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City Council Backpedals!

I laughed at first when I saw this article, but City Council still doesn't get it. They spent the last month considering and deliberating and weighing the pros and cons of a supposed answer to a supposed problem, but the real problem is that they've wasted all that time and money talking about something that they dropped as soon as the public got wind of it. I do wonder what they mean by "subject to coucil scrutiny." Even though they did drop their crusade to put a stop to apartment development, they still unanimously approved Mayor Tom Carlson's alternatate proposal that requires these apartment projects to be "planned projects." Apparently, that places these projects under City Council's scrutinizing microscope. While, I do agree that Springfield City Council should be involved in large projects so that all the necessary utilities such as streets and traffic lights can be addressed, I don't think that City Council remembers what they are set up for. I think that this recent issue has really shed some light on the fact that they don't know what is in Springfield's best interests. It also shows that they will attempt to abuse power that they were never given in the first place.
Here is a link to the News-Leader's article that I am commenting on today:


This is typical behavior for the current City Council and for Mayor Carlson. You may recall their vehement opposition to the city audit petition, as published in the Springfield News-Misleader. This was another waste of time and effort, and ultimately, of taxpayer money. Of course, their opposition could do nothing to prevent an audit, since under state law once 5,000 petition signatures were gathered, the state auditor's office would be required by law to execute the audit. Given the success of the petition and of the audit (over $1,000,000 missing and counting), the Council and Mayor Carlson have of course since applauded the success and fully back - yeah right - the investigation, which has brought in U.S. Secret Service agents. Things are getting interesting around here. Come election time, put out the incumbent lapdogs and vote in people who are not career politicians, but instead hard-working, honest people who will limit their work to serving the people who elected them.

Of course, I suspect the main reason for the proposed moratorium is that several of the council members and the mayor have a direct interest in Springfield rental property.

According to their biographies on the City Council web site, Shelia Wright manages her family's rental property business, while Ralph Manley "is the owner and manager of over 200 real estate properties." Mary Collette "operates a restoration and rental business..." Mayor Carlson is in the real estate business as well, "primarily concentrated in housing development in out-state Missouri."
But a search on the Greene County Recorder's web site yielded 18 pages of records of real estate transactions in Greene County involving Mr. Carlson.

There is nothing in the City Charter that prevents councilpersons
from proposing or voting on issues that have a direct impact on their
own business ventures. Certainly anything that council does that tends
to make rental housing more scarce and drive up the price would
benefit people who already have rental properties. In my book that's
called conflict of interest.

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