Springfield City Manager Greg Burris is stepping down from the position effective June 30 to take a new role with the city.
Burris said in a statement Tuesday morning that “It feels like the right time to step aside and let someone else take our community to the next level.”
According to a news release, he’s likely to transition to executive director for the new Give 5 Program, which is designed to make Springfield-Greene County a top destination for retirees to engage in meaningful volunteerism.
Burris became Springfield’s 12th city manager in September 2008. He previously worked for 25 years at Missouri State University in a variety of roles, from computer programmer to vice president for administrative and information services.
As the city’s chief executive officer, he is responsible for the overall operation of the city, for executing all policies and programs authorized by City Council, and providing general direction to the City’s Leadership Team.
“While I told my wife when I was hired that I would probably only do this for about five years, it's been nine, and it will be almost 10 by the time I transition to my new role,” Burris said. “I am very proud of our team of employees and what we've accomplished during the past nine years. But of all the things we've done, I'm most proud of the fact that we didn't shy away from any problem and we took the biggest challenges head on. Working together, we ‘moved the needle’ on many of these issues and hopefully made Springfield a better place. And if I've done my job, they won't miss a beat as we transition to new leadership next year.”
According to the news release, Burris recently approached City Council with the intention to step down at the end of February, but was asked him to stay on through the completion of the FY19 budget.
Burris is credited with leading a city that’s improved its financial condition. It started with instituting a hiring freeze when he first took the job that resulted in 200 vacant positions. Now, the city has a positive Workers Compensation Fund balance, an efficiently run pension system, and favorable external audits. Voters have receptive to ballot box requests, most recently approving the continuation of the city’s Level Property Tax this month.
In 2015, Burris and other city staff launched a series of Community Listen sessions to identify issues facing citizens Zone 1, later developing an 18-month Zone Blitz initiative to tackle 11 target needs identified.
According to the city, Burris has received favorable citizen satisfaction scores as city manager. The most recent survey in 2014 showed an increase in seven of the 12 major categories of city services that were rated from 2011.
City Council’s intention is to begin a search for a new city manager in January and have a selection made who can begin July 1, 2018. The city intends to announce more information about the search process later on.
Follow Scott Harvey on Twitter: @scottksmu