Regional
6:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

City May Set Retirement Age For Police Force, Mayor Vetoes Zoning Change For Liquor Store

The City of Springfield may be looking at setting a mandatory retirement age for all new police hires.  During Tuesday’s city council meeting, both the city’s mayor and police chief say they support a cut off at age 60.   But Mayor Mike Houston says this is an issue that will first be discussed with the police union. “Since we are grandfathering all of the existing officers in, so that they would not be impacted by this, the initial interpretation was that this was not something that we would negotiate.  The union takes a different posture,” Houston said.             Discussion over the retirement age came after a plan to raise the maximum age at which new police officers could be hired, from 35 up to 45 years old.  Only veterans can exceed the current age limit.  Supporters said they want to give more people an opportunity.  Mayor Houston cast the deciding vote against the change last night, adding that the retirement age must also be part of the package.   Also, Mayor Houston says he has rejected a zoning change for a liquor store located on Toronto Road on the city's south side.   Five Star Liquors has requested a license to serve wine samples.  Houston says his concern is that it could lead to other businesses going the same route simply  to qualify for a video gaming license.  Houston says state law is clear. “That in order to have a gaming license you need to have alcohol by the drink and this is a packaged liquor store and I think that it’s simply an attempt to circumvent the intent of the state legislature,” Houston said. In other news, the Springfield council last night voted to amend the contract with Triune Heath Group, to hire a worker’s compensation nurse representative who lives in Macon County.  The previous contract stated the nurse must live within Sangamon County