Welcome to the web pages of the City of Springfield. We are excited to offer this means of communication with our citizens and with others who are interested in our community. We also recently added the "Springfield Video TourBook" to our webpage as a new way to get to know us. Currently we are also adding new content to our government-access channel (Channel 5 on TimeWarner).
Springfield has a proud past. In March of 2000, we celebrated our 150th birthday of Springfield city government. In doing so, we noted the leadership role that our City played in the industrial development of this entire region. In 2001, we marked the 200th anniversary of the settlement of Springfield with a much larger celebration, featuring the opening of Clark County's Heritage Center Museum in the magnificent building that previously served as the Springfield City Hall. The Heritage Center makes available our past to amaze and educate citizens and visitors alike.
In addition to our rich history, our community features exciting sports and recreation, bustling commercial districts, outstanding cultural attractions, nationally recognized educational institutions, and comfortable housing - all amenities that anchor and enhance the lives of the families that live and grow here.
Springfield is also a community looking to the future. In recent years, Springfield city government has become a leader in creative thinking and action among cities in Ohio. And the results are very good. At the most basic level, we fix the streets and plow the snow and provide police, fire, and paramedic services better than ever before. We are committed to keeping that true even in the face of cuts we have made in our budget mostly due to the recession. In particular, we have developed new police and community connections including a new group of citizens to help with police-community relations.
Springfield leads the state in redeveloping old factory sites like the one from where a new cancer treatment center has risen. The Cooperative Economic Development Agreement (CEDA) with Springfield Township and Clark County will allow us to bring new jobs to the PrimeOhio area in the southeast corner of Springfield. Indeed, we recently were named the second most successful community of our size in the entire United States in attracting new business by the magazine Site Selection.
Combining city and county parks and recreation into National Trail Parks and Recreation District has made possible exciting new recreation facilities. The new Municipal Stadium and Splash Zone water park are open; an ice rink will follow. Springfield City Schools has built all new elementary and middle schools and a new high school. These bright buildings are becoming the places where improved learning occurs. Springfield is proving that it is possible to provide basic services and to be creative at the same time.
Outside of City government important new changes will happen in the years ahead. The Turner Foundation is establishing a creative presence in our neighborhoods by rehabilitating fine old homes. Our housing development corporation, Neighborhood Housing Partnership, has come up with some exciting new ideas for restoring our older neighborhoods; and the Springfield Metropolitan Housing Authority has completely rebuilt the Lincoln Park area. The Center City Association is generating creative ideas for our downtown. A new surgery hospital will open this year in downtown and a new state-of-the-art full-service hospital is beginning to emerge along Buck Creek. Springfield city government cannot make any of this happen, but we have helped it happen and will continue to do so.
We know we also have our problems. We try to face them honestly and to work with our citizens to address them aggressively. We must preserve as much of our manufacturing jobs as possible while adding service, distribution, and high-tech jobs to create a truly mixed employment base. The arrival of the NextEdge park in our community provides an opportunity to add a significant number of information technology jobs to the mix. We strongly encourage our neighborhoods to organize into associations in order to help us identify issues and work together on them. We have initiated community-oriented policing and restored neighborhood services.
On January 2, 2004, and again in 2008, I was sworn in as the first Mayor of Springfield directly elected by the people in ninety years. I am proud to serve as Mayor as we look to the future with new purpose and hope. Whether in person or on the web site, we invite you to share in Springfield's past, present, and future.
Warren R. Copeland