Michael Fenton


The highest court in Massachusetts has effectively cleared the way for construction of a wood-burning power plant in Springfield. Plant opponents see their last hope in the hands of a local health board.

The state Supreme Judicial Court this month declined to take up an appeal of two lower court decisions that directed the city to issue a building permit for the proposed $150 million biomass plant on Springfield’s eastside.  The project had been tied up in litigation for more than five years.


This could be a pivotal week as officials in Springfield, Massachusetts determine how they will respond to the proposed downsizing of the casino planned by MGM Resorts.  The City Council is holding a special meeting this evening. City officials have invited top MGM officials to a meeting later in the week to explain the proposed changes.


MGM wants to shrink by 14 percent its proposed resort casino development in Springfield, Massachusetts. The proposal surprised and angered the city’s mayor, who has been one of the project’s biggest boosters.


Proposed changes to the design of the resort casino MGM plans to build in downtown Springfield have sparked considerable discussion and debate over the last week.  The Springfield City Council tonight will consider giving voters a say this November.

The council, at a special meeting, will consider putting a non-binding question on the November 3 municipal election ballot that asks voters if they support MGM Springfield’s proposal to eliminate the high-rise glass façade hotel from the casino project.


A last- ditch court fight will be waged by opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in western Massachusetts.

The  Springfield City Council, with the bare minimum of seven councilors present to be able to conduct business, voted unanimously at a special meeting Friday morning to appeal to the state’s highest court the decisions of lower courts that directed the city to issue a building permit to Palmer Renewable Energy.


Officials from MGM Resorts Thursday sought to persuade at times skeptical Massachusetts casino industry regulators that proposed design changes to the company’s Springfield casino project would be an improvement and not a downsizing.

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.


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.

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.