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Springfield Chamber Board of Directors endorses City of Springfield ballot measures on April 2024 ballot

Voting booths at Hermosa Beach City Hall during California Primary

After a thorough review process, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has endorsed two City of Springfield Charter amendments on the April 2 ballot. The measures pertain to extending the current mayoral term and addressing conflict-of-interest provisions.


Springfield City Council voted in early January to certify two proposals for the April ballot. The first measure would extend the current two-year mayoral term to four years while keeping the term limit at the current total of eight years. If passed by a simple majority of voters, the change would go into effect starting April 2025.


The second measure would amend the current conflict-of-interest Charter language that impacts City employees, volunteers and elected officials. Section 19.16 of the City Charter requires an automatic forfeiture of office for any elected official, board or committee member or salaried officer or employee of the City who has a financial interest in violation of the section. If approved, this proposal would 1) require City Council to maintain and review at least every other year a code of ethics related to elected officials, appointed officers, board members and employees; 2) eliminate the automatic forfeiture provision for violations as applied to employees, allowing the city manager to apply discretion when addressing such violations; and 3) provide that having a prior written city attorney opinion on a potential financial interest matter, obtained and relied upon in good faith, can be used as a defense for addressing claims of a violation.


This measure would not modify the current review process or affect a determination of what is considered a financial interest violation and only addresses the outcome to the person(s) involved.


Member-Driven Process

The Chamber Board of Directors’ Executive Committee initiated the review of both ballot measures in January which led to a meeting of the Chamber’s Local Issues Task Force. The Local Issues Task Force assists the board of directors in establishing policy positions on local ballot issues.

The established format of the Local Issues Task Force review meeting is to invite staff of the public entity involved in the ballot issue to provide an educational presentation. Proponents and opponents of the issue are then also invited to present to the task force following the ballot issue overview.

Springfield City Manager Jason Gage provided educational information on both measures and Springfield Mayor Pro Tem Matt Simpson spoke in support of both measures. No organized opposition was identified. However, publicly shared City Councilmember opposition, as well as a letter of opposition from a former city attorney provided to City Council in 2022, was shared with the task force. Following the presentations, task force members asked questions of presenters.

After further discussion, the task force unanimously recommended the Chamber Board of Directors endorse the mayoral term extension and conflict-of-interest amendment on the April 2 ballot.

“The task force recommendations were the result of significant discussion with a diversity of perspectives on how these two ballot measures, if approved by voters, will positively impact the business community,” said Krystal Russell, Spectrum Accounting, chair of the Local Issues Task Force.


Board Position and Next Steps

Russell presented the task force recommendation to the Chamber Board of Directors on Tuesday, February 20. Following that presentation, the Board unanimously endorsed both City of Springfield charter amendments. The board also encouraged the City to consider the conflict-of-interest proposal, if passed, as just a first step in a larger process to address ongoing challenges.

"The Chamber board prioritizes taking strategic steps to tackle challenges that impact our business community," said Brian Hammons, Hammons Black Walnuts, Chamber board chairman.  "As we consider current recruitment challenges for both Springfield's workforce and public servants, we believe these two measures will move the City in the right direction."


"At the same time, we strongly encourage the City to further evaluate the conflict-of-interest language to address all current issues that stem from this section of the Charter," said Hammons. "This measure is a step in the right direction, and we encourage further steps in the future."

For more information, visit the voter education section of the Chamber’s website at

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