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.
2024 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; result in a new net cost and related tax burden to the City of Springfield and/or its citizens; or move municipal elections from April to Fall or introduce partisanship into municipal elections.
Special Interest Legislation
The City of Springfield requests that legislation with statewide impact not be used to address localized concerns.
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 supports:
- sustained funding for mental health service, the Pretrial Witness Protection Service fund, rape kit testing, and sexual assault reduction and victim assistance needs and efforts to reduce gun violence in our community and across the state of Missouri, including amending State law to match Federal law regarding the possession of handguns by minors.
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.
- FACT Procedure (Failure to Appear in Court for Traffic Violation)
The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to reinstate the FACT (Failure to Appear in Court for Traffic Violation) procedure that was eliminated in 2015. This approach allows for a drivers license suspension after a 30-day warning/grace period for failing to appear in Municipal Court related to minor traffic violations. We also support other legal incentives that result in a higher court appearance rate.
- 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
The City of Springfield asks our local delegation to introduce and support a bill that will provide an accelerated abatement process for chronic nuisances by:
- Allowing a single, one-year notice for the abatement of tall grass and weed nuisances to more expeditiously address chronic violation locations;
- Allowing violation notices to be sent only to owner;
- Allowing flexible notice mailing alternatives such as Fed Ex or UPS, as long as the recipient’s signature is required;
- Allowing nuisance abatement costs to run with the land;
- Allowing recovery of all direct costs associated with processing and abatement of nuisances; and
- The review of all related statutory narrative for topic and definitional clarity.
- Dangerous/Unsafe Buildings
We ask our legislature to introduce and support a bill that:
- Allows flexible notice mailing alternatives such as FedEx or UPS, as long as the recipient’s signature is required.
- Allows recovery of all direct costs associated with processing and abatement.
- Allows for collecting of processing and abatement costs through the County Collector (real estate tax bill) in lieu of a special tax bill; and
- Limits 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 invest in community mental health services (e.g., call centers, mobile crisis, 24-hour rapid access units, etc.). Roughly 1 of 5 individuals live with a mental illness or substance use disorder. 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 amend or repeal the home-based work/business statutes changed by HB 1662 in 2022. These laws create legal zoning inequities and severely constrain cities from reasonably protecting residential neighborhoods from incompatible commercial and industrial activities.
Video Lottery Terminals
The City of Springfield asks the State legislature to lawfully define video lottery terminals (VLTs) as illegal gambling devices under State law.
Transportation Development Districts (TDDs)
The City of Springfield asks the State legislature to clarify the statutory use of TDD funds.
The City of Springfield asks the State legislature to amend State law to enhance the ability of cities to apply the voluntary annexation proces
The City of Springfield asks the State legislature to do everything possible to ensure people register and license their vehicles on time, including a significant increase in late fee
Legislative Funding Requests
The City of Springfield asks the State legislature to consider funding:
- Interstate 44 Improvements
To fully fund all I-44 (from Kansas Expressway to Highway 65) project components to include widening to six lanes, lane rehabilitation, bridge replacements, safe pedestrian/bicycle connectivity and safe interchange access from Highway 13.
- LeCompte Road/Eastgate Extension Funding
To fund $3.4 million for the Eastgate Extension, which fully funds critical semi-truck transportation connections for up to 500 acres (200 acres immediately) of industrial development land above and adjacent to the Springfield Underground near I-44 and Highway 65.
- Family Connects Program Funding
To fund the Springfield-Greene County Family Connects at $1 million per year for three years as an evidence-based newborn home visitation intervention that aims to help families during critical development which is vital to school readiness and healthy outcomes. Over time, home visitation programs are shown to reduce and prevent mental illness, reduce involvement in the criminal justice system and prepare children for successful education.