Councilman Rescinds Resignation

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Just one day after turning in a resignation letters, Springfield Zone 2 City Councilman Justin Burnett had a change of heart.

The City of Springfield announced Burnett rescinded his resignation Friday, saying he plans to focus on his council seat and take a break from college instead.

Burnett issued a statement explaining his reversal.  “I have decided to rescind my resignation and will be taking a break from college instead in order to focus on my health and priorities in Zone 2,” Burnett said in an e-mail to City Council, announcing that he is rescinding the resignation issued yesterday, Jan. 14.

“While the stress of city politics has taken a mental and physical toll, the community’s overall response to my resignation ignited a desire to start fresh. As I stated after my election, the city has been through a tumultuous time and needs to heal. Bowing out now would be too easy, which is why I will spend the following days attempting to bridge the gap between both those on the left and right. We don’t have to fall prey to the incivility that is crippling both our state and national politics. Let’s fix this-together,” Burnett said.

City Attorney Dan Wichmer said the resignation could be rescinded prior to the effective date, which in this case would be 11:59 p.m. Friday, Jan 15.

(edited news release)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The City of Springfield announced Thursday afternoon that Zone 2 Councilman Justin Burnett has decided to resign from his position on the council.

Burnett sent the letter to the council Thursday, and his resignation is effective Jan. 15.

Burnett said his health and the time commitment of serving on council played a role in his decision. Burnett said serving on council, working and going to school led to negative consequences regarding his health.

“I was saddened to hear of Mr. Burnett’s resignation. However, one’s health must be paramount and you cannot take care of the community if you don’t take care of yourself,” said Mayor Bob Stephens. “Obviously, we wish Justin the best as he moves forward with other endeavors.”

In the letter to the council, Burnett said his three major obligations were consuming 80-100 hours per week of his time. Burnett said he is a “country boy” who found he did not enjoy city politics.

Burnett wrote he will pursue a different calling where he can serve others but spend less time in the public light.

A group of Springfield citizens had stated their intent to recall Burnett. The councilman said he wants all of the energy that would have been spent on that process to be invested in more productive efforts to make the community better.

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