domenic sarno

Authorities in Massachusetts’ third largest city are using innovation, technology, and more police on patrol to combat violent crime.

Total crime is down about 8 percent in Springfield so far this year, according to the Springfield Police Department.  It is in keeping with a national trend of steadily declining crime rates. But, the crime that makes the headlines – homicides – stands at 13, just one shy of the total number of murders Springfield recorded for all of last year.

It is approaching crunch time for municipal budgets in Massachusetts where the fiscal year ends June 30th.  A new budget to run the state’s third-largest city is expected to be finalized later today.

The Springfield City Council has scheduled a special meeting Monday evening to vote on a budget for fiscal year 2016, which starts on July 1st.

WAMC

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal has delivered an early endorsement as the municipal campaign season is getting underway.    The veteran Congressman is supporting Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s reelection bid. 

Neal stood beside Sarno in front of Springfield City Hall Friday and praised the mayor’s record on economic development, managing the city’s finances, and for devoting considerable time to the efforts to improve the public schools. 

" I think Domenic Sarno has done a terrific job as mayor and I intend to support him," declared Neal.

WAMC

It is municipal budget season in Massachusetts. The mayor of Springfield  is proposing a budget that puts more cops on the streets and does not dip into the city’s cash reserves. 

Mayor Domenic Sarno, in a message that accompanied the release Thursday of a recommended budget totaling almost $600 million, praised the city’s finance team for producing a spending plan that prioritizes public safety, avoids layoffs, maintains core services and for the first time since 2008 does not touch the city’s cash reserves to balance the budget.

WAMC

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is working to build strong ties between the Baker administration and municipal government leaders.   She is doing it one small meeting at a time as she travels around the state. 

Polito has visited more than 40 municipalities in Massachusetts since late January, leaving her with more than 300 to go. Her plan is to visit all 351 communities in the state before her first four-year term is up.

Catholic Communications, Diocese of Springfield

Multiple sites are being considered for the location of a new regional Catholic high school in western Massachusetts.  The new school will result from the merger of 130-year-old Cathedral High School and Holyoke Catholic High School.

      Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski said in the two weeks since he announced the proposed merger he has met separately with the student bodies of both schools and started to assemble a group of advisors to work out the merger details. 

  " We are moving along quickly on that," said Rozanski.

WAMC

The mayor of Springfield is calling on the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to end a practice by the past administration of placing homeless families in congregate housing.

An angry Mayor Domenic Sarno said de-facto group homes for homeless families have been created in apartment buildings concentrated in a handful of city neighborhoods since last fall with city inspectors finding in some cases 3-4 families living in a single apartment.

" This is absolute BS," said Sarno at a city hall news conference.

WAMC

Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker, just three days removed from his close election victory, visited western Massachusetts today.  He met privately with the mayor of the region’s largest city, and also with a suburban mayor who had endorsed Baker’s candidacy.

The Republican governor-elect and the Democratic mayor of Springfield dismissed their political differences and stressed their mutual interests in economic development and finding innovative ways to improve the state’s public schools.

The mayors of two western Massachusetts cities are calling for reform of the state’s bail laws when it comes to detaining people accused of violent crimes.   The Hampden District Attorney’s office plans to use more so-called dangerousness hearings in gun cases in a bid to hold defendants without bail.

City of Springfield

The Mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts has renewed a call for an end to new refugee resettlements in Springfield.  Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal said the mayor has raised concerns that need to be addressed.

     Mayor Domenic Sarno first called for a moratorium on refugee resettlements in Springfield 10 months ago, but then backed off amid criticism from social service providers and advocates for immigrants. Sarno said his office recently learned that up to 70 refugees will be settled in Springfield in the coming year.

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