SPRINGFIELD—Mayor Domenic Sarno and the City Council averted a political crisis Monday by agreeing to sunset what now amounts to suspensions of key parts of the Police Commission ordinance. The change ostensibly arose to ensure Deputy Police Chief Lawrence Akers, who would be the city’s first Black police leader, will have the same powers his four predecessors had.
However, the pair of ordinances, which reallocate most of the Police Commission’s power other than to mete out discipline, prompted sharp pushback.
The Springfield City Council’s review of legislation to clear the way for Deputy Chief Lawrence Akers to become Police Superintendent had its surprises. One of the biggest surprises was for Akers himself, who thought the home rule petition on his behalf would just let him serve until 70.
Ahead of the ascendence of Deputy Chief Lawrence Akers to Police Superintendent, the Springfield City Council considered a batch of legislation in an odd Tuesday meeting to smooth things over. Substantial changes to police leadership ordinances yielded a fractious, heated and, at times, bizarre debate.
While the open legislative races in the 413 are only a few weeks old, the one in the Berkshires is already proving to be the hotter of the two. Since Easthampton Representative Daniel Carey’s departure to run for Hampshire Clerk of Courts, only one candidate
The Springfield City Council met for its first regular meeting in several weeks. The meeting also had to incorporate agenda items from a hearings meeting after it failed to go forward as planned. A few items, including homeless program funding and supplemental budget requests received scrutiny.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has selected a top finance official in the Office of Community Development to lead the city’s overall finances. Cathy Buono was among three individuals a screening committee had forwarded to the mayor. She officially took over as chief administrative & financial officer Monday.
Weeks after the Massachusetts Department of Transportation confirmed planning for a Palmer train station had begun, the department took another step to advance rail service west. On Thursday, MassDOT and Governor Maura Healey formally named Andy Koziol “West-East Rail director.”
After a year that saw tumult and retirements across journalism, the two main players in the public media space in the 413 have undergone some hopeful changes. New England Public Media, the complicated union of UMass-Amherst’s WFCR and the GBH Foundation’s WGBY, has begun a new talk program. Meanwhile, Albany-based WAMC has hired a new reporter to man its bureau in Springfield.
Hispanic Latino Leaders Now, the Springfield-based SuperPAC that aimed to elect more Latinos to office in Massachusetts, filed its 2023 annual report last month. The document provides additional context of the extent of the group’s ambitions, essentially fulfilling promises to operate statewide. However, echoing the
Springfield faces a string of vacancies and turnover atop several city agencies. Just this month, the heads of the Elder Affairs, Police, School and Veterans Services departments have announced their retirements. One major office may have informally kicked off this transition last year, but it could see an appointment soon: a successor to former Chief Administrative & Financial Officer T.J. Plante.