Eliminations hit many City departments; effect all
In a memo to Mayor Jim O'Neal and the Springfield City Council, City Manager Greg Burris indicated there are currently 101 vacant positions within City government. In addition, Burris noted another 46 temporary, seasonal and contract positions have been eliminated. All of the 147 positions have been either eliminated or are frozen.
Burris said there is a potential for further reductions in City services.
He warned the Council, they may begin receiving complaints about service delays or, about services that simply are no longer offered.
"No one should claim to be surprised by these service reductions -- especially the print media outlet and others who accused the City of "threats" when this information was shared publicly in January," Burris wrote.
The City Manager also warned the City Council that their own information requests, while they would continue to be addressed, could have the impact of further slowing existing City service functions. He encouraged the Council to carefully consider citizen-generated information requests before, "simply forwarding that request to us."
While it isn't directly stated, it might be hinted that, in the future, the public may be requested to more routinely fill out a formal Sunshine Law requests, rather than rely on informal email correspondence in seeking answers from the City government.
"I am providing updated guidance to departments on the process on how they should respond to requests for information to the Custodian of Records -- the City Clerk's Office," Burris wrote. "Our goal is to be consistent and fair in our application of these new guidelines."
Following are programs and services which have been eliminated from various departments:
> The Neighborhood Assessment Program
> The annual Neighborhood Trash Clean-up Program
> The Urban Neighborhood Alliance's low-interest home improvement loan program for low- and moderate-income citizens
> Support for Center City revitalization program through the Urban Neighborhood Alliance
> Support for the Urban Districts Alliance and the Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District
> Caring Communities neighborhood revitalization program through Community Partnership of the Ozarks
> Hardcopy "Front Porch" neighborhood newsletter
> Services to registered homeowner's associations
> Hardcopy Monthly Service Request reports to neighborhood presidents
> Support for downtown Wi-Fi
> Contract for downtown on-street parking enforcement
> The Dare program
> Grant Beach sub-station staffing
> Commercial Street sub-station staffing
> Annual Police Citizen's Survey
> Car seat checks and other Traffic Safety Alliance programs
> Fireworks patrols
> Staffing at the Ozark Empire Fair
> Free smoke alarm program
> All annual flower plantings
> Phelps Grove and Rountree neighborhood rental registration program
> Multi-family housing inspections
> A number of employee health and wellness programs
> Firefall event
> Outdoor concert series
Human Resources Department
> All police and firefighter testing programs
> A variety of employee training sessions and workshops
> Supervisor training programs
> Employee exit interviews
> The Employee Referral program
> Participation in the Partners in Education school program
> Employee service recognition
The above listed items do not include a listing of the services which were reduced. The lists above only include programs or services which have been eliminated.
In addition to the above eliminations, the employees of the City of Springfield are not scheduled to receive cost of living or merit pay increases.
Other employee eliminated benefits include: no "thank you" picnic; no computer purchase incentives; no employee wellness program; no health risk assessments or wellness incentives and; no employee sick leave incentive.
Other topics of the memo will be addressed in a separate entry.
Source: Memo from City Manager Greg Burris to the Mayor and City Council dated July 15, 2009
Related: For information about how to fill out a formal Sunshine Law Request, complete with a "fill-in-the-blank" form, go to this page of the Missouri Attorney General's Web site.