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The chamber board is endorsing two city of Springfield ballot measures.
SBJ file
The chamber board is endorsing two city of Springfield ballot measures.

Springfield chamber board endorses city ballot measures

Posted online

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has endorsed two city ballot measures that are slated to appear before voters on April 2.

The board unanimously voted in favor of endorsement on Feb. 20, according to a news release issued this morning. The ballot measures involve the mayor’s term of office and code of ethics changes for city personnel.

"The chamber board prioritizes taking strategic steps to tackle challenges that impact our business community," said Brian Hammons, chamber board chair, in the release. "As we consider current recruitment challenges for both Springfield's workforce and public servants, we believe these two measures will move the city in the right direction."

One of the city's ballot measures would lengthen the term of future city mayors to four years from two while continuing to cap their service at eight consecutive years. The other would revise the city charter’s code of ethics policy for elected officials, appointed officers, board members and employees, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The code of ethics measure would subject city employees who violate the code to disciplinary action up to and including termination. Current charter language provides only for termination for employees with an ethics violation. Elected officials, appointed officers and board members would still forfeit their position for a violation, as the current code dictates. The charter change also would require City Council to review its ethics policy every other year.

In the release, Hammons said the code of ethics changes are a good start.

"We strongly encourage the city to further evaluate the conflict-of-interest language to address all current issues that stem from this section of the charter," he said in the release. "This measure is a step in the right direction, and we encourage further steps in the future."

The chamber board's executive committee initiated a review of both ballot measures in January. The local issues task force, which assists the board in establishing policy decisions on ballot issues, also reviewed the measures.

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