Local Government

News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Randy Scritchfield
Scott Harvey / KSMU

It’s an unseasonably warm 70 degrees in late November and I’m riding shotgun in a 1968 Plymouth GTX driven by Randy Scritchfield. We’re traveling eastbound on Kearney Street in Springfield, simulating a tradition that started in the 1950s and re-launched this spring after years of prohibition.

“Cruisers traditionally drive slow,” he tells me. “That way another cruiser might catch up to you.”

For the 64-year-old Scritchfield, cruising back in the early 1970s – when he started – meant driving from the Kearney Street McDonalds to Glenstone. 

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One change to city code allows police officers to ticket pedestrians for crossing the street outside of a crosswalk one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise.  The bill adds language saying motorists must yield to pedestrians crossing in designated crosswalks or face a minimum fine of $100. 

Stacy / Flickr

The recently-passed pit bull ban in Springfield will go before voters next August. 

Springfield City Council voted Monday not to repeal the ban put in place in October but, instead, voted to let the public decide.

Council member Kristi Fulnecky made a motion to move the election up to April, but that motion failed.

The ban is on hold for now.

Fulnecky was the only dissenting vote on the ordinance placing the issue on the ballot.  She says it was a slap in the face to constituents to not repeal the ban.

Springfield Art Museum
Sarah Teague / KSMU

A new Springfield program connects retirees and senior citizens to local non-profit organizations for purposeful volunteerism.

City Manager Greg Burris said he hopes Give 5 will encourage nonprofits to “rethink volunteerism.” Burris, who is stepping down next year, is likely to take over as Give 5’s director, according to the city.

Michele Skalicky

A city-wide sidewalk assessment and inventory is underway in Springfield.  It’s being conducted by Tempe, Arizona-based IMS Infrastructure Management Services LLC.  They’re using a specialized sidewalk surface tester, which looks similar to an all-terrain vehicle—to collect a detailed inventory and condition rating of all sidewalks in Springfield.

According to the city, an IMS field technician will travel at low speeds along sidewalks, occasionally stopping to take photographs or record additional data, during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

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