunteer firefighter for the city and when an option to join the Police Department as a part-time Police Officer opened up for weekends and evenings, he applied and was hired while still working full-time at Barber-Colman. A full-time patrolman’s position opened up in 1975, and Darryl was offered the job, which he held for about a year and half. He went on to join the city’s Detective Bureau for a year and a half (at the time, the city had two detectives) before applying to Mayor Joe Sinkiawic for the Police Chief’s position in 1978. “I was brought in as Police Chief in September of that year,” he notes.

In 1997, Mayor Sinkiawic retired and Darryl was elected Mayor in April of that year. “All together, I worked full-time for 54 years!” he points out. Accomplishments in his time as Mayor include, being a founding member of the Enhanced 9-1-1 Board (E-9-1-1) in the early 1980s. He also served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, was Chairman of NILEC (Northern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission), and Chairman of SLANT (State Line Area Narcotics Team), just to name a few organizations he has been involved with. Lindberg recalls how much dedication Mayor Sinkiawic gave toward bettering life for business owners and city residents while he was Mayor. “He began the Flood Control Project, which was broken into five phases, the first two completed under his watch. So, my first challenge was to take that on. Plus, there were other projects that needed to be finished, and I would say I had some great on-the-job training. “It was a smooth transition actually with my assistant, Gail Daughtry, being there to help me! She had been Sinkiawic’s assistant previously and has been in that position for 28 years.” The Mayor says right now, “The Water Department’s Radium Removal Project is near completion, and the city’s water is now handled by a much improved system. We get good reports from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).” Another area of concern is the fact that much of the city’s equipment wasn’t in good shape 20 years ago, and since then a regular replacement program has been put in place, such as for items needed and used by the Police, Water, and Street Departments. Lindberg is proud of the fact that Loves Park “weathered the great recession, no one was ever laid off – we trimmed any excess off the budget, built reserve accounts and are pretty conservative – not overstaffed – and we do not waste dollars. Loves Park has stayed within its budget since its inception in 1947. For the past 48 years we have had no property taxes.” The city has approximately 72 employees. Mayor Lindberg is also very pleased with the placement of the recent Woodward, Inc. complex in Loves Park. Credit for the city’s success, Lindberg stresses, “is the incredible staff this city has and any success we have, credit must be shared with them, they are very hard working.”


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