Springfield City Council

Covering policy decisions, issues from Springfield City Council.

Cindy Funk / Flickr

Springfield City Clerk Anita Cotter has certified 13 applicants for the City Council election on April 4. 

Five City Council Seats and the office of Mayor are up for grabs. Zone 2 Councilman Tom Prater, who was appointed last September after Justin Burnett resigned, must run for his seat.  He faces one opponent:  Helen Gunther.

Current council members Ken McClure and Kristi Fulnecky are running for mayor.

There are three candidate for General Seat A:  incumbent Jan Fisk will face Jesse Coulter and Allan Kemper.

SGF CityView

Springfield citizens will, on average, pay around five percent more for utilities beginning next summer.

City Council last month approved rate increases for sewer, water and gas.

These increases will ultimately cost around $1.50 more a month, which officials say will help pay for mandated upgrades to the sewer system. According to Steve Meyer, the city’s director of Environmental Services, the increase is lower than what was previously being considered.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

Springfield City Council is being asked to consider two bills that would allow construction of two buildings to house a fraternity and sorority at the southeast corner of Madison and Jefferson.

During its meeting last night, council heard about an ordinance that would rezone the area, part of a larger section of Springfield declared blighted in 1964, to allow for the development.  Another ordinance would adopt the redevelopment plan for the area and allow for tax abatement.

City of Springfield

Springfield City Council has passed the so-called “Uber Bill.”  The substitute bill, approved 8-0 Monday (Jan Fisk recused herself), includes rules for both transportation network companies such as Uber and taxicabs.  It leaves the responsibility for drivers, including background checks, to the companies who hire them.

Councilman Ken McClure called the bill “a landmark piece of legislation.”  And he believes the bill is fair to all.

parkboard.org

Information packets are now available for anyone interested in running for Springfield City Council on the April 4, 2017 municipal election ballot.

You can pick up packets and petitions for signatures from the city clerk’s office on the fourth floor of the Busch Municipal Building, 840 Boonville.  You can download them here, but petitions must be picked up in person.

Dr. Thomas Prater
Drury Board of Governors / Drury University

Springfield City Council has chosen a new Zone 2 City Council representative, replacing Justin Burnett who resigned after moving out of that area.

Dr. Thomas Prater was selected from eight candidates at a special City Council meeting today.  Prater, who was born in Springfield, is an eye surgeon with Mattax-Neu-Prater Eye Center and has lived in Zone 2 for nine years.

He’ll serve on council until the certification of the April 4, 2017 election. The winner of that election will serve the remainder of the unexpired Zone 2 term through April 2019.

City of Springfield

A resolution passed by Springfield City Council asks the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to address “potential deficiencies” in its proposed rule regarding pay day and car title loans.

Members of Southwest Missouri Faith Voices talked to council Monday night about the problems they say high interest loans cause people already living in poverty.

Busch Municipal Building
City of Springfield

Eight people have applied for the Zone 2 City Council seat left vacant after Justin Burnett resigned this month.  The filing deadline was last Friday.

City of Springfield

Springfield City Council will begin taking applications for the Zone 2 Council seat vacated by Justin Burnett this morning at 8. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. Sept. 16 unless City Council decides to extend the deadline. Council plans to review the applications and interview candidates at a Special City Council meeting at noon, Sept. 20, at the Springfield-Greene County Public Safety Center, 330 W. Scott St.

Justin Burnett
City of Springfield

Springfield Councilman Justin Burnett has resigned after moving out of City Council Zone 2 and into the southern part of the city.  

According to an email from the city, Mayor Bob Stephens responded to an email from Burnett, accepting his resignation, noting that he no longer meets the residency requirements to serve as Zone 2 Councilman.

This is the second time Burnett has resigned.  In January, the councilman submitted his resignation, citing health concerns.  He rescinded that resignation soon after.

YMCA

Springfield City Council has approved a $700,000 loan through the city’s Commercial Loan Program for proposed renovations at the Ward Branch YMCA on Jefferson downtown.

The project would provide 48 housing units, with six to ten units set aside for foster care kids aging out of the system.  Debbie Hart is with Housing Plus, LLP, one of the developers who’s working with the Y on the project.

City of Springfield

An attorney hired by the City of Springfield to investigate City Council member Kristi Fulnecky’s eligibility to run for and hold office has issued his report.

grandpashouse.org

Springfield City Council has denied a request for a conditional use permit for a house on the northwest corner of National and Sunshine.  Zoning would have remained unchanged.

Kathy Penrod of Illinois was behind an effort to turn the property into Grandpa’s Hospitality House—a place to stay for people with loved ones at nearby Mercy Hospital.

Council members voted unanimously to deny the permit, citing safety concerns.

Councilman Ken McClure said traffic is too heavy there for a bed and breakfast facility. 

KSMU

Greene County is asking the City of Springfield to contribute funds to construct and lease a new, temporary building to house inmates.

The facility would be built on a current parking lot just east of the jail at 933 N. Robberson.  Greene County Commissioner Bob Cirtin said the temporary jail, which would be considered maximum security, would have up to 130 beds with 20 of those designated for violators arrested on municipal charges.  The city is being asked to provide $1 million for three years.

Pedro Ribeiro Simoes / Flickr

The Mayor’s Task Force on Crisis Sheltering, formed last fall, has presented its recommendations to Springfield City Council.

Among them:  using shelter diversion to reduce the need for crisis sheltering.  It’s a strategy that prevents homelessness for people seeking shelter, in part, by helping them to identify immediate alternate housing arrangements.

Examples of shelter diversion, according to the task force, include help with utility and rent deposits, obtaining state ID cards and birth certificates and help with transportation.

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