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City to fill seat on council
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Springfield City Council moved Tuesday night to fill its vacant seat.

Council members voted to approve Catherine Pridgen, who has been serving on the city’s planning board.

“She’s a good candidate,” said Mayor Barton Alderman.

Pridgen takes the seat left open after Jeff Ambrose resigned Oct. 19. Ambrose moved out of the city limits and tendered his resignation. Ambrose had served as mayor pro-tem and acted as mayor for more than a year, from August 2011 until Alderman won an unopposed election for the seat.

Kenny Usher was selected Tuesday as mayor pro tem.

City council members also now have a seat on the planning board to fill, and a spot for an alternate.

Council members also agreed to disband their liaisons to city departments. The liaisons first stemmed from committees appointed by the mayor to work with individual departments. After the city manager position was created, the committees were reduced to one-member liaisons.

“My feeling is that in the short time I’ve been back the need to designate a liaison has pretty much passed,” Mayor Alderman said. “I don’t have any objections toward city liaisons; I just don’t see the need for them. But I’m pretty much open to whatever the council thinks.”

City Manager Brett Bennett said it wasn’t an issue with him.

“There are times, a few times a year, when something comes up and I need to call an individual liaison,” he said. “But that’s not something that couldn’t be handled on a case-by-case basis.”