Mike Houston http://wuis.org en Houston Says District 186 Needs To Build Credibility Before Asking For Tax Hike http://wuis.org/post/houston-says-district-186-needs-build-credibility-asking-tax-hike <p></p><p>WUIS is asking the candidates for Springfield mayor to talk about education issues facing the community. Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says he's concerned that most new single family homes in the area are in suburban school districts.&nbsp;&nbsp; He says an increase in funding for District 186 is probably needed, but says the school board needs to build credibility first.</p><p></p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:47:20 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29688 at http://wuis.org Houston Says District 186 Needs To Build Credibility Before Asking For Tax Hike Springfield's Mayor Wants Another Term http://wuis.org/post/springfields-mayor-wants-another-term <p></p><p>Springfield mayor Mike Houston will seek another term.&nbsp; Houston made the announcement earlier this morning.&nbsp; He says he has righted the ship when it comes to city finances.<br /><br />Houston is expected to face opposition.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />County Auditor Paul Palazzolo and City Treasuer Jim Langfielder have indicated they will run for the office as well.<br /><br />Houston admits he broke a pledge to only serve one term.&nbsp; He made that during the last campaign.&nbsp; But he says some of his projects have taken longer than anticipated to accomplish.<br />&nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:42:06 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29239 at http://wuis.org Springfield's Mayor Wants Another Term Houston Likely To Seek Re-election http://wuis.org/post/houston-likely-seek-re-election <p></p><p>Springfield Mayor Mike Houston will make a campaign announcement Monday morning.&nbsp; While his release did not say specifically that he will run for another term, the release included this quote, "With so many evolving projects, there's too high of an investment to get off course or to go backwards. Springfield can't afford to make the mistakes again I've worked so hard to correct."&nbsp; His announcement is at 10:30 a.m.</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:47:25 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29214 at http://wuis.org Houston Likely To Seek Re-election Mayor Defends CWLP Insurer Despite Lack Of Contract Bid From Other Companies http://wuis.org/post/mayor-defends-cwlp-insurer-despite-lack-contract-bid-other-companies <p>Springfield Mayor Mike Houston is defending the city’s decision to renew a contract for CWLP insurance, despite criticisms over the lack of a bidding process.</p><p><br />The 3 year contract with R.W. Troxell to insure the city owned utility will cost around $1.8 million per year.&nbsp; Mayor Houston, during an interview on WUIS’ Illinois Edition, said the local firm has been doing business with the city for 30 years with a solid track record.</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:01:50 +0000 Lee Strubinger 27492 at http://wuis.org Mayor Defends CWLP Insurer Despite Lack Of Contract Bid From Other Companies State Can't Find Agreement The City Used As Basis For NAPA Deal http://wuis.org/post/state-cant-find-agreement-city-used-basis-napa-deal <p>The state says there's no evidence of the intergovernmental agreement that Springfield officials relied on as the legal basis for the NAPA contract approved last month.</p><p></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 20:09:23 +0000 Lee Strubinger 25289 at http://wuis.org State Can't Find Agreement The City Used As Basis For NAPA Deal As Hy-Vee Opens, City To Focus On Further MacArthur Development http://wuis.org/post/hy-vee-opens-city-focus-further-macarthur-development <p>Despite the rain Tuesday morning, customers arrived in droves to the unveiling of the the new Springfield Hy-Vee supermarket along MacArthur boulevard.&nbsp;</p><p>The city offered special tax incentives in hopes of spurring growth along MacArthur.</p><p>Springfield Alderman Cory Jobe was president of the MacArthur Boulevard Business Association when the idea to bring Hy-Vee about came around.&nbsp; He says the building brings life to the core of the city.</p> Tue, 13 May 2014 17:56:23 +0000 Lee Strubinger 25026 at http://wuis.org As Hy-Vee Opens, City To Focus On Further MacArthur Development Springfield Takes Harsh Stance Against Recent Spike In Gun Crimes http://wuis.org/post/springfield-takes-harsh-stance-against-recent-spike-gun-crimes <p>Springfield has seen a recent spike in gun violence.&nbsp; City and County officials are calling for a cease fire.</p><p>The Springfield Police Chief says there have been 20 shooting incidents since the beginning of March.&nbsp; He says it has even involved local teenagers.&nbsp;</p><p>Since summer break is approaching, the city says it’s developing a strategy for handling the violence.</p><p>Though no specifics on the strategy were given, Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says the city will come down hard on those taking part in gun crimes.</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 21:22:17 +0000 Lee Strubinger 24317 at http://wuis.org Springfield Takes Harsh Stance Against Recent Spike In Gun Crimes Downstate Mayors Want Pension Overhaul http://wuis.org/post/downstate-mayors-want-pension-overhaul <p>A couple dozen mayors from throughout Illinois came to Springfield Wednesday, calling on legislators to help fix downstate pension systems that they say are unsustainable.</p><p></p><p>Municipalities are on the hook for paying local police and firefighters’ retirement benefits.</p><p>But the pension rates are set by the state.</p><p>Mayors say lawmakers have increasingly “sweetened” benefits – without giving their cities any funding to cover the extra cost.</p><p>It’s left many pension systems severely underfunded.</p> Thu, 01 May 2014 00:12:05 +0000 Lee Strubinger 24166 at http://wuis.org Downstate Mayors Want Pension Overhaul Napa Contract Left In Committee Again, Concerns Over Non-Union Employees http://wuis.org/post/napa-contract-left-committee-again-concerns-over-non-union-employees <p>Several Springfield Aldermen raised concerns about laying off three non-union employees if an agreement with NAPA Auto Parts goes through.</p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 03:12:29 +0000 Lee Strubinger 22598 at http://wuis.org Napa Contract Left In Committee Again, Concerns Over Non-Union Employees Winslow Hired As Springfield Police Chief http://wuis.org/post/winslow-hired-springfield-police-chief <div><span style="font-size: 16px; line-height: 1.5;">Springfield aldermen have unanimously approved the hiring of Kenny Winslow as the city's police chief. Winslow has been in the role since last summer, when he took over after the resignation of Robert Williams. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 12:26:00 +0000 Lee Strubinger 19247 at http://wuis.org Winslow Hired As Springfield Police Chief Winslow Expected To Get Police Chief Job http://wuis.org/post/winslow-expected-get-police-chief-job <p>After more than 6 months as Acting Springfield Police Chief, Kenny Winslow has been nominated for the job on permanent basis. &nbsp;<br /><br />Winslow assumed his role July 29th, after Robert Williams resigned following a file shredding scandal. &nbsp;<br />Winslow says there are several things at the department that need to be done.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:58:40 +0000 Lee Strubinger 18336 at http://wuis.org Winslow Expected To Get Police Chief Job Mehlick Leaving Post As Springfield's Top Attorney http://wuis.org/post/mehlick-leaving-post-springfields-top-attorney <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Springfield's top city attorney has submitted his resignation after helping the mayor and aldermen through a difficult legal battle.</span></p><p>Mayor Mike Houston appointed Mehlick this summer, following the departure of former Corporation Counsel Mark Cullen.&nbsp; Cullen and other city officials are named in the lawsuit filed on behalf of Springfield resident Calvin Christian.&nbsp; Christian accuses them of knowingly and intentionally destroying the documents he was seeking through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.</p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 23:06:19 +0000 Peter Gray 14336 at http://wuis.org Mehlick Leaving Post As Springfield's Top Attorney Houston: Leak Of Former Chief's Testimony "Unethical" http://wuis.org/post/houston-leak-former-chiefs-testimony-unethical <p>Mike Houston says the court system doesn't appreciate when cases are "tried in public", and Springfield's mayor suggests "unethical" leaks of sworn testimony to the media are doing that by "coloring the situation".</p><p>The situation is the ongoing lawsuit filed by local newspaper columnist Calvin Christian, which claims the city destroyed dozens of documents he was seeking through the Freedom of Information Act.</p> Mon, 23 Sep 2013 16:51:16 +0000 Peter Gray 9475 at http://wuis.org Houston: Leak Of Former Chief's Testimony "Unethical" Interview: Tom Gray On Chatham Water Rates, Growth, Trains http://wuis.org/post/interview-tom-gray-chatham-water-rates-growth-trains <p></p><p>Chatham's mayor stands behind the village's choice to stop buying water from Springfield's public utility.</p><p>Along with New Berlin, Chatham is a customer of the South Sangamon Water Commission, established so the villages could avoid rate hikes from City, Water, Light and Power. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 17:28:02 +0000 Peter Gray 9025 at http://wuis.org Interview: Tom Gray On Chatham Water Rates, Growth, Trains Houston: I'll Start Thinking About Re-Election Next Spring http://wuis.org/post/houston-ill-start-thinking-about-re-election-next-spring <p></p><p>The city of Springfield is still nearly two years away from a mayoral election. &nbsp;But half-way through a term he had said would be his last, Mike Houston is now hinting at the possibility of re-election.</p><p>Mayor Houston says he's not made any decisions about his political future at this time, but he says they may come in sring 2014.</p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 15:32:06 +0000 Peter Gray 8331 at http://wuis.org Houston: I'll Start Thinking About Re-Election Next Spring Springfield Agrees To Pay $5K For Destroying Buscher File, Violating FOIA http://wuis.org/post/springfield-agrees-pay-5k-destroying-buscher-file-violating-foia <p>The City of Springfield admits it illegally destroyed Deputy Police Chief Cliff Buscher's internal affairs file.&nbsp;</p><p>In <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/749788-foiamotion.html">a motion</a> filed in Sangamon County Court Friday, the City agrees to pay Calvin Christian $5,000, the fee set for a single violation of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.&nbsp;</p><p>Christian sued the City in May after it said Buscher's file had been destroyed.</p> Fri, 09 Aug 2013 10:46:00 +0000 Peter Gray 7024 at http://wuis.org Springfield Agrees To Pay $5K For Destroying Buscher File, Violating FOIA Some Municipalities Race To Pass Gun Bans As Deadline Looms http://wuis.org/post/some-municipalities-race-pass-gun-bans-deadline-looms <p></p><p>It could be months before law-abiding gun owners can get a permit to carry a handgun in public.&nbsp; But a separate provision of Illinois’ new concealed carry law has already taken effect.&nbsp;</p><p>Beginning July 19, communities lose the ability to enact local restrictions on firearms. &nbsp;Those ordinances that are already in place will remain valid, while any future controls would have to be approved by the legislature.</p><p>WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky&nbsp;gives the local gun control issue some historical context in this report:</p><p></p> Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:30:19 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 5983 at http://wuis.org Some Municipalities Race To Pass Gun Bans As Deadline Looms After No Pension Deal, Fitch Lowers Illinois' Credit Rating http://wuis.org/post/after-no-pension-deal-fitch-lowers-illinois-credit-rating-0 <p style="font-size: 16px; margin-bottom: 24px; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: Georgia, 'Bitstream Charter', serif;"><span data-mce-style="line-height: 1.5;" style="line-height: 1.5;">Illinois' credit rating has suffered another downgrade.</span></p><p style="font-size: 16px; margin-bottom: 24px; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: Georgia, 'Bitstream Charter', serif;"><span data-mce-style="line-height: 1.5;" style="line-height: 1.5;">It follows the General Assembly's adjournment Friday without any agreement on what to do about the state's pension systems.</span></p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 22:32:29 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 3696 at http://wuis.org Aldermen Want More Oversight Following File-Shredding Incident http://wuis.org/post/aldermen-want-more-oversight-following-file-shredding-incident <p>Members of the Springfield City Council are looking for a way to prevent further incidents like the one in April in which police records were apparently shredded or deleted after they were requested by a local reporter through the Freedom of Information Act.</p><p>Tuesday night aldermen passed out of committee an ordinance that would require all changes to union contracts be approved by the Council and signed by the Mayor. &nbsp;Such contractual changes are known as memorandums of understanding, or MOUs.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 13 May 2013 15:26:04 +0000 Peter Gray 2569 at http://wuis.org Aldermen Want More Oversight Following File-Shredding Incident City Leaders Respond To File Shredding Lawsuit http://wuis.org/post/city-leaders-respond-file-shredding-lawsuit <p>Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says he's gathering more information about events last month that triggered allegations that the city destroyed files sought in a Freedom of Information Act Request.</p><p>Attorneys for Springfield resident Calvin Christian say the police department violated a state public records retention law last month by destroying dozens of internal affairs files subject to a FOIA request filed by Christian.</p> Wed, 08 May 2013 16:19:05 +0000 Peter Gray 2350 at http://wuis.org City Leaders Respond To File Shredding Lawsuit