Michael Fenton

Triin Q's photostream Flickr

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is poised to approve a casino ethics ordinance, but the city’s mayor has been silent so far on the issue.

The Springfield City Council is expected to give final approval at its next regular meeting to an ordinance that would put restrictions on public officials obtaining jobs at the new MGM casino being built in the city.  Supporters say it is intended to foster public trust in the municipal decision making surrounding the casino project.

MGM Springfield

The Springfield, Massachusetts city council is considering an ordinance that would put restrictions on public officials obtaining jobs at the new MGM casino being built in the city.

Under a proposed municipal ethics ordinance, the city’s elected officials—the mayor and 11 city councilors – would be barred for at least five years from obtaining a job at the MGM casino after leaving the city’s employment.  Non-elected officials who are considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.

WAMC

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts is proposing a city budget that he says leaves him in a good mood after years of belt tightening.  The president of the city council is promising a speedy, but thorough review of the spending plans. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is recommending a $582 million budget for the new fiscal year that he says will maintain essential services, result in no layoffs of municipal workers, and fund public safety academies to fill vacancies in both the police and fire departments. 

" I'm in a good mood," said Sarno.

SPD

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts and the city council appear to be on a collision course over control of the police department. Councilors are looking into putting a civilian board in charge of the police, while the mayor wants the department run by a law enforcement professional.

The city council in Springfield Massachusetts will have three new ad hoc committees this year. A special committee created two years ago to advise the council on casino issues has been dissolved

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton announced appointments to 15 standing committees and assigned councilors to chair three new special committees that will be tasked with identifying new revenue sources for the city, examining workforce development efforts, and attracting young professionals to live in Springfield.

When a new city council is seated in Springfield, Massachusetts this January a majority of its 13 members will be black or Hispanic.  It is the first time in Springfield history voters elected minorities to a majority of the seats on both the city council and school committee.  City councilor Michael Fenton said he has commitments from his colleagues to be elected council president in January.  At 26 , he would be the youngest council president in the city’s history. He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill