Local Government

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

Courtesy of Melissa Hasse

This week on Making Democracy Work, host Leslie Carrier speaks with Melissa Haase, assistant director of Public Information and Civic Engagement for the City of Springfield.

Today’s discussion explores the City’s efforts in networking and connecting residents throughout Springfield, particualrly the Springfield Neighborhood News publication.

KSMU/KSMU Archives

Twelve people spoke before Springfield City Council Monday night about proposed changes to the tobacco ordinance, and all were in favor of raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco in the city to 21.

One of those was Steve Edwards, president of CoxHealth, and, while he could have shared statistics to convince council members to vote yes on what’s being called the “Tobacco 21 Act,” he told a personal story.

City Of Springfield

A City of Springfield news release announced the passing of former City Councilman Ralph Manley as follows:

Ralph K. Manley, who parachuted into Normandy France on D-Day (June 6, 1944) and was a City Councilman, passed away May 6, 2019. Manley was an enthusiastic supporter of Springfield, known for his “public leaps of joy” and indefatigable optimism.

The City of Springfield is taking bids on various parcels of city-owned land at 17 locations in Springfield.

Many of the properties were once the site of buildings that have been demolished by the city.  Some were forfeited to the city as a result of delinquent sewer liens.

When determining an asking price for a surplus property, the city says it takes several things into consideration, including other property values in the neighborhood and the amount of money the city has put into the site through demolitions or paying off liens.


The public will have the chance to provide input into the future of Galloway Village at three public meetings in Springfield.  The first will be from 5:30 to 7 March 21 at All Saints Anglican Church, 2751 E. Galloway.  The others will be later this spring and summer, but dates have not yet been set.

KSMU file photo

A debate between two candidates for a contested Springfield City Council seat will take place Tuesday night, March 19, at 7:00 at Drury University’s Findlay Student Center in Springfield.

According to organizers, sitting Zone 3 Councilman Mike Schilling will debate challenger Noah Snelson Tuesday evening.

The debate is hosted by Drury and Ozarks Independent.

Audience members will have a chance to ask questions.   This is the first of two City Council candidate debates to take place at Drury ahead of the April 2 election.

Google Maps

Fremont Avenue between Battlefield and Sunset will be closed for two weeks beginning Friday, March 8.  City Utilities will continue relocating electric lines in preparation for the Battlefield and Fremont Intersection and Roadway Improvement Project, planned for 2020.

The road will be closed in phases.  Starting at 9 Friday morning, Fremont will be closed for a week between the mall entrance and Sunset, allowing access to the mall from the south.  Phase two will close Fremont between Battlefield and the mall access for a week, allowing entrance to the mall from the north. 

Chloe O'Neill

Springfield City Council began discussion of proposed changes of the city’s zoning ordinance Tuesday to address medical marijuana.  Missouri voters last November approved Amendment 2, which allows regulated use, including the cultivation, testing, manufacturing and sale.

Michele Skalicky

If you’re not yet registered to vote and you want to cast a ballot in the April 2nd General Municipal Election, you have until tomorrow to register.

KSMU file photo

Springfield voters will head back to the ballot box on April 2, 2019 for municipal elections.

The Neighborhood Advisory Council is hosting two forums where voters can pose questions to candidates for City Council.

The two forums featuring City Council candidates are:

Google Maps

A building at Campbell and Central in Springfield will be razed next week to create a bigger campus for Greene County.

The 2/10-acre property, at 311 W. Central, has been used over the years for a sheet metal business, dry cleaners, several gas stations and an auto glass business.  It most recently housed The Book Rack bookstore, which was damaged in a fatal crash in April, 2018.  The county purchased it for $120,000.

Greene County Courthouse
Chloe O'Neill / KSMU

Greene County Assessor Rick Kessinger is reminding residents that March 1st is the deadline to return 2019 Individual and Business Personal Property Assessment lists.  If the forms are filed late, you’ll have to pay a penalty ranging from $15 to $105, depending on the assessed value.

Chloe O'Neill

Springfield City Council has voted to waive the incident report fees for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.  The bill members decided Monday night amends the fee schedules for certain unicipal services in Springfield city code.

Before the vote, councilman, Matthew Simpson, explained why he planned to vote for the bill.

Courtesy of Harlan Hill, AIA

This week on Making Democracy Work, host Ilga Vise speaks with Harlan Hill, director of Building Development Services for the City of Springfield.

Today’s discussion explores Hill’s tenure with the department, and the process for permits and licenses related to ensuring safe building throughout the city.