Voters prepare to cast their ballots at a Missouri State University polling location in 2020.

County elections in Springfield will take place on Tuesday, April 4th, and the ballots will consist of measures concerning City Council and School District funding. Voting Zones 2 and 3 cover Missouri State’s location and have candidates for mayor, city council members and school district directors on their ballots. In addition to the polling location listed on a Greene County voter registration card, campus central voting is located at the Welcome Center, at the corner of National Avenue and Bear Boulevard.

Proposition S is one issue on the ballot, which aims to increase high-priority funding to the K-12 schools within Springfield.

According to the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, “The no-tax-increase to the debt service levy measure will fund multiple projects including safety and security upgrades at all school facilities, new construction for Pipkin and Reed middle schools, renovation of Pershing School and construction of storm shelters at a number of elementary schools.”

In total, these citizen task force projects contribute $220 million to furthering the development of the public school district.

Question one proposes a change in the City Charter language regarding employment and would allow the Department of Human Resources to approve substitutions. This would expand hiring preferences to include all honorably discharged veterans. The measure would also make room for the city manager to delegate the removal of regular-excluding benefits employees to the director of HR. This means workers without benefits, including those in temporary and seasonal positions, can be fired and returning worker testing protocols can be waived through Human Resources. 

Question three ratifies the replacement of the 5% hotel tax to include short-term housing such as Airbnbs or Vbros to promote tourist attractions and travel. Currently, this tax is funding travel promotion as well as Jordan Valley projects and sports and convention center promotion. By reinstating this tax consolidation, it will increase funds by staying relevant with the increasing short-term housing market. The city will not have to include additional associated taxes.

In an interview with the candidates of the Springfield Public Schools Board, the interviewees were asked for their opinions on school budgeting, teacher unions and literature limitations. Judy Brunner and Chad Rollins support the Missouri Senate’s bill “School of Choice.” Landon McCarter and Shurita Thomas-Tate oppose school choice. Judy Brunner is in support of the Missouri SB 775 book ban bill. Landon McCarter, Chad Rollins and Shurita Thomas-Tate oppose the Missouri book ban bill.

For the general city council chairs, Bruce Adib-Yazdi, Callie Carroll and Jeremy Dean are running. Zone 3 for City Council chair includes candidate Bradon Jenson, and in Zone 2, Abe McGull is running unopposed. These zones include Missouri State University within their districts.

Mayoral candidates, Malenie Bach and current mayor Ken McClure, have prioritized public safety in their campaigns. Bach identifies the Springfield housing shortage as a main concern for young voters, while McClure aims to uplift rising young voices in professional spaces. To read more about these candidates' qualifications, thoughts on young votes and key issues, check the Paws to the Polls voting guide Springfield City Council section.

Follow Alyssa Farrar on Twitter, @MoonaBlu

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