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Potholes, vacant buildings, tall weeds, grimy grocery carts and urban beavers. These are just a few examples of the many citizen service requests answered by Citizen Resource Coordinator Claudia Crighton over the years. After more than 17 years and hundreds of thousands of calls, Crighton will take off her headset for the last time on June 1.
“I have no idea how many total calls I’ve taken over the 17 years I have been with the City, but it is probably approaching 750,000-800,000 – maybe more,” Crighton said.
The Citizen Resource Center, located on the first floor of the Busch Municipal Building, receives approximately 60,000 to 70,000 calls per year, routing more than 15,000 service requests to City departments such as Public Works, Building Development Services, Planning and Development, Public Information and Civic Engagement, and others.
“Every day is a new day,” says Crighton. “We have so many interesting calls. It is very fulfilling to know you are helping people with issues they can’t fix themselves.”Crighton has always loved working with the public. So much so, that in 2013, she presented her vision for a stand-alone center for citizen service requests and questions to Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott, who loved the idea.
“Claudia has done an amazing job building the CRC into what it is today,” Scott said. “She is truly dedicated to helping citizens, no matter what the issue. She maintains a positive attitude and people appreciate her and the work done in the center. We will miss her very much.”
Crighton is nicknamed “The Claudiapedia” by CRC staff members McKensie Phillips and Regina Crumrine.
“Whether it’s City information you’re looking for, a phone number that Google couldn’t provide, or maybe you can’t remember where that one person lives who had that one complaint last month, Claudia has your answer,” Phillips says.
In addition to supervising the CRC, Crighton manages the Busch building’s front desk and its security guard, John Dowdy. She also serves on the steering committee of the MyCity customer service committee.
Because of her extensive knowledge and willingness to help, Crighton has built a relationship of trust among Springfield citizens.
“People know us in the CRC; a lot of callers know our names, which makes them feel more connected to us. They call us knowing we will listen to their issue and help them if we can,” she says.
Crighton is known at the City for going the extra mile for citizens.
“Sometimes it takes research. Several times a day, we call different departments to ask about a project or something that the City is working on,” Crighton said. “Finding the answer and calling the customer back is always the best option. Citizens are always so happy when they get a ‘real person’ to answer the phone,” she added.
For more information and to set up an interview with Crighton, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected]