City & Government, Springfield

Springfield’s next level – Lundberg plans to push City forward

Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg is running for re-election. She has been mayor for 10 years, and served on the City Council for 20 years. She wants to help the city manage its growth. Aliya Hall/The Chronicle

SPRINGFIELD – As Springfield continues expanding and growing, Mayor Christine Lundberg said she wants to be there to help facilitate it.
After serving as mayor for 10 years, serving 20 years on the City Council and volunteering in the community since the mid-1980s, Lundberg is seeking re-election for her third term.
”I’m running this year because we’ve been working on a few projects, and some of them are in infancy enough that having that continuum of experience and knowledge – and, I want to say, the trust of the people I’ve been working with – to continue those” is important, she said.
”I also love Springfield,” she added.
Originally appointed mayor by the City Council in December 2010, when former mayor Sid Leiken became a Lane County commissioner, Lundberg said that she was also encouraged to run again. She stressed that she wants to complete one more term to help navigate Springfield through the new growth initiatives and the transition to a new city manager.
With two of the top city positions changing simultaneously, she said it was important for the city to have a sense of continuity.
If re-elected, Lundberg said one of her areas of focus will include the indoor track-and-field facility being constructed in Glenwood. She added that although historic Downtown Springfield has come together, the downtown extends to Glenwood.
”It’s not two different places, it’s just that a river runs through it,” she said.
With the economy changing, there also are a variety of open jobs in the city, and Lundberg wants to help area businesses grow, maintain and expand. Economic vitality and affordable housing are two major planks of her platform because she said they go ”hand-in-hand.”
Lundberg also has plans in the works with the state agencies and St. Vincent de Paul to help facilitate affordable housing through mobile home parks.
”It’s evident that we have mobile home parks in Springfield and not all of them are going to remain mobile homes,” she said. ”The developer gets to do what they want to do. Developers buy mobile home parks as investment properties and then sell them when the value is good enough.”
She said that makes the people in those homes vulnerable, and city leaders are seeking ways to help those affected by applying for an Oregon Solutions project.
The project got multiple organizations involved to create a toolkit if a park closes, and Terry McDonald, executive director of St. Vincent, will be part of the solution to build a new mobile home park that can stay that way. The project was passed by the governor with House Bill 2896, giving St. Vincent $3 million for a pilot program.
Affordable housing is a key concern for Lundberg, who said the city is working on changing the development code to be more accessible for a variety of housing development projects. The growth boundary expansion in Gateway, north before the freeway corridor, also has been approved.
Lundberg is working with Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis on a U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grant that will extend from Downtown Eugene to Downtown Springfield through Franklin Boulevard, as well as focusing on bike connections from Eugene to Springfield.
She also wants to celebrate the diverse community within Springfield that has changed in recent years, which is why they’re rebooting Springfield Tomorrow efforts to lead to a better definition of what the community is.
”We’re raising another generation that has a lot of diversity,” she said. ”We want to continue to create a warm and welcoming community.”
Although Springfield is still facing its challenges, Lundberg prefers to look at them as opportunities. Keeping the budget balanced is always a struggle, but Lundberg said they manage to do it every year even though it’s tight.
”I see those as opportunities to do things better, but there are challenges of how to address those things,” she said. ”To figure out for a community that likes independence how to embrace climate change and principles of ‘What can we do?’ that work for everyone.”
Having grown up in Springfield, Lundberg said that she understands the community and through her tenure has worked hard on behalf of Springfield. Lundberg said she realizes she has had a tendency of not acknowledging her own contributions to city achievements. It’s a mindset, she said, of always putting the city first.
”I have been working very hard on taking Springfield from where we are right now to the next level in terms of growth and development,” she said.
For her 30 years of service to the community, Lundberg said that her experience and understanding of where the city is now and its next steps are important to consider for the upcoming election.
”Keeping me as mayor is important to help push us forward,” she said. ”A change at this point is probably not in the best interests of trying to move us ahead, because we’re moving really fast.”



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