Ozarks Independent and Drury University held a city council debate Tuesday night at the Findlay Student Center for City Council Seat C candidates Andrew Lear, Jaye Owens and Amy Champlin.
Video of the debate can be seen here.
The candidates agreed on a wide range of issues, including all three supporting Proposition S with Champlin specifically pointing out that schools need “better access” for residents with disabilities.
Jaye Owens took issue with the Mayor’s position that opioid abuse is a major crime problem in Springfield, saying it’s a disservice to call the problem a criminal issue rather than “a public health crisis.” She called for programs to curb the overprescription of opioids but also for people who are struggling with addiction to find help and treatment without having to bring them into the criminal justice system.
Amy Champlin responded to a question about the nuisance ordinance issues in the city by suggesting instead of hiring more city staff to clean up trash from lots or trim overgrown land, the city could work to provide the area’s homeless with jobs cleaning up the city.
Incumbent Andrew Lear when asked why people should vote to re-elect him the work he did with council to help get the short-term rental ordinance in place and make it a little more even for all the residents of the community. He also pointed to his work in helping the city progress in working to eliminate dangerous buildings.
All three candidates addressed multiple other issues including whether Springfield should be a sanctuary city, economic issues and Owens’ and Champlin’s views regarding the Chamber of Commerce’s influence on city politics. OI encourages voters to watch the recording of tonight’s live stream.