Five City Councilmembers issue statement:
PUBLIC STATEMENT TO THE CITIZENS OF SPRINGFIELDISSUED ON BEHALF OF:Mayor Pro Tem Ken McClure; Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson; Councilman Craig Fishel; Councilwoman Jan Fisk; Councilman Mike SchillingAs elected officials representing the city, the role of Springfield City Council is to address the pressing needs of our community and be a problem-solving body. In an effort to elaborate on the events of the past few days, it is our desire to offer the following comments.We are the five City Council members who authored and signed a letter requesting the appointment of an independent hearing examiner to investigate Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky’s eligibility to serve on City Council.As noted in our Oct. 29 letter, our questions relate to the failure of Councilwoman Fulnecky to obtain a business license and pay the required tax. Our actions occurred as soon as we became aware of the matter. We were concerned by the fact that this problem has been ongoing for approximately seven years.Appointment of a hearing examiner is the process authorized through the Springfield City Code (Section 2-60) which states “this section proposes to relieve councilmembers of the impossible task of judging themselves. Instead, this section places judgment in the hands of an impartial hearing examiner…”In spite of allegations to the contrary, our actions on this matter are totally separate from the indecent exposure ordinance and are only taken after careful consideration. We are acting independently of questions raised regarding the ordinance and subsequent filing of a lawsuit. In fact, our voting record shows that three of us voted in favor and two voted in opposition.Council members may not always agree on every issue, but it is the expectation to regard each other with respect and conduct ourselves professionally.We wish we were not put in this position. It is our desire to be able to focus on the important business of the city.