The Springfield City Council met for a quickie meeting Monday night, largely to approve financial items. Nothing on the agenda yielded controversy. Even the authorization of a lease longer than three years—for a piece of fire equipment—prompted more whimsy than dry analysis.
Over $21 million in bonding was before the Springfield City Council last Monday, weeks after Mayor Domenic Sarno successfully pushed his budget through. Nearly all of these were normal capital projects that do not belong in the budget anyway.
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.
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.
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.
On Monday, the Springfield City Council authorized participation in Community Choice Energy Aggregation (CCA), a state program that lets communities choose their source of electricity.
Authorization triggers a process that will take time to complete. The Council took other actions that, once their processes reach completion, will have more immediate effect.
SPRINGFIELD—Fitfully, the City Council continues to come back. On Monday, the municipal legislature held its first regular meeting in chambers since the COVID-19 pandemic virtualized Springfield government.
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—The City Council considered and passed a plethora of legislation at its Monday meeting this week. Action commenced on a pair of historic districts—each were at different stages of passage. The ordinance banning the sale of non-shelter animals at pet stores also passed the Council.
SPRINGFIELD—Rare are week after week regular Monday meetings of the City Council here. Normally, the next meeting after a regular session is for permits and one did appear on the agenda. Yet, this week, there was another regulation session with its own clutch of legislation