Cities up and down the Pioneer Valley swore in their new governments Monday. In two cities new mayors took office while a third formally began his full term.
In the end, for Springfield, 2021 may have come to define the city’s limits. Some of those limits were long overdue. Courts ruled twice on the limits of Mayor Domenic Sarno’s power and the coronavirus revealed the limits of his influence. But those limits also
SPRINGFIELD—With a lighter agenda on Monday compared to recent weeks, the City Council dispensed with a series of financial orders and legislation before the home stretch of the election.
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.
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—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.
Barring any signatures challenges, the midterm ballot in Springfield looks ready to go and two prominent open races will want for competition. Moreover, the field will be thin enough to avoid the need for a preliminary. Still, a full complement of contenders will challenge at-large councilors and half of the ward Council seats will have races.
SPRINGFIELD—The wards were the highlight of Monday’s City Council virtual meeting. Early on, the Council considered a crush of utility petitions that received an unusual amount of scrutiny. Oddly most of these items happened to fall within Ward 2. Its councilor, Michael Fenton, raised the