Cuts, consolidation, higher taxes in Langfelder’s budget plan – Jan 13, 2018

Crystal Thomas
The State Journal-Register

A mixture of cuts, consolidation and tax increases would pull Springfield through the next fiscal year, which starts in March, if aldermen accept Mayor Jim Langfelder’s budget proposal.

Budget director Bill McCarty handed out budget books last week to aldermen, and the city will have its first budget workshop open to the public Thursday.

Because of a possible $11.4 million deficit, increasing pension payments and decreasing sales and income tax revenue, the administration needed to Read the rest of this entry »

Moody’s report: If Springfield doesn’t change, credit rating will be downgraded – Jan 11, 2018

Crystal Thomas
The State Journal-Register

Moody’s Investors Service issued a report Thursday maintaining the city of Springfield’s and City Water, Light and Power’s water fund’s downgraded credit ratings, though the agency revised both of the ratings’ outlooks from stable to negative.

“The outlook means we believe that if the city keeps going in the same direction, it will get downgraded,” said Moody’s spokesman David Jacobson. A negative outlook could mean a downgrade within Read the rest of this entry »

The best-laid plans: Developers, planners consider land use – Jan. 11, 2018

Illinois Times
Bruce Rushton

Developers have made peace over a comprehensive land-use plan for Springfield, but a larger battle may lie ahead.

Concerned that the draft plan would curb development, particularly on the city’s west side, developers convinced the city to postpone a vote on the plan that had been expected in December. The move to stall a vote prompted worries among the plan’s authors and neighborhood activists opposed to sprawl.

“I’m being really honest here: When the developers first Read the rest of this entry »

Good Deed: Grateful for community support of children of ex-offenders – Jan 5, 2018

The State Journal-Register

Forty children received presents and lunch at the Dec. 23 party at the Pizza Ranch, where emotional testimonials were heard from parents who have overcome the barriers encountered after release from incarceration.

This opportunity was made possible by our sponsors: The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln; Pizza Ranch; Toys for Tots; Walmart; Target; Monster Pawn; O’Reilly Auto Parts; Aldermen Herman Senor, Ralph Hanauer, Jim Donelan, Andrew Proctor and Joe McMenamin; Read the rest of this entry »

Enough – Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018

The Illinois Times
Chris Britt cartoon on Springfield Pension Crisis

The Illinois Times

Springfield aldermen set minimum fund balance – Jan 2, 2018

Crystal Thomas
The State Journal-Register

The Springfield City Council voted 6-3 Tuesday to set a minimum amount for the city’s fund balance in hopes that a credit-rating agency would look kindly on the act.

Last year, Moody’s Investors Service knocked down the city’s general fund credit rating two notches, though it is still four notches higher than “junk bond” status. Mayor Jim Langfelder informed aldermen the city had its annual Read the rest of this entry »

Aldermen to discuss developer’s comprehensive plan concerns Jan. 9 – Dec 27, 2017

Crystal Thomas
The State Journal-Register

The Springfield City Council voted Wednesday to discuss local developers’ concerns and their suggested amendments to the 2017-2037 comprehensive plan on land use at their Jan. 9 Committee of the Whole meeting.

A vote to approve the plan was postponed to the full council meeting on Jan. 16 after the Development Policy Council — a group of developers, Realtors and engineers organized by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce — lobbied aldermen individually to give the group more time to Read the rest of this entry »

City council votes to delay approval for comprehensive plan – Dec 19, 2017

Crystal Thomas
The State Journal-Register

After lobbying by developers, the Springfield City Council voted Tuesday to delay final approval for the city’s 2017-2037 comprehensive plan on land use to Jan. 16. Nine aldermen voted in favor of postponing the plan’s final passage; Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin voted “present.”

In a series of meetings over the last two weeks, the mayor and aldermen were lobbied individually by the Development Policy Council, a group of developers, Realtors and engineers organized through the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, to not take a vote Tuesday to give them more time to Read the rest of this entry »

Developers ask Springfield City Council to delay comprehensive plan vote – Dec 19, 2017

Crystal Thomas
The State Journal-Register

In a series of meetings over the last two weeks, a group of developers, engineers and Realtors have lobbied Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder and aldermen to delay Tuesday’s scheduled vote on the city’s 2017-2037 comprehensive plan on land use. Members of the Development Policy Council, a group organized through the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, met with each alderman individually, which did not invoke the Open Meetings Act that requires the public be informed in advance about the meetings.

The policy council held its final meeting with the last of the 10 aldermen on Monday. The group tried to persuade Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin to Read the rest of this entry »

After lengthy debate, aldermen approve west-side subdivision – Dec 6, 2017

Crystal Thomas
The State Journal-Register

By the end of Tuesday’s Springfield City Council meeting, a packed room of residents who were divided on whether a new west-side subdivision should move forward did agree on one thing: Lenhart Road needs to be improved. Aldermen voted 8-2 to approve three ordinances that would allow Centennial Pointe, a 50-duplex subdivision located along Lenhart Road near Centennial Park, to be built.

Residents from the area lobbied aldermen to postpone approval of the subdivision until the adjacent roads were in better condition to handle more Read the rest of this entry »