Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today that Springfield’s Chief Administrative & Financial Officer (CAFO) Lee Erdmann has submitted his resignation and that his voluntary separation with the City of Springfield is effective January 11, 2013 with his last day of work being December 21, 2012.
Mayor Sarno stated “I want to thank Lee for his service to the City and wish him well with all of his future endeavors.”
Commenting on his tenure with the City of Springfield, Erdmann stated: “It has been my pleasure to serve you and the City of Springfield over the past three years. The time has gone by quickly and much has been accomplished”. Erdmann added; “Two of the things that I am most proud of include that the City has a very solid group of Administration and Finance department heads and staff who can assist to build upon the foundation that has been established and that the city now has the opportunity to consider appointing the next CAFO from within the organization.”
Mayor Sarno stated: “Besides his accomplishments, Lee has been a senior statesman, a terrific presence, has cultivated leaders in the Administration and Finance Division, and is a true professional with a tremendous amount of integrity and honesty.”
Mayor Sarno looks forward to working with Timothy J. Plante, who will serve as interim Chief Administrative & Financial Officer to ensure the smoothest transition possible for the benefit of the residents of Springfield. Plante, who currently serves as Finance Director for the City and the Chief Financial Officer for School Department, has assisted in making significant changes which will positively impact Springfield for years to come. Plante successfully reorganized the School Department’s business office and streamlined the budget processes to better meet the needs of the students. In addition, Plante was involved in numerous meetings with rating agencies over the last 6 years that helped increase the City’s bond rating from junk bond status to investment grade. The City’s current ratings are A2 from Moody’s and A- from Standard and Poor’s. This is due, in part, from Plante’s strong financial management and strict adherence to financial policies and best practices in the industry.
Under Plante’s leadership, his Department has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the last five years for the City’s budget. In addition, the School Department has received the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for last three years.
Plante said of his appointment, “I am excited about this opportunity and am willing to serve in any capacity the Mayor and City needs. In my nearly six years of service, we have overcome tremendous fiscal challenges and have put Springfield on the map for strong financial management. This appointment allows me to continue to make progress on this front as there is still work to be done. I look forward to working with the Mayor, department heads and staff to continue to move the City forward.
Mayor Sarno commented about T.J.’s performance over the years indicating that “through thick and thin, whether it has been about City finances, the School Department’s budget, or the disasters we have faced, assisted by Budget Director LeeAnn Pasquini and the entire finance staff, T.J. has been an invaluable part of my Administration and we will continue to practice prudent financial management through this transition.
In accordance with state statute, Mayor Sarno has named his four appointments to the CAFO Screening Committee:
Mr. Steven F. Bradley, VP of Government, Community and Public Affairs for Baystate Health
Mrs. Helen Caulton-Harris, Public Health Commissioner, City of Springfield
Mr. Steve Valenti, Retired Chief Financial Officer, City of Springfield
Mr. John Barbeiri, Deputy Chief of Police, Springfield Police Department
This will be the first time Deputy John Barbieri has served on a CAFO Screening Committee. The three other appointments by Mayor Domenic J. Sarno all served on the original screening committee.
Please see the attached documents regarding the criteria under MGL Chapter 468 for the selection of a Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, as well as a copy of the notice of non-renewal as required by state statute to interested parties; The Springfield City Council, The Springfield School Committee, and Executive Office of Administration and Finance.
CAFO Selection Process, MGL Chapter 468
• When the office of CAFO is vacant or it is known that it will become vacant, the mayor shall initiate the selection process by giving notice of his intention to establish a screening committee to review applicants for the position and shall send a copy of the notice to each agency or officer responsible for appointing persons to serve on the screening committee. The mayor shall appoint the screening committee not earlier than 21 days after sending that notice. No screening committee shall be required if the mayor reappoints an incumbent CAFO
• The screening committee shall consist of 7 members. The school committee, city council and state secretary of administration and finance of the commonwealth shall each appoint 1 person to serve on the screening committee. The mayor shall appoint 4 other members to the screening committee, 2 of whom shall be experts in municipal management.
• The screening committee shall recommend to the mayor the names of not less than 2 or more than 5 candidates whom it believes to be best suited to perform the duties of the CAFO. If the screening committee determines that there are not at least 2 candidates qualified to perform the duties of the CAFO, the screening committee shall report to the mayor that it is unable to complete its assigned task. In that event, the mayor shall direct the screening committee to reopen the search.
• The mayor shall appoint as the CAFO 1 of the candidates recommended by the screening committee or, if he finds that no such candidate to be qualified for the office, he shall direct the screening committee to reopen the search
• While the process of appointing a CAFO under subsection (b) is proceeding, the mayor may appoint an acting CAFO.
Full text of MGL Chapter 468 can be found on-line: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2008/Chapter468