City Council Priorities
Quality of Place
Those features of physical environment and qualities of life that make a location a desirable, competitive and economically vibrant place to live.
- Formally emphasize an organizational and community culture of service, diversity, equity and inclusion by recognizing the inherent dignity, value and worth of each individual and through the application of the 5 Pillars of Change as recommended by the Mayor’s Initiative on Equity and Equality.
- Create an image campaign that communicates to and empowers citizens to get engaged with Quality of Place efforts
- Invest in projects that improve livability for Springfieldians; including the beautification of City property, roadways and entryways
- Revitalize Springfield’s neighborhoods
- Invest in quality multi-modal transportation infrastructure
- Attract and retain Springfield’s talent
- Incorporate, as appropriate, work of business community visioning group related to quality of place into the City’s comprehensive planning process
- Proactively promote activities that instill community pride
- Foster activities that promote a clean, safe and friendly neighborhood.
- Apply significantly stricter enforcement approach to major and minor criminal violations, traffic violations, noise violations and nuisance law violations, utilizing measurable outcomes (e.g., metrics) and specific benchmarks.
Governance Legislative Engagement
The deliberate formation of a positive relationship with local and regional legislative delegates to affect positive outcomes in legislative policy.
- Partner further with our region’s cities and organization to create a unified legislative voice
- Serve as a subject matter trusted source for municipal issues
- Work closely with the Missouri General Assembly's Local Government Caucus as well as other applicable legislative caucus groups.
- More formally recognize the efforts of Springfield’s legislative delegation
- Focus annually on the City’s top and most impactful priorities to ensure a clear legislative priority message.
- Take advantage of state and federal funding opportunities.
- Commence a review of the City Charter to determine necessary updates.
Fiscal Sustainability and Accountability
The ability of a municipal organization to adequately meet its primary service delivery needs and financial commitments over the long-term, while also preserving a healthy financial condition based on municipal association best practices including accountability and transparency.
- Review existing revenue types, uses and limitations, and explore new revenue opportunities to meet future capital and operational needs
- Determine the most reasonable means to grow existing revenue sources, including revenue diversification
- Review bonding options and limitations to addressing future capital needs
- Encourage ideas for improving operational, energy and facility efficiencies
- Fully project and address deferred maintenance needs
- Examine enhanced cooperation opportunities with Greene County and other government entities
- Develop performance and financial accountability measures
- Prudently maximize idle funds investment options
- Enhance fiscal transparency through website functionality
- Determine a strategy to strengthen the Parks financial position.
A sustainable economic climate that fosters low poverty, affordable options for quality housing and wage levels that allow the opportunity for people to participate in quality of life endeavors.
- Enhance Springfield’s potential as a regional hub for business, transportation, culture, education, faith and both traditional and sports tourism
- Improve the efficiency and value of the development process
- Review and refine the City’s annexation strategy
- Enhance efforts to stabilize and revitalize Springfield’s neighborhoods, recognizing we have some food desert challenges, and utilizing relevant Zone Blitz data and objectives
- Review the provision of alternative forms of energy that are needed by business prospects
- Strategically market and apply a targeted use of economic development incentives for big impact projects, while considering the most flexible and strategic use of all economic development incentive tools
- Leverage the benefit of private, public, educational and medical partnerships
- Make proactive investments in public infrastructure for those areas with the highest potential for development and redevelopment
- Be a partner to help eliminate barriers to employment within our community, including but not limited to: skill attainment, legal, transportation and child care.
- Improve the community’s attractiveness to business site selectors, with a focus on aggressively marketing our assets
- Align development interests with the priorities of place, design and safety
- Successfully complete the review of the City’s land use plan and effectively implement the outcomes, recognizing the importance to vibrantly emerge and thrive in the post COVID era
- Support the development and preservation of quality, affordable housing stock to meet the needs of a growing and diverse community.
The effective delivery of police, fire, 911 and emergency management service, including prevention efforts and protection from events that could endanger the safety of the general public from significant injury/harm or damage, such as crimes or disasters.
- Actively utilize existing public safety technology and review the application and benefit of new technology
- Address quality of life issues, with special emphasis on reducing chronic nuisance properties to ensure clean, safe neighborhoods
- Strongly encourage the empowerment of neighborhoods to identify and community needs and concerns
- Enhance community engagement and participation to increase crime prevention and public education efforts
- Make efforts to reduce traffic accidents by emphasizing the Education, Engineering and Enforcement approach
- Continue to utilize, promote and recommend alternative sentencing approaches where relevant to reduce warrant-related activities
- Establish a strategic approach to ensure sufficient adequate short-term and long-term staffing levels utilizing new and innovative measures, and determine the most effective geographic application of staff resources
- Place additional emphasis on the diversity of staff
- Apply significantly stricter enforcement approach to major and minor criminal violations, traffic violations, noise violations and nuisance law violations, utilizing measurable outcomes (e.g., metrics) and specific benchmarks
- Coordinate with local community justice partners to determine an agreed upon strategic approach to enhanced community crime prevention, investigation and enforcement
- Work with community partners to identify and address the root causes of mental health issues
- Continue to focus on reducing public safety response times
- Review alternative approaches to enhance compliance with municipal court orders
- Create a plan to transition from a complaint-based code enforcement approach to a City-initiated approach.
2023 Legislative Priorities
Retain Local Control
The City of Springfield opposes legislation that would reduce or remove local authority, including the setting of user and license fees.
Special Interest Legislation
The City of Springfield requests that legislation with statewide impact not be used to address localized concerns.
Avoid Unfunded Mandates
The City of Springfield opposes any legislation that would result in a new net cost and related tax burden to the City of Springfield and/or its citizens.
Promote Public Safety
The City of Springfield supports legislation that promotes safe communities and reduces violent crime.
Promote Economic Vitality
The City of Springfield supports legislation that strengthens Springfield’s ability to: compete for jobs, enhance education and workforce development, improve transportation, provide affordable housing, create healthy neighborhoods, stimulate downtown revitalization, grow tourism funding, and ensure broadband access for all citizens – all without compromising our natural environment.
Promote Fiscal Sustainability
The City of Springfield supports legislation that honors municipal taxing independence, preserves current revenue streams and ensures stable service delivery and infrastructure.
Promote Quality of Place
The City of Springfield supports legislation that promotes projects that improve livability, strengthens our ability to retain and attract talent, enhances our neighborhoods, enriches our visitor experience, and encourages an inclusive and welcoming community.
The City of Springfield opposes legislation that would move municipal elections from April to Fall or introduce partisanship into municipal elections.
The City supports:
- sustained funding for mental health service, the Pretrial Witness Protection Service fund, rape kit testing, and sexual assault reduction and victim assistance needs,
- amending State law to match Federal law regarding the possession of handguns by minors,
- expanding the collection of DNA samples by requiring a sample be collected from any individual aged 18 or older who is arrested of any felony crime as defined by the Revised Statutes for the State of Missouri, and
- efforts to reduce gun violence in our community and across the state of Missouri. U.S. active shooter cases have nearly doubled (31 incidents to 61 incidents) from 2017 to 2021, killing or wounding 243 people in 2021 alone. In 2020, Missouri was ranked 4th for firearm mortality (ranked 17th in 2005) and 5th for firearm homicides per 100,000 persons. In addition, Springfield calls for shots fired has increased 82% (227 to 414 proj.) since 2019. (Sources: U.S. Dept. of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation, CDC, Pew Research Center and SPD data).
For the betterment of our neighborhoods, the City of Springfield supports legislation that allows Land Banks to accept property through the judicial tax sale system without its prior tax obligations (general or special real estate taxes, penalties, liens, etc.), and adds Springfield and other communities to the list of cities enabled to form a Land Bank.
The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce and support legislation that will limit refinancing and cap the amount of interest that can be charged by pay-day loan and car title loan companies that tend to prey on the poor. According to the State Commissioner of Finance’s report to the Governor, the average interest rate for “pay day” loans in Missouri in 2021 was 414%.
- FACT Procedure
Failure to Appear in Court for Traffic Violation (FACT Procedure) – The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce legislation that will reinstate the FACT Procedure. In 2015, SB 5 eliminated the FACT driver’s license suspension procedure for “minor traffic violations” found in RSMo 302.341.2. Under current law, the driver’s license for those who fail to appear in Municipal Court after receiving a citation can no longer be suspended for minor traffic violations. As a result, arrest warrants are immediately issued for these defendants. The prior FACT process did allow for driver’s license suspensions after a 30-day warning/grace period. This process gives defendants a chance to address their case before their license is suspended. Additionally, we have found a much higher compliance rate with the FACT process than with the warrant process. Application of a comparable practice used by the State court system and/or other legal incentives that have the result of increasing court appearances are also supported.
- Municipal Court Warrants
The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce legislation that will amend 479.360.1 (3) RSMo to clearly allow courts the ability to utilize warrants for those that fail to abide by the judgment of the court or fail to show cause for not abiding by the judgment of the court.
- Municipal Court Community Service Support
The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce and support language to once again allow municipal courts that utilize community service in lieu of traditional sentencing obtain program cost recovery from non-indigent probationers. We also support amendments that limit municipal liability for these programs.
Chronic Nuisance Properties and Dangerous Buildings
- Property Nuisances
- Provide Accelerated Abatement Process for Chronic Nuisances – The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce and support a bill that will allow a single, one-year notice for the abatement of tall grass and weed nuisances to more expeditiously address chronic violation locations.
- Allow violation notices to be sent only to owners.
- Allow flexible notice mailing alternatives such as FedEx or UPS, as long as the recipient’s signature is required.
- Allow nuisance abatement costs to run with the land.
- Allow recovery of all direct processing and abatement costs associated with processing and abatement of nuisances.
- Review all statutory narrative for topic and definitional clarity
- Dangerous/Unsafe Buildings
- Allow flexible notice mailing alternatives such as FedEx or UPS, as long as the recipient’s signature is required.
- Allow recovery of all direct costs associated with processing and abatement.
- Allow for collecting of processing and abatement costs through the County Collector (real estate tax bill) in lieu of a special tax bill.
- Limit formal notice requirement to 'violation notice' and 'need to abate' purposes only.
State-provided Mental Health Services
The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce and support legislation investing in community mental health services. Roughly 1 of 5 individuals live with a mental illness or substance use disorder. While progress is being made, decades of divestment has resulted in a significant need for services on the behavioral crisis continuum (includes crisis call centers, mobile crisis, 23-hour rapid access units, stabilization units, and co-responders), substance use disorder treatment and safety net services. We believe this investment will pay for itself many times over in both community dollars spent and lives saved.
SB 1662 Homes-based Business Law
The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to support legislation to repeal or significantly amend the home-based work and home-based business sections of HB 1662. This new law disrupts the equitable application of municipal zoning across residential, commercial and industrial areas. It also directly pre-empts Missouri cities from applying reasonable zoning regulations necessary to adequately protect the peace, quiet and tranquility of our residential neighborhoods from an unlimited list of incompatible commercial and industrial activities.