The highest court in the land—of Massachusetts at least—will hear and likely resolve one of the most vexing controversies in the City of Homes. On Wednesday, the Supreme Judicial Court accepted direct review of Hampden Superior Court Judge Francis Flannery’s ruling that Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno must appoint the Police Commission.
SPRINGFIELD—This week the City Council revisited a troubled revision to a drive-through special permit that had hit the skids earlier this year amid an abutter’s complaints. The item has still not achieved passage amid a sluggish review. Frustratingly, the once-complaining neighbor has been MIA, leaving councilors to straighten things out alone with the applicant.
SPRINGFIELD—The only contested School Committee district race here began in earnest Wednesday night with Ayanna Crawford formally launching her bid. She seeks the seat that covers Wards 2 and 8, but in doing so she is challenging incumbent Peter Murphy who has weathered many a challenger emerging victorious each time.
As Holyoke assembles perhaps its most diverse field of mayoral candidates ever, there have been reminders of how much progress the city must make. Over the holiday weekend, signs for mayoral candidate Joshua Garcia and city council candidate Israel Rivera were defaced with an anti-Hispanic screed. More than that, the author assigned specific blame to Latinos for the city’s decline.
The Holyoke mayoral contests appears to be galloping toward an eight-person field as the certification process winds down. Christopher Kosinksi, a lesser known figure who had pulled papers early on, has turned in sufficient signatures in recent days. Meanwhile, a former city councilor turned recurring electoral guest star has announced, he, too, is running.
The Democratic field for governor expanded again Wednesday morning as sitting Boston Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz leapt into the fray. A stalwart of the State Senate’s left since her upset victory over an incumbent in 2008, Chang-Diaz brings the race to three major contenders. Ever looming is Attorney General Maura Healey, but the growth of the field could also begin to smoke a decision out of her.
SPRINGFIELD—Despite roughly two hours of often passionate debate, the City Council here unanimously approved Mayor Domenico Sarno’s budget for fiscal year 2022 without cuts. With some help from the American Rescue Plan, the $756 million spending plan largely peels city government off the floor after going into a defensive fiscal crouch during the coronavirus pandemic.
SPRINGFIELD—Aside from a one-liner admonishing a permit-seeker’s counsel to not interrupt the Council president, the sequels to a few permit hearings last Monday were no better than the originals in the preceding weeks.
SPRINGFIELD—The race for the Democratic nomination for governor grew a bit larger Tuesday as Harvard professor and nonprofit leader Danielle Allen joined the fray. In stops here and in Boston, Allen laid out her pitch with an emphasis on a more inclusive, fairer commonwealth. However, she enters an uncertain race with top contenders’ plans known but to God and maybe a few others.
SPRINGFIELD—At its June 7 meeting last Monday, the City Council cut itself off. After some members had spent a third of their day in Council Zoom meetings—the body remains virtual for now—councilors agreed to execute the 10pm drop-dead rule.