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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield’s Neighborhood Advisory Council unanimously elected Rusty Worley as its next chair at its May 9 meeting.
Worley replaces Pete Radecki, who will complete three years as chair at the end of June. Zone 1 City Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson was the NAC’s first chair from the NAC’s inception in 2013 until she was elected to the Zone 1 council seat in April 2015. Radecki will continue to participate in the NAC as past chair and a representative from the Bissett Neighborhood Association.
“It has been a privilege to serve as the NAC chair the past three years. I have appreciated very much the collaboration we have had between neighborhood leaders, City staff and City Council members – all toward the betterment of Springfield and its neighborhoods,” Radecki said. “Having known and worked with Rusty Worley for over a decade, I can say NAC is in very capable hands as he assumes the role of chair. I look forward to seeing NAC’s continuing development under his leadership.”
Worley, who is vice president of the West Central Neighborhood Association and lives in a restored 1896 Victorian home in West Central with his family, is one of the founders of the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival. The festival began as a neighborhood car show in 2011 and has grown exponentially each year, bringing 53,000 attendees to downtown Springfield in 2017 with an estimated economic impact of $1.4 million.
He has served as the executive director of the Downtown Springfield Association for 12 years. Prior to joining the DSA staff, he was a member of the Urban Districts Alliance board of directors from 2000 to 2005 and served as its president in 2003 and 2004.
“I appreciate the opportunity to continue Pete Radecki’s legacy on the NAC,” Worley said. “We will remain steadfast in our core services while exploring ways neighborhoods can be a positive player in the City’s revisions to the comprehensive plan, expanding our residents’ participation at the ballot box and engineering more opportunities for neighborhood roundtables to learn from one another.”
Worley is a two-time graduate of Drury University, earning his bachelor's degree in business administration and communication in 1992 and his master's in business administration in 1994. He served his alma mater in many capacities from 1993 to 2005, including as the vice president for administration from 2000 until 2005.
In addition to his roles with DSA and NAC, Worley participates in the International Downtown Association and the Responsible Hospitality Institute. He is a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class XV and currently serves on the board of directors for the Jordan Valley Park Advisory Committee and the Missouri State University College of Arts and Letters Advisory Board. He is a past chair of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit CEO Roundtable and a member of the Southeast Rotary Club of Springfield.
About the NAC
The Neighborhood Advisory Council, organized by the City’s Planning and Development department, is a neighborhood-led citizen advisory group who wants to use their solidarity and collective passion for improved quality of life, healthy neighborhoods and an improved City of Springfield. The purpose of the council is to provide an opportunity for the 18 registered neighborhood organizations to have face-to-face discussion with City Council members, to share information and receive feedback on programs and related business that impact the quality of life in their neighborhoods. The NAC serves the City and City Council as a review body for programs and policy changes that impact neighborhoods.
The NAC presents annual recommendations for the City’s budget. Recommendations for fiscal year 2018-2019 include continued funding for SGF Neighborhood News, a quarterly newspaper for registered neighborhoods produced in cooperation with the neighborhoods by the City’s Department of Public Information; additional funding for an additional City planner and out-of-pocket costs associated with neighborhood planning an organization; additional funding for neighborhood cleanups and the Great Neighborhoods program and additional funding for the City’s Building Development Services department for code enforcement.
The NAC meets at 6 p.m. quarterly on the second Wednesday in February, May, August and November. Each neighborhood association has a representative and an alternate. Neighborhoods interested in organizing and registering with the City should contact Alana Owen at 417-864-1831.
For more information, please contact Melissa Haase, assistant director of Public Information and Civic Engagement at 417-864-1003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.