Springfield, Clark County commissioners to hold joint work sessions

Jan 14, 2018
Snow covers City Hall in downtown Springfield on Monday, Jan. 8. Jeff Guerini/Staff

The city of Springfield and Clark County commissions will hold joint work sessions later this year to improve communications between the two government entities, local leaders said.

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The meetings have yet to be scheduled but Springfield city commissioners approved holding at least two joint work sessions later this year.

It will be the first time the two government entities have held meetings together in at least 10 years, longtime board members Mayor Warren Copeland and City Commissioner Kevin O’Neill said.

“It’s been years since we’ve done this but I think it’s a good situation to keep all the avenues of dialogue open,” O’Neill said.

The meetings were initiated by new City Commissioner David Estrop and will allow them to discuss issues involving both boards, he said. Many of the problems the community faces won’t be solved by the city or county alone, Estrop said.

“It’s best that we demonstrate from the top down that we understand that the best way to get things done is by us working together,” he said. “We must work together.”

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The joint work sessions aren’t an attempt to move toward a combine city and county government, Springfield City Commissioner Joyce Chilton said.

“It’s a discussion of common items that are of concern to both the city and the county,” she said.

The city and county have negotiated on several projects over the past few years, including the proposed countywide 9-1-1 dispatch center, downtown economic development and the Tremont City Barrel Fill clean-up plan.

The meetings will allow leaders from both boards to discuss issues of mutual interest, Clark County Commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt said.

“It will allow us to discuss things that will move our county forward in a setting that’s public but not so formal that we can’t have real conversation,” she said.

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