August 25, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Process for August 27 Council Meeting

City officials expect another packed house at the next City Council meeting, Aug. 27 at Historic City Hall. At the last meeting, Aug. 13, more than 400 people attended and another 1700 watched live video streams online.

Monday night's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Mediacom cable channels 15.1 and 80, AT&T's U-verse and the City's live video stream at springfieldmo.gov/cityview. Updates will also be available live at the City's Twitter feed: CityofSgf and citizens are encouraged to use hashtag #sgfcouncil to chime in with opinions. Overflow rooms equipped with televisions will be opened to accommodate the expected large crowd, and a public address system will be set up outside, in case the crowd exceeds building capacities again.

The two Council bills addressing the sexual orientation and gender identity issue have been moved to the end of the agenda so citizens addressing other agenda items won't have to wait through the possible 2-4 hours of public hearings on those bills.

Also on the agenda is Council Bill 2012-227 (pdf), the result of an initiative petition to lessen the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The Council can pass the initiative, or it can place it on the November ballot – the City Charter limits City Council to only these two options.

Council is also expected to vote on a rezoning request tied to the potential development of a Hampton Inn hotel southwest of the 65/Evans interchange and the annual City Utilities budget. Another agenda item addresses the issue of food trucks and other temporary vendors.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Nondiscrimination

The Springfield City Clerk's office reports 85 people have signed up to speak at the public hearing on Council Bill 2012-226 (pdf - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) and 52 on Council Bill 2012-248 (pdf), an emergency bill that would send it to a vote of the people.

Due to the extraordinarily large number of speakers on the issue, Springfield Mayor Stephens is limiting the time of individuals speaking to both the ordinance itself and the emergency bill to send it to a vote of the people, to three minutes each and a total of two hours for each public hearing.

Addressing this issue could be a one-step, two-step, or three-step process,depending on what City Council votes to do. These three steps were presented and discussed at City Council's Aug. 21 study session and are summarized below.

At the workshop Councilman Thomas Bieker indicated that he plans to make a motion to table this issue and refer it to a community task force. The Mayor plans to allow Councilman Bieker to make his motion early in the agenda. If this motion passes, the other two Council bills (2012-248 and 2012-226) would be tabled and their associated public hearings would be canceled.

city of springfield

Office of the City Clerk

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1651 • Fax: 417-864-1649 • springfieldmo.gov