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Local InterestBuilding community pride, quality of life, and taxpayer trust.I believe it is safe to say winter is finally over. Now is the best time to get outside and enjoy the weath- er. Springfield has businesses and sites that are accessibleyear-round, but especially some exciting events this time of year.I am Kevin Catlin, Springfield’s new City Manager. I was appointed in May with the charge to continue accessibili- ty and transparency initiatives all while promoting efficient and effective govern- ment. My goal is to cultivate Springfield’s economic potential to invest in economic and community development strategies that will ultimately create a better quality of life. Springfield has many passionate and hardworking families in town who are invested in their community, school system, and neighbors. I have enjoyed that Springfield has all the advantages and opportunities available in the Bat- tle Creek area as well as the benefits of a smaller town, such as more affordable housing, less traffic, reduced crime, and accessible government.Springfield’s new master plan of- fers many opportunities. Environmental preservation and natural features play an integral role in beautification efforts to improve aesthetics within city limits.Eliminating blight is critical to reduc- ing crime, revitalizing neighborhoods and spurring economic growth and job creation. More goals of the master plan include residential and commercial de- velopment, strengthening our business loop, promoting development within the industrial park, improving transportation and pedestrian circulation, and creating a better sense of community identity. Springfield has a lot to offer in terms of small town responsiveness and large-city quality services. We want to be able to provide a more robust experience for our residents and visitors in the near future.I am here to continue our motto of building community pride, quality of life, and taxpayer trust. We do this by focus- ing on the fundamentals of government. Community-police relations are tense depending on which area of the country you are in. Springfield is fortunate to have low crime rate and acceptable communi- ty-police relationships. We have recently submitted funding for police body-worn cameras to continue to promote transpar- ency in law enforcement interactions with our community members. It allows both sides to be held accountable during all situations. Building public trust through community-police relations directly cor- relates to quality of life. Acceptable pub- lic trust means residents and visitors will be forthcoming and cooperative towards law enforcement. Our deputies, who arecontracted through the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, are committed to serving the public judiciously and ethically. This in turns provides our constituents with a better quality of life they can appreciate.Springfield has a lot of challenges to overcome in the near future. We are heading down the right path financial- ly speaking. The City’s financial plan is sustainable to a point. Municipalities across the state are in a constant bat- tle with state legislators to appropriate state-obligated funds as our public ser- vices continue to rise, while their funds remain flat. Recreational marijuana leg- islation will affect the city and surround- ing areas in many ways. City officials remain prepared to accept the outcome of that legislation in November. It is im- perative for Springfield to remain inno- vative and ahead of curve regarding new trends to provide a better quality of life for our residents.I chose local government as a career because I wanted to create a significant impact at the local level. I want to cre- ate an environment where residents can enjoy their daily lives without worrying about the efficiency and effectiveness of their government. We were hired to pro- vide innovative tools for residents to en- gage in government in a variety of ways. We pride ourselves on our small town responsiveness. Please feel free to come to City Hall anytime to meet with me.BY KEVIN CATLIN, Springfield City ManagerFOCUSING ON FUNDAMENTALS THAT CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT FOR BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY INVESTMENTBuilding community pride, quality of life, and taxpayer trust.601 Avenue A Springfield, MI 49037 • 269-965-2354 • www.springfieldmich.com24 SCENE 4307 I ANNUAL REPORT CARD

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