"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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Residents Left With Few Options

Originally uploaded by MatthewBradley.

Last night, City Council brushed aside citizen concerns in opposition to two different issues.

Roundtree residents expressed their opposition to rezoning after the fact when a fraternity opened up on National Av. These residents spoke on the issue last week in opposition to the rezoning, which was NOT recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Council approved the illegal refurbishment, with Mayor Carlson saying the developer acted in "good faith." Personally, I don't see how a well-known, experienced real estate developer could NOT be aware of zoning restrictions of any property he owned. At least Councilman Jones spoke up about legitimatizing the usage after a developer obviously ignored zoning rules. It just begs for more of the same.

Northside residents in both Grant Beach and Woodland Heights were also brushed aside in the name of "public safety." That storyline is prominent on this blog, at www.137th.com , and the Springfield News-Leader, so I won't dwell on it here. We do owe a debt of gratitude to Councillors Denny Whayne and Mary Collette for their support.

When elected officials ignore the citizenry, citizens often feel either alienated, or compelled to escalate their protestations. These active neighborhood organizations do a lot of good for their respective neighborhoods. When they're turned away from the table by our city government, individuals will either walk away, or look to the few options left, like civil disobedience.

They know their vote doesn't count-at least to those now in office.

Photo from Flickr: Originally uploaded by MatthewBradley.

Some rights reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/


Anonymous hiway61man said...

Just watch BNSF go for the Weller Avenue crossing next. When an eastbound coal train gets held at Teed Junction (out by the Coca-Cola plant on Packer Avenue), it almost invariably blocks Weller, sometimes for more than an hour.

7:59 AM  

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