Don't miss The Council Roundup, a special Thursday edition, at 9 a.m. during The Ray Lytle Show--only on 970 WMAY, The News and Talk of Springfield.
What you may have missed
Fleet management came up again at the Springfield City Council with Springfield Mayor Mike Houston pulling two ordinances out of committee for debate Tuesday. Both ordinances passed 7-3 with Aldermen Frank Edwards, Gail Simpson and Tim Griffin voting no for both.
Buy local, contract local
Aldermen also passed a preference for local contracts. Aldermen Doris Turner and Gail Simpson objected to the ordinance because they want to see a comprehensive move to providing preference to local vendors and also preference for businesses that are run by minorities and women.
The ordinance states that if the lowest bidding local vendor's bid is higher than the nonlocal vendor by no more than 5% then that local vendor should be considered the lowest responsible bidder. Aldermen Turner voted present as did Aldermen Sam Cahnman.
Threshold change fails
Aldermen also debated an ordinance that lowers the threshold for which contracts should be approved by aldermen. Currently contracts over $100,000 require approval from council members.
The proposed ordinance would lower that to $50,000. Critics say lowering the threshold would mean a flood of ordinances and top department officials already scrutinize contracts. Proponents of the threshold change say that it's the duty of aldermen to scrutinize contracts. Several years ago, the Springfield City Council changed the threshold from $15,000 to $100,000.
The recent proposed ordinance failed after the mayor broke a tie on the threshold ordinance, voting no. Aldermen Frank Edwards, Doris Turner, Frank Lesko, Cory Jobe, Joe McMenamin, and Steve Dove all voted no.
The Mayor also introduced his ordinance that would allow for video gaming machines to be licensed by the city. The ordinance seems to have a majority support from aldermen. If approved, the city would charge $500 per establishment and $250 per machine, annually, with the generated revenue going towards road and sidewalk maintenance.
Citizens address the council
Aldermen also heard from Homeless United for Change--an organization advocating for Springfield's Homeless Population. The group spoke about an ordinance that goes after aggressive panhandlers. Aldermen Frank Edwards and Doris Turner expressed interest in convening a subcommittee that would work with homeless groups to come up with some resolve.
The Council Roundup
On the consent agenda, aldermen passed a $300,000 settlement for a several years old police negligence case. They also approved a set of ordinances that make it easier for developers to estimate how much water and electric hookups will cost for new developments. Aldermen also passed an ordinance that updates a mutual aid agreement with the Springfield and Chatham Police Departments. Alderman Joe McMenamin voted no on an ordinance authorizing a lease agreement for 16 acres of land owned by City Water Light and Power for $550 a month.