Springfield, Massachusetts

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Transparency grading process
Springfield is one of the five largest cities in Massachusetts near the southern border of the state. It is the largest city on the Connecticut River and has a population of 153,060.[1]. It is the county seat for Hampden County, Massachusetts.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Massachusetts city websites


The good

  • Budget information for FY 2010 are posted. The site also includes a financial plan for 2012 to 2015.[2] Prior years' budgets are available via search.
  • Independent Audits are available between 2005 and 2009.[3] The city's website so features a fraud hotline. The most recent (September 1, 2011) internal audit is also available online.[4]
  • A calendar for council meetings is posted,[5] as are minutes from meetings from 2007.[6].
  • The names and contact information of the city council members are available online.[7].
  • Building permits and zoning information are available.[8]
  • Bids for the city are available online.[9]
  • Citizens can pay taxes online.[10] Tax revenue and details are available in the budget.[11]

The bad

  • Occasionally administrative officials' names are given, but contact information or emails are rarely available for them.
  • Contact information is not available for the mayor or any of his staff.
  • Lobbying information is not posted.
  • Public records are not available online, nor is the public records law for the city.

Elected Officials

Springfield is governed by a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayor%E2%80%93council_government#Strong-mayor_form strong mayor-council} government. This system features a largely independent mayor who facilitates administrative tasks and a city council who creates legislation.

City Council

The Springfield City Council thirteen seats. Five of the members are elected at-large, along with the mayor, every odd numbered year. Eight more are elected from different districts and are deemed "wards." The City Council passes the budget, authorizes bond sales, holds hearings, creates departments and commissions, and amends zoning laws. The city council elects a president. The current members of the Springfield City Council are:

  • Thomas A. Ashe, at-large
  • James J. Ferrera, III, at-large
  • Timothy J. Rooke, at, large
  • Jose Tosadp, at-large, president
  • Kateria Walsh, at-large
  • Zadia Luna, Ward 1
  • Michael A. Fenton, Ward 2
  • Melvin A. Edwards, Ward 3
  • E. Henry Twiggs, Ward 4, vice president
  • Clodo Concepcion, Ward 5
  • Amaad I. Rivera, Ward 6
  • Timothy C. Allen, Ward 7
  • John A. Lyask, Ward 8


Mayor

The mayor presents the budget, appoints commissioners and department heads, and performs administration of the city.

The current mayor of Springfield Domenic J. Sarno. He was elected November 6, 2007 by a margin of 52.54% to 47.18% against incumbent Charles Ryan. He took office in January, 2008. In November 2009, Sarno won re-election.

Mayor Sarno currently earns $95,000 per year as mayor.[12]

Administrative Officials

Administrative officials are hired, rather than elected. Despite this, they can have a large effect on policies that affect citizens. They can also be a large drain on cities' budgets.

'Top 10 Administrative Salaries from 2007'[13].
Department First Name Last Name Description 2006 Earnings
Administrators Joseph P Burke Superintendent of Schools $195912
Police Dept Reg Edward A Flynn Police Commissioner $159096
Fire Dept Gary G Cassanelli Fire Chief $146340
Police Dept Reg Gerald Foley Police Captain $141129
Police Dept Reg William J Fitchet Police Chief, Deputy $130199
Fire Dept Vincent J Neffinger District Fire Chief** $128261
Fire Dept Richard P Stevens District Fire Chief**/Commande $126386
Police Dept Reg Robert C Browne Police Officer $125957
Police Dept Reg Robert McFarlin Police Captain $125869
Fire Dept Philip W Costello Jr District Fire Chief** $123709

City Departments of Springfield, MA[14]

  • Audit (Internal)
  • Budget
  • Building Code Enforcement
  • City Clerk
  • Collector/Treasurer
  • City Comptroller
  • DPW - Public Works
  • Economic Dev. (Planning)
  • Elections Office
  • Facilities Management
  • Finance
  • Fire Department
  • Health & Human Services
  • Parking Authority
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Permits and Inspections
  • Police Dept
  • Water and Sewer
  • Zoning

Spending

2009 - 2011 Adopted and Actual budget for Springfield, Massachusetts[15]
Classficiation Adopted FY 09 Fund Actual FY09 Fund Adopted FY 10 fund Projected FY 10 fund Adopted FY11 Fund '
NON-MAYORAL 822,380 (3,110) 8 07,558 1 ,340,241 1,150,526.00 1 ,337,131 1 ,337,131
GENERAL GOVERNMENT 2,985,643.00 3,674,824.00 2,692,366.00 2,703,510.00 2,784,908.00 92,542.00
ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE 18,035,765.00 14,989,708.00 18,019,897.00 16,733,398.00 13,651,033.00 (4,368,864.00)
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 3,204,007.00 2 ,830,414 3 ,114,378 2 ,846,285 3 ,398,437 2 84,059
PUBLIC SAFETY 5 9,707,007 5 6,230,235 5 7,847,873 5 4,679,936 5 7,749,845 (98,028)
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 8,871,296.00 8,487,743.00 8,348,392.00 8,182,371.00 8,524,684.00 176,292.00
PARKS & FACILITIES 19,539,663.00 18,549,191.00 21,109,701.00 21,109,701.00 20,320,840.00 (788,861.00)
HEALTH INSURANCE - CITY 24,084,282.00 24,084,282.00 23,961,561.00 21,788,713.00 22,243,813.00 (1,717,748.00)
CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT PENSION 20,654,860.00 20,654,860.00 22,191,730.00 22,191,730.00 24,297,185.00 2,105,455.00
DEBT SERVICE 37,979,894.00 39,005,185.00 38,556,818.00 38,556,818.00 39,376,879.00 820,061.00

The above table is a budget summary. Spending for the city of Springfield is accounted for well in the budget documents.

Lobbying

According to Open Secrets, a website dedicated to open government, Springfield has not spent any money on lobbying in the past ten years. They are recorded, however, as having "hired" a public relations firm Philip W Johnston Assoc, yet there is no money recorded as paid there.[16]

External links

References