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INAUGURATION SPEECH

Thank you very much. On behalf of Springfield’s

Elected Officials, we thank you for coming to today’s

Inauguration, and those that participated –

Honorable Mo Madonia; his father, Tom, served as

Ward 1 Alderman and Mother, Mary Pat, fulfilled his

term admirably. Father Jeff Grant from the

Langfelder Family’s Parish of Blessed Sacrament,

Pastor Jerry Doss whose leadership has helped

build the east side of Springfield, through not only

his family’s ministry, but also housing initiatives

ranging from homeless veterans to seniors, Jim

Leach who gives people an uncensored voice

through radio, the vocalists and to the Mayor’s office


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and Council Coordinator’s staff for putting together

today’s Inaugural events – Thank you!

Being a public servant requires strong

commitment. It is a commitment that takes away

time from one’s family. However, the greatest gift

we can give someone is of our time because when

you give of your time, you are giving a portion of

yourself that you will never get back.

I would like to thank former Alderman Kris

Theilen and Alderman Herman Senor for their time,

devotion, and service in improving our government

and moving our community forward.

“Our lives are guided by the way we endure the

many trials and tribulations we encounter during our


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lifetime. It is not just our focus which enables us to

become achievers, but rather the people who love

and support us which allows us to appreciate the

great benefits of life.” I would like to acknowledge

those words of wisdom from my late father, former

Mayor Ossie Langfelder, and I would also like to

recognize my mother, Midge. Without my parent’s

lifetime of guidance, I would not be standing here

before you. As my parents have said many times,

they are blessed with 13 children and 12 are here

today. I would ask that my brothers and sisters

stand and be recognized.

To my wife Billie, thank you for the many

sacrifices you have made. I proudly acknowledge


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you as the wind beneath my wings and the First

Lady of Springfield.

And to my children: Justin, Ryan, and Lauren -

Always Remember: believe in yourself, persevere,

help others and you will accomplish much in life.

Congratulations to City Clerk Lesko, Treasurer

Buscher, and our distinguished City Council

members. I look forward to continuing our work

together to build a brighter future for all of

Springfield.

On behalf of the elected officials on stage this

evening, we thank the voters of Springfield, the

countless volunteers, and family members of all

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candidates for making our community strive to be

the very best.

Most of us took our oath of office together in


2015 and today, just as it was then, we stood on the
shoulders’ of the city elected officials who have gone
before us. Our goal was to improve services,
neighborhoods and the City overall by capitalizing
on our strengths, recognizing our challenges and
striving to do what was Best for Springfield -
realizing that together and collectively, we can do
great things.
I feel we did this through our efforts that included
the creation of a comprehensive land use plan, re-
starting and finishing decades of old road projects,
providing financial stability to a cash strapped
CWLP, utilizing technology to improve city
operational efficiencies – all while removing

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department barriers and enhancing our engagement
with the public.
Now in 2019 and beyond, our efforts will
continue to improve services, our neighborhoods
and the City overall by building on the foundation we
have laid together which is doing what is Best for
Springfield. We will continue to strive to be the
model city where we live, work and play as a unified
community.

Where We Live – Everyone wants a safe and


clean (maintained?) neighborhood to live and call
home. Our City neighborhoods are like a member of
our family. If a family member is hurting, tired and
sick, it brings everyone else in the family down.
Poplar Place is one of Springfield’s most ailing
neighborhoods. On Friday, the Illinois Housing
Development Authority approved approximately $15
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million in tax credits for Poplar Place revitalization.
The tax credits are a key funding component to the
$20 million project that will not only transform the
housing in the neighborhood and the infrastructure,
but also people’s lives. This will be through job
opportunities within the area.
This will be a transformational project. Applying
the maximum efforts through private and public
partnerships will make the area safe, well-
maintained and compliment school district #186’s
investment in Matheny-Withrow Elementary School.
The project will serve as a catalyst for other private
public partnership developments throughout our
City’s CORE Areas (Connecting Our Resources
Economically) that need infill development.

Where We Work – Springfield is blessed to


have a strong core of small family owned
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businesses and ones that have gone on to become
global companies - like LRS, Brandt’s, and Bunn.
We will continue to work with the private sector in
partnership with the Chamber and Land of Lincoln
Economic Development Corporation, through target
industries’ business retention, expansion and
attraction efforts. Together, with our private sector
and educational community, we will identify
employment opportunities and fill workforce training
gaps, like with the $20 million Harvest Market
expansion project to supply living wage jobs. We
will expand the Grow Our Own and AmeriCorps
Youth Programs so our young people and future
leaders of tomorrow understand the career
opportunities they have at home.
With the changing dynamic of the economy,
especially the energy markets, we will assure CWLP
fulfills Springfield’s long-term energy and water
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needs, through prudent financial processes. Utilizing
the Integrated Resource Plan and public input, we
will institute the best coal/renewable energy strategy
that provides competitive electric rates with the
reliable service that our residents and businesses
deserve and expect. We will also apply maximum
effort to achieve a backup water solution through the
Army Corps of Engineers within two years.

Where We Play – People, especially millennials,


want to enhance their lives through maximum
experiences, like UIS $20 million privately funded
Student Union, which the students helped pay for
and will be showcased at tonight’s Inaugural
Reception. Springfield has great venues and
opportunities for arts, entertainment and recreational
activities. To enrich our visitors and residents
experiences we need to fully integrate our
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community resources through aesthetics,
technology, and coordination, as done along the
Jackson Street Corridor. We will continue to build
our infrastructure to connect our neighborhoods
throughout our community to accommodate
pedestrian traffic along with public wifi and/or 5G
technology.

Abraham Lincoln said “Determine the thing can


and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”

At times, what seems to hold Springfield back


from being the model city for others to follow is
ourselves. Just like human nature, it is easy for one
to pick out or point to the bad and sometimes more
difficult to recognize the good. As we approach the
year 2020 and beyond, let us create that perfect
vision for others to see in Springfield by recognizing
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and reminding others of our good and successful
qualities of our community. Our greatest asset is our
people, so you are Springfield’s primary resource in
becoming a model city. So when someone is
visiting, is new to Springfield, or speaking ill of
Springfield tell them what you like most about
Springfield – for example it is a great place to raise a
family, one of the most affordable places to live, one
of the best places to start a small business, one of
the top places to retire, world class medical care,
favorite restaurants, best music venues, our people,
and the list goes on and on.
With the each of us recognizing the positive

qualities of our Springfield community, together we

will have a greater positive and confidant outlook

about our City, and our future and become the

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model City where others will want to live, work and

play. Thank you!

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