SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- The City of Springfield’s Director of Building Development Services (BDS) Chris Straw announces he will retire in January 2018.
The city says many residents have become familiar with Chris and his department because many of the department’s services affect the quality of life in neighborhoods and workplaces.
The BDS team issues permits for all phases of building construction and gives tests and awards skill-based certificates to electricians, plumbers, gas fitters and mechanical craftsmen for a license to operate in Springfield. BDS inspectors also respond to approximately 12,000 citizen service requests per year, addressing a wide variety of nuisance complaints.
Straw has served as director since 2010 after joining the City in 1999 as a plan review specialist and later a project facilitator and code administrator.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Chris as a project manager while working on the Expo Center. He was top-notch then and he’s top-notch now,” said Rick Quint, a general contractor and owner of Q & Company.
Quint worked with Chris on two high-profile projects: Springfield Expo Center and the Springfield-Branson National Airport terminal. “He just has a roll-up-your-sleeves, get-to-work attitude and he’s a problem solver,” Quint said. “He’s the kind of guy that just drops everything to help someone who needs his help. He will be missed.”
The City says Straw was instrumental in the Zone Blitz initiative, working to address the number one priority shared by neighbors in the 2015 Community Listen tour: chronic nuisance properties. Since the listening tour, Straw has taken several steps to further address dangerous buildings and enforce the unkempt property code.
“Chris is tireless in his dedication to private citizens and developers,” said Greg Burris, City Manager. “He provides outstanding customer service and dramatically improved the City’s reputation for being a friendly and easy organization to work with. He and his department have led multiple initiatives that improve the quality of life in Springfield. Our entire city is better because of Chris’ work.”