City of Springfield

Springfield city leaders set the dates for public meetings in each ward. Dates, times and locations are below. This post will be updated as locations are announced.

To find out which ward you live in, you can search for your address at the Sangamon County Clerk’s website here.

Wards 5 & 6: Monday, October 28, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Hanson Professional Services, 1525 S. 6th Street

springfield.il.us

NPR Illinois talks with State Journal-Register City Reporter Crystal Thomas about the week in Springfield city government news:

*Candidates for city council shared their views on a resolution naming Springfield a welcoming city and consolidating Capital Township at the first candidate forums.

*Springfield firefighters have a new contract with a raise and a compromise on residency requirements.

WIkipedia commons/taken by W. Wadas

NPR Illinois talks with State Journal-Register City Reporter Crystal Thomas about the week in Springfield news:

*Aldermen are set to vote this week on an agreement with a bike-sharing company to get 75 bikes for rent available around the city.

*The proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts March 1 doesn’t have tax hikes like last year’s spending plan. It does include funding for more police and fire vehicles.

UIS Brookens Library Archives

The site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot could soon become a National Historic Monument.

Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

With 600 miles of road within the city, getting a heavy amount of snow removed can take time.  But an online service allows you to monitor what's been plowed and what hasn't.  

TaxCredits.net / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Illinois continues to see big box stores close. That means lost jobs, less tax revenue and often empty store space.

Still, Joe Fackel – with the Canvass Group – says he’s optimistic about the future of retail. The city of Springfield recently hired his firm to look at vacant shopping space in the capital city.

NPR Illinois talked with Fackel about the retail trends he’s seeing.

Below is a lightly edited transcript.

NPR Illinois: What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Illinois and Springfield officials gathered in the capital city Sunday to dedicate a new plaza celebrating the state’s 200th anniversary.

The pedestrian walkway spans a block between the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Illinois Executive Mansion.

WIkipedia commons/taken by W. Wadas

The latest employment numbers show Illinois is adding jobs, and the rate of unemployment across the state is dipping below 4 percent.

However, Jim Clifton, CEO of the research firm Gallup, says those reports can be misleading because they count people who have part-time jobs, but who would prefer full-time hours and pay.

springfield.il.us

The Springfield City Council voted this week to raise the tax on landline phones and internet service, but rejected a second proposal to raise the sales tax. 

Money from the higher telecommunications rate will fund Lincoln Library, Springfield’s public library. The 6 percent rate, up from 4, could take effect July 1.

The hikes were part of a proposal from Mayor Jim Langfelder to plug a multimillion-dollar hole in the city’s budget for the fiscal year that starts March 1.

SJ-R.com

Sean Crawford talks with State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

NPRIllinois

As state lawmakers again consider expanding the number of casinos in the state, Springfield could wind up in the mix. 

NPR Illinois

Sean Crawford talks with Tim Landis, Business Editor for the State Journal-Register.

    

The City of Springfield Office of Public Works has announced that due to the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival, the following areas will be closed to traffic starting at 12-noon on Friday, September 23:

Sarah Mueller

Cities in Illinois and across the country have laws regulating panhandling. But courts are tossing them out, and Springfield’s ordinance could be next. How can local governments balance First Amendment rights and maintaining public order? 

Supreme Court Won't Hear Springfield Panhandling Case

Feb 29, 2016
WUIS

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to hear an appeal from Springfield over its anti-panhandling law. That means the capital city is barred from enforcing the ordinance because of an injunction.

Springfield's ordinance allows panhandlers in its downtown area to hold signs, but prohibits them from verbally asking for an immediate donation.

Two Springfield residents, who regularly panhandle, filed a lawsuit in 2013 saying the law violates their rights. Attorney Mark Weinberg represents the residents.

flickr/Kharim Ghantous

The City of Springfield announced that on Wednesday, February 10, parking will be prohibited on the following streets due to the Presidential visit:

Springfield Wants State To Pay Utility Bill

Jan 12, 2016

The city of Springfield is pushing for the state of Illinois to pay its electric bill.

wuis.org

The city of Springfield is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on a downtown panhandling ban after it was declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. 

Springfield's new mayor is promising to work in a collaborative fashion to address the city's needs.  Jim Langfelder took the oath of office Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at Sangamon Auditorium.

He says his administration will be transparent and will work for all parts of the city.  He says his top priority is stabilizing the utility CWLP.  He also called for establishing wi fi downtown and developing a second water source.

WUIS

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston will leave office  Thursday, when his successor Jim Langfelder is sworn in.  

Langfelder won the primary in March and the April general election. 

Houston, who served two terms about 30 years ago, returned to city politics to win in 2011.  But voters denied his latest effort.  

Houston says he has told Langfelder that he will help him in the transition if asked:

"By the same token, I know he has a father who has served as mayor of Springfield for 2 terms, that he will be relying on very very heavily," he said.

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

A day of remembrance was held at the state capital Wednesday for President Abraham Lincoln, on the 150th anniversary of his death.

The ceremony included a 21-gun salute, music from a military band and a prayer from Chaplain Maurice Buford of the U.S. Navy.

"We honor him because his flame of leadership still kindles, his seat at the eternal table of prominence is permanent and because he continues to teach this great nation to always have the faith that might makes right,” Buford said.

flickr/JeffCovey

Heavy rains in the spring often lead to complaints in Springfield over water in basements.  This mostly happens in older areas of the community.

"Most of the system was never designed to be able to transport or convey 50 year storms.  it was more designed on a 5 or 10 year storm. That being said, there are places in the city that don't perform on a 5 or 10 year system either," said Sewer Engineer John Higginbotham with Springfield Public Works.

During a mayoral debate on Thursday night, candidates Paul Palazzolo and Jim Langfelder were both hesitant to criticize the Springfield City Council when asked what they thought was its biggest mistake.

Palazzolo says his biggest issue is the city's hiring of an inspector general and questions the need. He says an inspector general looks at past events. He would rather see funds go toward the hiring of a city planner.

"I think those funds are better spent in a proactive manner, rather than a reactive manner," Palazzolo said.

childcarecenter.us

Illinois' program that provides subsidized daycare for low-income families is out of cash. A Senate committee attempted to address the issue on Thursday.

Chandra Ankoor is a 24-year-old single mother from Springfield. While she is working, she sends her three daughters to child care that is partially paid for with the help of the state.

If it weren't for this assistance, she says it would cost her every dollar she makes, and then some, to afford the cost of child care.

@GovRauner

If Illinois had political gravity, it could be said that all things orbit around Chicago. Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana vow to change all that by living in the mansion and running state government from Springfield.

  Some might find it surprising that a governor would need to make such a statement. The historic mansion, 150 years old and just a few blocks from the statehouse, is considered the official residence of the governor, but not all have made it their home.

The City of Springfield has reached a deal to have the former Esquire Theater demolished. 

The theater closed over a decade ago and the building has remained boarded up since then.  That's despite sitting along a busy stretch of MacArthur Boulevard near South Grand.   Alderman Joe McMenamin says the property's owner has agreed to tear down the building by spring.  The city's ordinance to begin fining vacant property owners was a factor.  He says the threat of fines also made potential buyers nervous:

Hartland Township MI

The mayor of Springfield took umbrage to a weekend editorial in the local paper.

The State Journal Register Sunday criticized the city for a lack of a comprehensive sewer program, following housing and street flooding after heavy rains in recent weeks.

Mayor Mike Houston called reporters together to remind them, as he approaches a re-election campaign, that the city is in the midst of a 10 year $60 million dollar borrowing program to fix some of the problem sewer systems.

It won't happen until 2015.  But the race for Springfield mayor is on.  So far, three candidates have announced they will seek the office.  Among them, the Sangamon County Auditor Paul Palazzolo.  He says if he's elected,  a major focus will be on growing the population. 

He says the city's medical district and other assets could help him reach his goal.  His target is to boost the number of residents from the current 117-thousand up to 124-thousand by the end of the decade.  

A new survey shows what Sangamon County residents think about their areas where they live.  Bill Wheelhouse talked with Ashley Kirzinger of the UIS Survey Research Office about the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission's Neighborhood Survey.

To view the survey click here

City of Springfield

Springfield mayor Mike Houston will seek another term.  Houston made the announcement earlier this morning.  He says he has righted the ship when it comes to city finances.

Houston is expected to face opposition.   
County Auditor Paul Palazzolo and City Treasuer Jim Langfielder have indicated they will run for the office as well.

Houston admits he broke a pledge to only serve one term.  He made that during the last campaign.  But he says some of his projects have taken longer than anticipated to accomplish.
 

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