"Wing of the Democratic Party made up of workingmen and reformers, opposed to monopolies and financial policies that seemed to them antidemocratic and conducive to special privilege. The Locofocos received their name when party regulars turned off the gas lights to oust the radicals from a Tammany Hall nominating meeting. The radicals responded by lighting candles with new matches known as locofocos and nominated their own slate." (From: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9048706 )

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I am husband and father in a family of four, wife Verna, son Thomas, and daughter Jennifer. We've lived in Springfield's 137th District for over ten years at 800 W Calhoun St, and love the Grant Beach area. I was born to a military family, my mother and father met at Ft Leonard Wood. I was born in Ft Hood Texas, and travelled throughout my childhood, with most of my time spent in any one place in the Rolla Mo area. When I completed my own four year hitch with the US Navy, I settled here in Missouri, living in Mt Vernon. I moved into Springfield in 1994 to attend (then) SMSU and stayed, finding our permanent home in the Grant Beach Park area.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Train Wreck Coming To Springfield City Council

Missouri's state motto,"Salus populi suprema lex esto, the welfare of the people shall be the supreme law," is being put to a test in Springfield's City Council chambers. At issue is a controversial street closure just north of Broadway and Commercial. Local residents are strongly opposed to the closure and succeeded in getting the issue tabled for over a year.

Now the issue is back on the agenda, and if the News-Leaders coverage is any indication, the railroad has regained the upper hand. Today's article quotes the BNSF press representive five times, and only one person opposed to the closure. All of the coverage is concentrated on the closure issue, and ignores related problems in the area, such as the poor condition and anitquated structure of the railroad underpasses in the area. No proposal for renovation of the underpasses gains the light of day. The only sop to the neighbors is a railroad proposal to relieve itself of responsibility for crossing maintenence with a bribe of $65,000 over the next seven years. The neighborhood groups , and ultimately the City, would then be responsible for cosmetic upkeep of the crossings thereafter.

Broadway is also the bike route crossing for the area--another issue ignored. City representatives don't seem to realize that bicycle and foot traffic in the area is often not a matter of choice for the area residents. They're not out for a Sunday stroll. They're stuck on foot or bike by necessity that will be on the rise as gas prices force more people to "shanks mare."

Area residents are increasingly frustrated with the trend of events. A school closure, giving away Grant Beach property to a non-profit agency, and the trainwreck at Broadway leave people feeling they're opinion doesn't matter.

And elected officials wonder why voter turnout there is so low.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree---I don't think my city government gives a damn about what I or any resident of the Northside think. They (the city government) only care what Southsiders think. That's why improvements get made on the southside of Springfield, when many have been needed for years on the Northside. You're right on the mark.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city continues to completely ignore the residents of these northside neighborhoods. the continue to close their schools, give away their park land, close their streets... all the while residents are speaking out only to be blown off and ignored... I suggest that we ban together and form committees for calling trees, child care and transportation to get every single resident out voting NO to snything and everything that the city wants a yes vote on and shut them off at the knees a couple times maybe then the thick headed bullies would clean out thier eays and listen to residents of neighborhoods before choping those residents heads off. It feels like they are lynching whole neighborhoods and legally getting away with it. Currently I so distrust and dispise our city governement it makes me ill! They sdet up their in their fsncy pants and make dicisions that damage northside neighborhoods and no one seems to care. The only recourse I can see we have is to find a way to make our beighborhoods have the highest voter turn out for everything and vote down everything the city wants passed!

11:49 AM  
Anonymous jenny fillmer said...

Dear Grant Beach and Woodland Heights residents,
It's true my article in Saturday's News-Leader about the Broadway closure proposal included only one quote from a neighborhood resident. But it was not from lack of trying. I called no less than a dozen area residents Friday, including officials with both neighborhood organizaions, seeking comment about the issue. I only reached two people, and no one I had left messages with called me back before publication. My guess is that everyone else was unavailabe due to Thanksgiving.
If anyone reading this wishes to send me their name and phone number, I'll try to reach you next time I need to find residents of these neighborhoods for an article. Send them to jfillmer@news-leader.com
Jenny Fillmer
Springfield News-Leader

12:26 PM  

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