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Category Archives: Springfield


Take My Council, Please: A Pension Plan That Could Work…

As summer heats up, the Springfield City Council begins to slow down, holding fewer meetings than during the rest of the year. The body’s July 8 sitting was its only scheduled regular meeting until September. Despite the policy and finance-heavy agenda, there was little of major controversy before councilors last Monday.

Beacon Hill

Legislature Releases Revised Akers Age Waiver, Pension Cap and All…

On Monday, the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Service reported out the age waiver to allow Springfield Police Superintendent Lawrence Akers to serve until age 70. As WMP&I reported last week, the Committee redrafted the home rule petition, which the Springfield City Council and Mayor Domenic Sarno had forwarded in February. The Committee’s changes essentially reverse those the city had made.

Lawrence Akers

Akers Age Waiver Likely to Move on Beacon Hill Soon, but with Cap on His Pension…

The attempt to gut the Police Commission was part of a broader legislative package that would facilitate Lawrence Akers’s appointment as superintendent. Another piece was a home rule petition to let him remain a cop beyond the state’s mandatory retirement age of 65 and cap his pension. That bill, too, went to the rewrite desk. Now the original language could make a return.


Take My Council, Please: The War on Food Additives…

SPRINGFIELD—The Community Preservation Committee’s (CPC) recommendations for the coming year constituted much of the City Council agenda on June 10. However, consideration of the projects did not invite the rancor the other items before the Council did. 

A transfer of free cash to reserves veered off-topic and became heated. By contrast, the sale of a city-owned railroad parcel prompted a barrage of accusations and nonplussed the chamber. 

Maple Street

Springfield CPA Projects Go Big on Endangered Structures for FY25 Grants…

SPRINGFIELD—Alongside normal business at its June 10 meeting, the City Council greenlighted a list of projects that received funding under the Community Preservation Act (CPA). In 2016, voters authorized a 1.5% surcharge on tax bills.

The Committee’s chair, Robert McCarroll, announced nearly $3 million in projects for fiscal year 2025.


Take My Council, Please: Make Springfield Aggregate Again…

SPRINGFIELD—Eons ago on Monday, before the meltdown with the outgoing school superintendent, the City Council held a relatively uneventful meeting. What occupied the most attention was the Community Choice Power Supply Aggregation (CCPSA) Plan. The city entered the program on the initiative of former Councilor Jesse Lederman and is now lumbering toward realizing its goals.

Buono Sarno

Springfield Councilors Pass FY25 Budget, but Tax Implications Linger…

SPRINGFIELD—Despite a lengthy debate and reasonable fears about how the city’s principal revenue stream affects residents, the City Council approved the fiscal year 2025 budget. It passed last week with no modifications and no dissent. This was also the first annual spending document presented under the new Chief Administrative & Financial Officer, Cathy Buono.


Take My Council, Please: As the Tree Fund Turns, er, Revolves…

SPRINGFIELD—The City Council sped through a thin agenda Monday that included a final realization of the new tree ordinance. Earlier this year, the Council approved a revamped arboreal code including fines and fees for removing public trees. However, the creation of the fund to use


Take My Council, Please: Another Road to Recovery…

SPRINGFIELD—On Monday, the City Council received a briefing on plans for Springfield’s share of the opioid settlement. Health & Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris explained how her department will build out a response to opiate addiction within the city. Her presentation came with a startling