SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– After a marathon City Council meeting Monday night in Springfield, Mayor Ken McClure says members are doing what they can to turn discussion into action.
The meeting lasted over 5 hours with members and the community discussing issues over masking, requests from the NAACP, and the zoning around the Galloway neighborhood.
Over 60 people signed up to speak at Monday’s meeting. More than half spoke about plans for new development in the Galloway neighborhood.
Protesters against the Springfield masking ordinance gathered outside of Historic City Hall Monday evening. Some made their way inside to speak about how required masking in the city limits is hurting business and infringing on citizens’ personal rights.
Some issues carried over into the City Council Lunch on Tuesday.
KOLR 10 spoke with Springfield Mayor Ken McClure after the lunch, where he defended the council’s actions.
Mayor McClure says people do have a right to speak and be heard, but believes the testimony will not change council’s decision on the masking ordinance.
“I’ll just be honest, I did not hear much last night that changed my view of what should be taking place…I think it’s more a philosophical argument against wearing a mask, which frankly I do not understand. This ought to be an effort that we are all collectively taking to try to make sure that we stay safe and protect others. They are entitled to their opinion, but again, I don’t think, I certainly, nor either my colleagues on the council heard anything that was going to change our mind. We believe collectively that we have taken the right steps.”
Mayor McClure says the ongoing pandemic and other controversial issues in our community takes a toll on elected officials. He says what keeps him and his colleagues going, is by having a set process and order, as well as a dedication to public service.
“We’re clearly not in this for the money. There is a common dedication to public service and giving back to the community. We get pounded and some of the things throughout this pandemic have been very vicious, very cruel and very rude. People that would be ashamed to say that to their mother and their dad, for example. So I like to say and I really believe this, I have seen Springfield at it’s very best since March, I have seen Springfield at its worst. People need to work together on this. I don’t like to wear a mask any more than anyone else does, but I also know I have an obligation to make sure that I make other people feel safe around me and do my job.” Springfield City Council members do not receive any pay for their position. The mayor receives $200 a month.