The Springfield City Council authorized the renaming of a McKnight neighborhood street after former Ward 4 Councilor E. Henry Twiggs. It was poignant recognition of their late colleague, whose activism contributed to the revival of the ward representation. In a more ironic turn, the Council punted on a new labor contract for police supervisors.
The allegations of vote-buying occurring right outside Springfield City Hall have dropped a hand grenade into a historic but quiet municipal election. It has set off a wave of condemnation, conspiracies and snickering across Springfield and within its political class.
The SuperPAC homecare mogul Cesar Ruiz funded took a prominent role in municipal preliminaries. The Hispanic Latino Leaders Now Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee (HLLN) filed a new report with state campaign finance regulators that shows it is spending to support a clutch of City Council candidates.
Was the defining issue at the October 16 meeting of the Springfield City Council for naught? It certainly seems possible. The debate collapsed into confusion and hand-wringing until its lead sponsor, Council President Jesse Lederman untied all the knots.
SPRINGFIELD—In the waning weeks of the preliminary campaign here, candidates for the five at-large City Council seats face a big challenge: standing out. Two Council retirements and a competitive mayoral race has yielded a historic 20 candidates for the September 12 at-large preliminary.
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.
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.
The mayoral race in Springfield will not be the only one with a preliminary in 2023. Earlier this month, the city Election Commission certified incumbent at-large Councilor Sean Curran and 2021 runner-up Juan Caraballo for the ballot. They were the 12th and 11th candidates to turn in enough signatures for the at-large race. On September 12, voters will whittle the list down to 10 candidates for the November 7 general election.
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.