Springfield, MO

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The owner of the Hotel of Terror needs 401 more signatures for his petition. 
SBJ file 
The owner of the Hotel of Terror needs 401 more signatures for his petition. 

Hotel of Terror petition falls short 

Posted online

The referendum petition turned in by the owner of the Hotel of Terror haunted house has been found to be insufficient by staff in the Springfield city clerk’s office. 

Clerk Anita Cotter said owner Sterling Mathis was notified on Friday that the petition was insufficient by 401 signatures. 

Under Springfield's city charter, Mathis has 10 days to amend the petition. That means he has until 5 p.m. April 10 to file a supplementary petition with additional signatures, according to Cora Scott, the city’s director of public information. 

Mathis is seeking to put a measure on the ballot to repeal a Springfield City Council ordinance condemning his haunted attraction. The city charter requires a petition to be signed by “qualified electors of the city equal in number to at least 10% of the total number of persons voting in the last general municipal election in April,” and that number is 1,568. City staff certified 1,167 of the 2,132 signatures submitted. 

Reached by phone today, Mathis said he is working on getting more signatures and that he feels optimistic. 

“We should be good,” he said. “Since the city kicked out almost half of the 2,100 we turned in, I am going to get around 1,000 so there’s no chance we don’t make it.” 

Mathes previously told Springfield Business Journal he is open to further negotiation with the city for the purchase of his property and the relocation of its contents. 

In an SBJ poll from March 15, respondents were asked if the Hotel of Terror building should be seized via eminent domain, as council voted. As of today, 51% of the nearly 1,000 respondents in the unscientific sampling said it should not. 


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