'Looking forward to rolling up my sleeves': Sarno sworn in to another term in Springfield
Springfield, Massachusetts, Mayor Domenic Sarno laid out several priorities for his new term in office on Monday, continuing his run as Springfield's longest serving mayor.
A few hundred people attended inauguration ceremonies held at Symphony Hall’s Mahogany Room.
In his remarks, Sarno said he plans to continue to work with law enforcement and a community advisory panel to work on reducing violent crime in the city. Last year, Springfield saw its highest number of homicides in more than two decades.
The mayor said he wants to “advance various programs and partnerships and initiatives, to not only suppress criminal activity, but just as important, to enhance and promote preventative intervention and outreach programs."
Another key, Sarno said, is to maintain the city’s fiscal stability. Prior to his taking office in 2008, the city was run by a state financial control board. Sarno said, during his tenure, Springfield has bolstered its financial reserves and dramatically improved its bond rating.
"My administration will continue to ensure that our city's financial health remains strong, stable and sustainable, so that we can continue to build new schools, neighborhood parks, housing developments and more," he said.
Sarno also touted improvements to the city's schools, including improved graduation rates with a reduction in dropouts.
As he mentioned on the campaign trail, Sarno said the city has built, with state assistance, $750 million worth of new school buildings.
To applause in the audience, Sarno said the city is in talks with the state on funding for a new Gerena School in the North End, which would push that school investment number to $1 billion if the project comes to reality.
During the approximately 20-minute address, Sarno also delivered a message of unity and spoke about the need for the city’s residents to stick together.
"The strength of our city lies in our diversity and the ability to come together with mutual respect to build a brighter future for the next generation," he said.
In closing, Sarno said he remains “enthusiastic and excited” about the future of Springfield. He said while his administration has accomplished a lot, there’s still more work left to be done.
“I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and building the next chapter for Springfield as we enter 2024 and beyond,” the mayor said.
Some former Springfield mayors attended the ceremonies. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who was mayor from 1984-1989 before going to Capitol Hill, made remarks. Mary Hurley, the city’s only female mayor who is also a retired judge, gave Sarno the oath of office.
Sarno worked as an aide to Hurley during her lone term in office. She served from 1989-1992.
City councilors were also sworn into their respective two-year terms.
Sarno faced one of his stiffest political challenges of his tenure during this past election cycle. He finished on top in a five-way preliminary election in September, before defeating then-City Councilor Justin Hurst in November to earn another term.