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Populism and Pragmatism…

Well, I guess we know. Springfield City Councilor and Mayoral hopeful, Domenic Sarno will be playing Populist. While this still does not change our prediction for November contest, it does mean that Ryan and Sarno will be going head to head over issues.

According to the Republican, Sarno will be running against the Control Board and its decisions. Primarily, it seems, he will work to abolish it no later than June, 2008, the approximate date Gov. Deval Patrick has set. He did, however, specifically mention the Trash Fee. He intends to seek its elimination as early as possible. Given Control Board’s existence for the next year (unless Patrick’s nominees reverse course), that will not happen until Fiscal 2009. Nonetheless, it is a great Populist idea and could win him votes if Ryan does not counter correctly. The Republican did not mention any other issues Sarno talked about.

Speaking specifically to the trash fee, I believe that it is a necessary evil. I would take it over a Meals Tax option, but frankly as long as it is needed it should remain. The City Council and Mayor, once the Board leaves, should have a policy set to plan two budgets. One with and one without the fee. If it can be removed, then so be it. If they need it to cover something essential…school construction, public safety, Municipal Group repairs, then keep it. If its a matter of extras, then can it, pun intended.

Still, its too early to decide how this will go. Another candidate could still pop up, and we will wait to see more of each candidate’s platforms. Either way, this race will still be about the Control Board. Again, I thank God that the contracts are (almost) settled. At least we won’t have that hanging around our necks.