Another ward seat on the Springfield City Council shall be subject to a contes. Kareem Kibodya, who has been a policy and advocacy staffer with the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, is set to challenge Ward 4 Councilor Malo Brown.
During an otherwise unremarkable meeting, the Springfield City Council paused final passage of a new historic district amid doubts and legal threats from the owner. At their April 10 meeting, councilors gave initial approval to historic protection for the former Isolation Hospital on State Street.
The Springfield City Council remains a sea of relative political calm even as the mayoral race begins to make waves. Fortuitously, Monday’s meeting included three challengers to Mayor Domenic Sarno—two incumbent councilors and a former councilor all of whom support a bill to make a local singer’s tune the state jazz song.
State money allocated to Springfield via Chapter 90 is nothing new to the City Council. Every year, the body formally accepts the disbursement. In recent years, city officials have paired it with bonding to maximize road repairs. The annual allocation has also been flat.
No incumbent in Springfield ward seats appears to be bailing and there have been few rumblings about challenges.
A noted exception is Ward 6, where rumors of a challenge to Councilor Victor Davila have circulated for months.
The Springfield City Council zoomed—figuratively and somewhat literally—through its Monday meeting, plowing through a modest agenda with a heavy focus on parks and school buildings. While Parks, Recreation and Facilities Executive Director Patrick Sullivan at the Council is not exactly the Beatles at Shea Stadium, he is among the most popular department heads.
Less than a week ago, the Springfield Election Commission flung open its doors to candidates in a year with historic interest, several have already submitted their filings to run. Candidates have until June 6 to turn in signatures but as of this posting nine could not wait that long.
Despite the big figures involved, the Springfield City Council scampered through its regular February meeting uneventfully. But with looming costs for current and future retirees, the meeting was a sobering reminder of Springfield’s future fiscal challenges.
As Springfield hurtles toward its most competitive mayoral election in a generation, it may be easy forget the implications down ballot. Not since 1991 have two sitting city councilors given up their seats to run for mayor.
SPRINGFIELD—A new calendar year also means a new municipal year here. The only formal order of business in the new year was the installation of the Council President. At-large Councilor Jesse Lederman had already secured the votes for a full term as President in 2023. Yet, this is no ordinary municipal year.