News Flash

City of Springfield News Releases (General)

Posted on: March 21, 2023

City starts plans for new City Council members


The City has begun plans for the transition of at least three City Council seats. General Seat D Councilman Richard Ollis,  Zone 3 Councilman Mike Schilling and General Seat C Councilman Andy Lear have chosen not to run for reelection. 

As a part of the transition, a few things must be done, including the preparation for turnover on City Council’s four committees. Those Committees are: Community Involvement Committee; Finance and Administration Committee; Plans and Policies Committee and Public Involvement Committee.

Ollis is chair of the Plans and Policies Committee, which deliberates on City code revisions, Council goals and procedures and master planning of all areas. A pre-scheduled meeting for Plans and Policies Committee Thursday, March 23 is being postponed in order to hold those issues for the new City Council committee and ultimately, the new City Council should anything be referred out of committee.

 “After thoughtful consideration, I ultimately decided that it wasn’t fair to the new Council members or any of the stakeholders concerned with the items on our agenda, to get started, yet not be able to finish,” Ollis said. 

Ollis trusts the new Council committee members will do a thorough job vetting and deliberating the two issues currently on tap for Plans & Policies Committee. Those issues are a recommended moratorium on development near Sunshine and National and a proposed ordinance to address the issue of demolition by neglect, a term that refers to the practice of allowing a building to deteriorate to the point that demolition becomes necessary or restoration becomes unreasonable. 

“These are both very important issues and need thorough research, consideration and thoughtful dialogue,” Ollis said. “The newly constituted Plans and Policies Committee will deserve a chance to start fresh.”

Ollis remembers his time joining City Council six years ago. “It’s like drinking from a fire hose,” he explained. “There’s a very steep learning curve. Being able to start discussing at least two issues will be helpful to the new Council members, who will find themselves inserted into the middle of so many different in-progress issues.”

City Clerk Anita Cotter said other transition plans include City Council forwarding topics currently under review by Council Committees to the new Council Committees once they are established and a formal orientation process. New members typically arrange to meet with each City department one-on-one. Cotter said it is anticipated that new Council members will be sworn in at the April 17 meeting, taking place at 6:30 p.m. in Historic City Hall.

Council Committee meetings offer an opportunity for a subset of City Council members to meet as many times as needed to learn more about a specific issue, consider input and discuss thoroughly in a public setting before making a recommendation to the full City Council. Ollis describes them as essential to the public deliberation process.

To learn more about which City Council members sit on which committees or to sign up for notifications for future City Council committee meetings, visit To learn more about upcoming meetings visit and click on the “Notify Me” button. There you will find a variety of topics, including Council committee agendas to receive notification about.

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Media Contact: Cora Scott, 417-380-3352 or [email protected]


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