Community Focus Report Shows Positives and Negatives
A new report shows that child abuse and neglect continue to be a major problem for Springfield and Greene County. On Monday, the 2007 Community Focus report for Springfield and Greene County was released at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in Springfield. KSMU's Greg Leuthen reports.
The Community Focus is a report highlighting the improvements in the area with blue ribbons and targeting the problems the community continues to face with red flags. The project is sponsored by The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, The Junior League of Springfield, The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield-Greene County Library District, and the United Way of the Ozarks.
Maura Taylor, chair of the Community Focus Steering Committee, says the goal is to turn all the red flags into blue ribbons. She explains one of the red flag areas that has been addressed since the last Community Focus report was issued in 2005.
Ann Elwell is the report facilitator and editor. She addresses some of the red flag areas and explains how the report can help by calling attention to those areas of need.
The Community Focus report indicates that another major red flag is in the area of essential services like funding for public education and recruitment of police officers. Even with rising crime rates in Springfield and Greene County, recruitment of police officers is down.
President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Gary Funk, says that the community has made progress in reducing methamphetamine abuse.
The Springfield and Greene County economy and quality of life are two of the blue ribbon areas. The report cites steady job growth, low unemployment rates, quality health care organizations, park programs, transportation improvements, and a vibrant arts community as some of the subgroups contributing to those blue ribbons. The Community Focus Steering Committee hopes that the Blue Ribbons cause the community to celebrate while the red flags spark discussion and a new commitment to solving these long term challenges.
We have a link to the Community Focus report at ksmu.org.