SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- With the new year underway, City Council will tackle a handful of hot topics in the coming months.
First up, there will be some turnover with the upcoming election. Three incumbents hope to keep their positions, while two other seats are wide open. Zone Four Councilman Scott Bailes and General Seat B Councilman John Rush are not seeking re-election.
Mayor Bob Stephens' position is also up for grabs. This will be his first campaign for the seat. Stephens feels confident that his work as mayor speaks for itself, but says ultimately it is up to the voters.
Another hot button issue is the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Task Force. Retired Circuit Judge Miles Sweeny chairs the task force. Fifteen voting members will look at variety of issues and topics. June is the target date for the task force to come back to council with recommendations.
As for the city itself, Springfield's mayor says the biggest challenge it faces comes down to one thing: jobs.
"We need to send a message out to corporations and businesses around the world that Springfield is open for business, but we want these jobs here," said Stephens.
Stephens adds that the jobs would better our community.
"We talk about child abuse; we talk about domestic relations; we talk about poverty. A lot of that could be turned into a more positive direction, if we had these jobs in Springfield," said Stephens.
Another issue plaguing the city for two years are the red light enforcement cameras. They will not be turned on anytime soon. Stephens says council is in holding pattern until the Missouri Supreme Court rules on an identical ordinance in Saint Louis. Once the ruling comes down, the council will revisit the issue.