Even though the State government closed down Monday afternoon, January 31st, 24 ICON members and guest met to review issues regarding the older neighborhoods of Springfield. Included in the group were 3 mayoral candidates (Mike Houston, Bill McCarty, and Sheila Stocks-Smith), 6 aldermanic candidates (Sam Cahnman, Cameron Counts, Michael Higgins, Cory Jobe, Joe McMinamen, Kris Theilen) and one incumbent alderwomen, Gail Simpson. Many of the participants had just come from the City Council’s 4th Budget Workshop. There was a spontaneous discussion of the proposed budget with direct input from three of the current aldermen.
The nine (9) common concerns itemized by the neighborhoods at the first ICON meeting were identified for the candidates and new guests. Those concerns, which are now the basis of ICON’s agenda, were reviewed with the help of the new Springfield ICON website. (www.springfieldicon.org) It was pointed out that 4 of the top 5 neighborhood concerns are related to the all inclusive issue of problem properties.
The Ordinance Review Committee has met twice since we last discussed the issue of problem properties at our November meeting. The committee is prepared to move forward with recommendations to the City Council related to rental property registration, fines and time limits related to code violations, boarded housing fees, time limits for demolition, and foreclosure procedures.
We are waiting for ordinances from city legal regarding a number of proposals from Treasurer Langfelder, specifically to establish a centralized data base and designation of the Treasurer’s office to coordinate collection and enforcement.
The ICON Aldermanic Forum will be held Thursday, March 3rd, at the Dove Center at 7 p.m. Downtown Springfield Inc., MacArthur Boulevard Business Association, and Illinois People’s Action group will co-host the event with ICON. We are in the process of identifying the issues each group would like the candidates to address at the forum.
Our next meeting is Monday, February 28th, 4 days before the Forum. Please reserve both dates.