SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Winners in Springfield’s municipal election are ready to hit the ground running.
“This is our new team,” said Councilwoman-elect Callie Carroll (General Seat C) said.
“Everybody in the room just erupted into cheers,” said Councilman-elect Brandon Jenson (Zone 3) said. “It was one of those core memories that I’ll always hold onto.”
“It was a close race,” said Councilman-elect Derek Lee (General Seat D) said.
That includes Ken McClure, who won his fourth and final term as mayor Tuesday night.
“They will be, I think, a great addition to our council, bringing different perspectives and that’s always good,” McClure said.
KOLR10 asked Jenson, Carroll and Lee about two hot button issues facing city leaders, both centered around development.
One of them is the potential development at National and Sunshine, an area also known as “The Heights.”
“I think it’s really important for me, I know personally, to hear, to hear both sides,” Carroll said. “Again, I am a city-wide seat, so my job is to make the decisions that are best for Springfield.”
“I just look forward to being able to meet with both of the interested parties and understand what each one’s objectives are and then figure out if there is an opportunity to compromise,” Jenson said.
Lee told KOLR10 over the phone that he believes the overall plan will change before it gets to City Council and says both sides should try to work together.
The other issue in the city is the controversy surrounding the Hotel of Terror.
“My approach is I want to hear,” Carroll said. “I’ll be someone to ask a lot of questions, you know, behind closed doors with the people, the stakeholders are involved.”
“Based off of the information that was provided at the public hearing and recognizing the immense value that this project will play out, [what it would] provide to the community when fully implemented and recognizing that this is really the only structure that remains as a barrier to the implementation of that plan that we’ve had for over 20 years, I believe the city acted appropriately in beginning the eminent domain process,” Jenson said.
Jenson added that if the city and owner had made an appropriate agreement, the eminent domain process could have been avoided.
Lee told KOLR10 over the phone he wants to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the Main Avenue bridge.
The Hotel of Terror sits on the land the city would need to purchase to carry out their plans to rebuild and expand it, all part of a bigger plan daylighting Jordan Creek.
The three say politics is something they felt they needed to get into.
“I just felt if I didn’t run and give it a shot, I would be doing our city a disservice,” Carroll said.
“I recognize that the best way to affect change and achieve the outcomes and the vision that have been laid out by the community is to roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself,” Jenson said.
“I just feel very humbled that so many people voted for me. This is truly a service for me,” Lee said.
The three new council members will be sworn into office during the next Springfield City Council meeting on April 17.