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News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

The Views of Springfield’s Seat C Candidates

Submitted photo

Two candidates are on the April 7th ballot for the City Council’s General Seat C. KSMU’s Kathryn Eutsler spoke with Kristi Fulnecky and Len Eagleburger to hear their views and plans for the city.

Kristi Fulnecky and Len Eagleburger are both Springfield natives. Past experiences and passion for this community fuel both candidates’ desire to serve on the City Council.

While Eagleburger focuses on the advancement of social issues, Fulnecky’s main platform issue is economic development.

According to Fulnecky, Springfield is a great place for business, but an increase in public relations and marketing of the city is needed. She considers the strengths of the city to be a low cost of living and few government regulations on businesses, which she’d like to help maintain.

“We have a very strong streamlined local government that will provide low regulation and low tax, because that really is the incentive for businesses to hire,” Fulnecky explains.

One way she hopes to help Springfield businesses is by making it easier for businesses to receive tax incentives.

Developing the economy, she says, will open doors to solving other issues in Springfield.

“Keeping those good business here, and that will in turn lead to job creation, and job creation in turn leads to an effect on decreasing poverty, and in turn decreasing crime,” Fulnecky explains.

Credit Submitted photo
Len Eagleburger is one of the candidates for Springfield City Council's General Seat C.

Eagleburger disagrees with Fulnecky’s approach to the Springfield economy. He says he will allow the Chamber of Commerce to deal with issues in business, and instead wants to focus on individual issues.

“I hope to bring some help in the social issue area,” Eagleburger explains.

He opposes the proposed repeals of the city’s sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as pit-bull ordinance, and disagrees with changes to the referendum petition process.  

When it comes to public safety in Springfield, both candidates express concern.

“If you look at the numbers, we’re not really rising in crime, except for that violent crime area.  But perceptions, how people feel when they’re in their house, they want to be safe and they want their children [to be safe.] I’m a mother, so obviously I want my kids to be safe when they come home from school and in our neighborhood when they’re playing,” Fulnecky explains.

Fulnecky’s message of public safety has been endorsed by the Springfield Firefighters Association and the Springfield Police Department.

She hopes to ensure proper staffing and funding. Fulnecky says the current budget does not account for police cars and fire trucks, so adding that as a line item on the budget will be a crucial step in improving public safety.

Eagleburger is alarmed by the increase in violent crime. He does not, however, advocate changes to the budget.

“I don’t know what could solve that problem except hire more police officers, but I realize there is only so much money that can be spent in that area, so what resources there are we’re going to have to use wisely,” Eagleburger explains.

He also voices concerns about domestic violence and child abuse in the area, but says he is unsure of proper solutions to these issues.

Overall, both candidates are passionate about the Springfield community, and have received support.

Fulnecky has been endorsed by the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors, the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield Good Government Committee, and the city’s police and firefighter associations.

“I think my community involvement with non-profits and trying to raise money and make a positive impact in Springfield coupled with my experience in government and my legal background, I think I could really help Springfield with a number of problems.”

Eagleburger has been endorsed by the Sierra Club and the Green County Democrats.

“I’d like to be a voice for the working people- I think that is very lacking on city council,” he explains.

In addition to being a licensed attorney, Fulnecky is the president of Fulnecky Enterprises. She is greatly involved in the Springfield community, and has served on the board of the Mercy Health Foundation and as past chair of the Boys and Girls Town Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Eagleburger is a Vietnam era veteran and author. He has degrees in finance and business from Missouri State University. Eagleburger recently retired from the movie theatre industry, where he worked in management and with the union for many years. He is a former delegate to the Springfield Labor Council and the Ozarks Labor Historical Society, and is currently serving his second term on the Springfield Landmarks Board.

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