What does it mean for democracy when elected representatives refuse to engage with voters? If they can’t be bothered with us, who do they work for?
Craig Fishel and Curtis Trent entirely disregarded at least six invitations to appear in candidate forums this fall, not deigning to reply.
Forum organizers are 10 leading organizations that work tirelessly to improve our community, including Drury University, Missouri State University, League of Women Voters, Junior League of Springfield, Leadership Springfield and NAACP.
We need representation that understands our struggles and concerns and they owe us answers:
• The daily increase in COVID-19 cases in Missouri has hit an all-time high, 113 people (Editor’s note: 116 at press time.) have died in Greene County alone, yet testing still lags. How do you propose to improve that?
• Our county Health Department rates its own capacity for contact tracing as essentially nonexistent, and hospital and testing capability barely at 50%. How will you help our community rise above these challenges?
• Children in our community are going hungry and uneducated, and their parents can’t help them. What is your plan to help families and businesses provide for themselves?
The dysfunctional establishment in Jefferson City reduces voters to ruling by initiative petitions, which our incumbent politicians then try to overturn with deceit, as in the current proposed Amendment 3.
This is what happens when gerrymandering makes politicians feel too secure to bother with voters.
By boycotting this forum, incumbents also prevent their challengers from appearing, so we won’t get to hear what Jeff Munzinger and Cindy Slimp have planned either.
This is bad for democracy and disastrous for our community.
When our current politicians feel invulnerable, it’s time to act. Anyone who is tired of such disrespect could improve our lives by voting for Munzinger and Slimp this Nov. 3, even if they never vote for another Democrat!
It’s time to put Jeff City incumbents on notice that we expect them to respond.
–Maggie Castrey, of Springfield
SBJ survey data is used to analyze the flow of money.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.
Caleb Scott, coach and co-owner of Queen City Insane Asylum football team, says he had to sacrifice early on to make sure his team had places to play. With the business climate at the time, it wasn't easy.
Aaron York talks about the culture he fosters at Donco3 as the general superintendent. York says the key is to treat your business like family.