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


Objectives


  • 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 
  • Review work of business community visioning group related to quality of place
  • Proactively promote activities that instill community pride
  • Foster activities that promote a clean, safe and friendly neighborhood.

Legislative Engagement


The deliberate formation of a positive relationship with local and regional legislative delegates to affect positive outcomes in legislative policy.


Objectives


  • 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 Legislature’s newly formed Local Government Caucus
  • 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.

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.

Objectives


  • Review new revenue opportunities to meet future capital and operational needs
  • Determine the most reasonable means to grow existing revenue sources
  • Encourage ideas for improving operational 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.

Economic Vitality


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.

Objectives


  • Enhance Springfield’s potential as a regional tourism hub for 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 revitalize Springfield’s neighborhoods
  • Review the provision of alternative forms of energy that are desired by business prospects
  • Strategically market and apply a targeted use of economic development incentives for big impact projects
  • 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 close the skills gap within our community
  • Improve the community’s attractiveness to business site selectors
  • 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.

Public Safety 


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.

Objectives


  • Actively review the application and benefit of new public safety 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
  • 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
  • Place additional emphasis on the diversity of staff
  • Work with community partners to determine 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
  • Transition from a complaint-based code enforcement approach to a City-initiated approach.


2019 Legislative Priorities



Retain Local Control


In general, the City of Springfield opposes legislation that would reduce or remove local authority. 


Avoid Unfunded Mandates


 In general, the City of Springfield opposes any bill that would result in a new net cost to the City of Springfield and/or its citizens.

Promote Public Safety


Includes support for public safety funding, statewide scrap metal reporting, seat belt requirements, public health funding, immunization funding, and the establishment of a national Public Health Emergency Fund.


Promote Economic Vitality


Includes support for strengthening Springfield’s ability to compete for jobs, support for education and workforce development, protection of our natural environment, support for transportation, affordable housing, downtown revitalization, tourism funding, and broadband access and digital literacy for all citizens.


Promote Fiscal Sustainability


Includes support for meaningful ethics reform, a statewide tobacco tax, support of water quality pollutant trading, and Medicaid transformation.

High Priorities:



Internet Sales Tax
The City asks our local delegation to introduce and support legislation that will “level the retail market playing field” in accordance with the intent of the recent South Dakota v. Wayfair Supreme Court case by appropriately including Internet sales in the current Use Tax statute. 

Hotel/Motel Tax
The City asks our local delegation to introduce and support legislation enabling the Springfield electorate to either increase the hotel/motel tax or to adopt a convention and tourism and/or convention and sport tax in addition to the hotel/motel tax, like what is allowed for Kansas City and St. Louis.

Statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)

The City of Springfield encourages our local delegation to introduce and support legislation to establish a statewide PDMP. Although the City of Springfield and Greene County have each implemented local PDMPs, it is in everyone’s best interest to establish a statewide PDMP.

Municipal Court Issues

Modify Certain Provisions from Senate Bill 5 (passed in 2015) – The City asks our local delegation to introduce and support legislation that will modify the unintended consequences to municipalities that are adversely affected by legislation directed toward municipal court policies and procedures in another portion of the state. The City understands that some counties may need to be treated differently than others, and the Senate Bill 5 provisions may be appropriate for some counties. With this in mind, our legislative municipal court objectives include:

  • Reversal of Section 302.341.2’s RSMo, which eliminated the FACT (Failure to Appear in Court for Traffic Violation) driver’s license suspension procedure (302.341.1) for “minor traffic violations” with reinstatement of the FACT procedure. Most “traffic violations” are “minor traffic violations.” Under current law, the driver’s license for those who fail to appear in Municipal Court can no longer be suspended for minor traffic violations. As a result, arrest warrants are immediately issued for these defendants. The FACT process did allow for driver’s license suspensions, but provided for 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.
  • Repeal of sections 479.353(3) RSMo and 479.360.1(3) RSMo. Missouri Supreme Court Rule 37.65, effective July 1, 2015, comprehensively addresses how courts are to proceed procedurally in enforcing money judgments.
  • A reasonable increase to or elimination of the cap on municipal fines for a third or subsequent offense.

Community Service Support – The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce and support language to once again allow municipal courts to sentence to community service and require program cost recovery from nonindigent probationers.

Chronic Nuisance Properties and Dangerous Buildings

Chronic Nuisance Properties – The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce and support legislation that will modify the provisions passed by the Legislature in 2016 that require all tenants be personally notified when corrective action on the property is necessary. When considering a recent U.S. Supreme Court case determination that addressed proper notice, this statutory requirement results in the City being required to publicly post the names of all tenants. The City is also seeking authority to collect all nuisance-abatement costs through the County Collector’s Office, even when a property changes ownership.

  • Clarify state statutes on nuisance issues – The City asks our local delegation to introduce and support a bill that will clarify the state’s intent to allow municipalities to recover costs associated with the processing nuisance actions.
  • Provide accelerated abatement process for chronic nuisances – The City asks our local delegation to introduce and support a bill that will allow a single, one-year notice for the abatement of tall grass, weed and junk nuisances.

Revisions to dangerous building statutes – The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce and support legislation that will allow mailing alternatives to certified mail, and the recovery of costs related to interim structure stabilization, installation of property access control measures, unpaid permit fees, and other directly related out-of-pocket costs.

Other Priorities:

Pay Day Loans
The City asks our local delegation to introduce and support legislation that will 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 2016 was 462 percent.

Medicaid Suspension
The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to support the appropriation of funds necessary to continue Medicaid coverage while a person is incarcerated. An acceptable alternative would be to introduce and sponsor legislation to suspend the Medicaid benefit for those incarcerated rather than to terminate the benefit. Termination of Medicaid results in disruption of mental health and/or substance abuse care that is critical to life stability. We believe that eliminating or minimizing this disruption can be a positive factor for reducing recidivism and the burden to the criminal justice system. Similar approaches have been adopted by 31 states.