On June 20, for the first time since the shroud of the coronavirus fell upon Springfield, city councilors confronted Mayor Domenic Sarno, faccie e faccie, in chambers as he presented his budget for new fiscal year.
The budget process is always political. This is true whether the context is the hottest set of races Springfield has seen in a decade or not. Yet, on display at the City Council meeting last Monday was proof that chambers had become an area in the city’s political battlefield this cycle.
Patterns that began to emerge in April campaign finance reports for the Springfield mayoral race came into clearer focus in May. Incumbent Domenic Sarno took back the top fundraiser spot, but his monster spending put him into a deficit while two of his challengers kept building their reserves.
Longmeadow voters elected three members of the School Committee, but only two were on the ballot. Incumbent Nicole Choiniere and newcomer Michaela Fitzgerald won seats as did Adam Rosenblum, who mounted a write-in bid.
Kency Gilet, a two-time Springfield City Council candidate, now of Longmeadow, is running in town elections next week. He is among three School Committee candidates on the ballot for three seats. The race attracted a write-in candidacy amid alarm that Gilet—and his historically right-wing views—could succeed in Longmeadow after failing in Springfield.
Although meetings have become much more fluid since going hybrid last year, the Springfield City Council’s outing hit a snag on Monday. The body trudged through a permit for the Student Prince to close Fort Street during summers.
On Thursday, Ward 3 Chicopee City Councilor Delmarina López announced she would run for mayor. The first-termer, who became the Council’s first woman of color in 2021, would be challenging incumbent mayor John Vieau.