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New, returning council members sworn in

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Springfield City Council said goodbye to two members and welcomed newly elected and returning members during last night’s meeting.

Council members Phyllis Ferguson and Jan Fisk served their final meeting last night after both chose not to seek reelection earlier this month.

Mayor Ken McClure presented Ferguson and Fisk with plaques commemorating their time on council, as well as keys to the city. Both council members shared a few words about their time.

“As my term comes to an end, I’m very proud of what our city has accomplished during the nine years I’ve served on council,” Fisk said. “There are so many projects I’ve been very proud to support these past years.”

Fisk mentioned supporting the Rountree neighborhood, revitalization of downtown buildings and attraction of business, such as Hy-Vee, as meaningful projects during her nine years on council.

Heather Hardinger, director of workforce and economic development consulting projects at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, was sworn into Fisk’s General Seat A. Voters chose her with 41% of the vote over opponents Randy Allen, Alexander Aton and Justin Burnett.

Ferguson gave her thanks to the rest of council and city staff for their cooperation and hard work over her six years on council. Ferguson held a focus on blighted properties in Springfield and particularly in Zone 1, and she praised the progress the northwest zone has made on infrastructure upgrades, a job center and the upcoming Fire Station 4 on College Street.

“We’ve worked long and hard on improving our beloved historic neighborhoods and to be equal participants at this city’s table,” Ferguson said.

Springfield voters selected Halo Massage and Wellness owner Angela Romine to fill Ferguson’s Council Zone 1 seat. Romine received 54% of the vote on April 6 over challenger Isabelle Jimenez Walker, a real estate broker and owner of Eagle Management & Realty LLC.

Two current council members were reelected April 6 and sworn into new terms last night. Matthew Simpson, director of research, strategic planning and grant development at Ozarks Technical Community College, maintained council’s Zone 4 seat, and attorney Craig Hosmer remains in General Seat B.

McClure also was sworn into a new term as mayor after securing reelection with 65.7% of the vote over challenger Marcus Aton.

Also at last night’s meeting, council recognized the retirement of Mary Lilly Smith, director of planning and development for the city. Smith announced her retirement in March, and after nearly four decades on staff, she’ll work her last day on April 30.

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