City & Government, Community, Springfield

Springfield mayor maps out future goals in State of the City Address

SPRINGFIELD – Although it’s now the fourth month of 2024, mayor Sean VanGordon gave his 2023 State of the City Address last week at the Richard E. Wildish Community Theater.

The event was originally set for Jan. 25 but was postponed so the City could focus on the ice storm’s damage. It covered the theme of “embracing our journey,” which was evident by VanGordon’s opening remarks.

“I fell in love with Springifeld while I was working mornings at UPS through college. I could always feel the city come alive looking out toward the Thurston Hills at dawn,” he said. “Embracing our journey is about actively participating and making the most out of our experiences as a community both good and bad.

“After a very long January responding to the ice storm and a personal surgery, I want to celebrate the stories of Springfield with you tonight. We’ve all chosen to be part of Springfield. We share the collective responsibility to ensure that we continue to thrive and grow through our courage and actions, to never fear failure.

“Springfield is calling each of us to be part of that journey.”

Transportation and infrastructure

VanGordon mentioned that, despite the success of the 2018’s five-year bond to fix specific streets, Springfield streets still need “substantial work,” and he brought up the bond measure which the City has placed on this May’s ballot.

“Our roads need the help, and I am asking for your vote for this important measure,” VanGordon said.

He added that the City is making progress to high-priority roads as the Mill St. project will break ground this year; the 42nd St. repaving project will begin; and the “heavily-used intersection” of Marcola Rd. and Mohawk Blvd. will receive an interim fix while council discusses a long term solution.

Further, the City expects to launch a multi-year effort with the Corp of Engineers to evaluate existing risks and the best way to modernize the 42nd St. Levee for safety reasons.

Economic development

The mayor discussed the City’s work to plan 30 acres of riverfront property along Franklin in the Glenwood area. He said the plan “will take time to complete to ensure thoughtful public access to the river and the locations of infrastructure.”

In regards to building the Glenwood District, VanGordon said the City will need to coordinate closely with state and local partners to move forward.

He also praised Connected Lane County for opening Spark at Booth Kelly.

“Springfield is a city of innovators, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers. We are committed to building a strong, vibrant regional economy,” VanGordon said. “We believe in the dignity and the importance of hard work; it’s why you can build your future in Springfield.”

Public safety

VanGordon announced that the Springfield Police Department will soon complete its accreditation through the Northwest Accreditation Alliance for the first time in decades.

Also, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the City with a grant to begin a treatment court focused on actively engaging with high-risk, high-need offenders in the community. This treatment court opened earlier this year and now has more than a dozen participants.

To address the integration of Eugene and Springfield’s fire departments, now known as Eugene Springfield Fire, which happened in 2009, VanGordon said “it is clear to me that our current governance structure isn’t sustainable… While the governance structure remains a technical conversation, the fire department continues to work on safety risks to the community”

VanGordon added that Eugene Springfield Fire will increase its public engagement and education as part of its full scale wildfire drills in 2024.

“Public safety is a calling and is a commitment by your entire family. First responders face real risks to their safety and consistently respond to changing emergencies,” he said. “Your commitment, work, and sacrifice for Springfield is noticed, honored, and appreciated.”


The mayor recognized Sanipac as the 2023 Business of the Year and named development and public works planning manager Mark Rust and Eugene/Springfield Fire battalion chief Derrick Frost as the Springfield Employees of the Year. Brenda Moore was also awarded the Community Champion Award.



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