WNPR

Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMCâââ

A long-simmering debate over municipal residency requirements in Massachusetts has flared up in Springfield.

Three city councilors in Springfield claim six deputy or district chiefs in the Springfield Fire Department are in violation of the city’s residency ordinance.

Their public demand for the fire officials to move into the city immediately, or give up their jobs, brought a sharp rebuke from Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker talked about his administration’s efforts on economic development in a speech to more than 700 business and government leaders in Springfield today. The Republican governor heard an appeal for regional equity from Democratic Congressman Richard Neal.

Springfield’s mayor and the city council are clashing over a residency requirement for top level city employees. 

For the second time in three years, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has vetoed a city council-passed measure that would limit the mayor’s ability to grant waivers to an ordinance that requires department heads and their assistants to live in the city. 

City Council President Mike Fenton said the council voted 10-1 Monday night to amend the residency ordinance.

The cities of Springfield, Holyoke, and Northampton along with Amherst and UMass have signed an agreement committing to move forward on a regional bike share program. 

The program, tentatively named “ValleyBike,” would make bicycles available to people for a small fee to make short trips. 

Christopher Curtis, chief planner with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, said the communities and the institution will be looking to obtain $1.1 million in federal transportation funds to buy the bicycles and build the bike stations.

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is expected to vote Monday on the final design plans for the MGM casino.

The council has held five public hearings on the plans for the $950 million casino development. Councilors have voted to attach conditions to the project to address the concerns raised by some abutters about traffic, parking and pedestrian access.

The council Monday will weigh MGM’s controversial request to eliminate a 25-story hotel that had been part of the original design.

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