“THE PEOPLE’S MAYOR”
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, a native son of the City of Springfield, has earned a reputation for his commitment to economic development, financial stewardship and community-based programs to address quality-of-life issues, education and public safety.
A former four-term City Councilor who served as City Council President and as a member of the Springfield Finance Control Board, Sarno was elected to his first term as Mayor on November 6, 2007 and won reelection in both 2009 and 2011.
Now in his third term, the first four-year mayoral term in the City’s history, Sarno continues to focus on quality-of life issues and maintains a full-time constituent services officer who is responsible for logging and directly responding to citizen complaints. The constituent services officer, who is located in the Mayor's Office, heads up the innovative Springfield Flex Squad, so named because of the organization's strength and flexibility in responding to issues. The constituent services officer forms small working groups comprised of the appropriate city departments to directly address citizen concerns on an individual and case-specific manner.
Public safety, Mayor Sarno has stated, remains a key priority of his Administration. The Springfield Police Department has expanded the innovative C-3 policing model, from the highly successful North End pilot to areas in the South End, Mason Square and Forest Park neighborhoods. In a unique partnership between the Springfield Police Department the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Housing and Code Enforcement, a team of officers and personnel is assigned to address issues related to Quality of Life ordinances. The Squad has been well received by neighborhood residents and members of the business community. The Mayor has also assembled committees to focus on juvenile crime. The Mayor’s Violence Prevention Task Force, which assembles monthly, focuses on developing prevention strategies and solutions to reduce violence and promote public safety by incorporating proven and innovative practices of community partnerships. The Youth and Gang Violence Commission consist of representatives from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Springfield Police Department, Hampden District Attorney’s Office, Mayoral Staff, Probation, School Department, U.S. Attorney's Office, MA Department of Youth Services. They meet bi-weekly to discuss neighborhood hot spots, service delivery and collaboration of public safety agencies to depress violence.
As Mayor, Sarno works daily to improve the future of Springfield's youth by addressing issues of youth and gang violence directly and doing everything that can be done to create a permanent culture of educational excellence for each Springfield Public School student. Sarno has asserted that a residential zip code does not dictate a student’s future. As Chairperson of the Springfield School Committee he participates in the advancement of a number of school related initiatives and continues to join in the celebration of positive results.
On the heels of the City of Springfield’s 375th Birthday Celebration, the City endured a number of unprecedented natural disasters in 2011 including an EF-3 Tornado that carved a 6.2 mile long path of destruction through the City and a freak October Nor'easter that resulted in catastrophic city-wide damaged. If that wasn't enough, just before the holidays in 2012 a natural gas explosion occurred in the downtown area that leveled a building and caused heavy damage to dozens of nearby buildings. At a time of crisis, the true character of a city shines through and Mayor Sarno has remained so proud of the resiliency demonstrated by residents and businesses as well as the many kind acts of neighbors helping neighbors.
The City’s response to this devastation was comprehensive and resolute. As a result the City emerged from these disasters and the great recession stronger than ever. While managing these disasters the City remained steadfast in its commitment to strong financial controls and budget discipline. As a result the City received its highest bond rating ever from Standard and Poor's Rating Service in January of 2014, AA-. In addition, a March 2014 presentation entitled "On The Rise" was presented by the Springfield Department of Economic Development and the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, which highlighted $2.48 billion in private and public investment going on in the City of Springfield. Coming out of the great recession and recovery from multiple disasters Mayor Sarno has stated that this is an exciting time in the City of Springfield as we are on the rise and primed for the "Springfield Renaissance".
Sarno is a graduate of the High School of Commerce, where he excelled as an athlete and scholar. He was elected class president as a freshman and junior and named to All Western Massachusetts in soccer and All City League in baseball. He attended American International College as a political science major and holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Westfield State College, where he was inducted into the National Honors Society.
Sarno served as a mayoral aide under Mayor Mary Hurley from 1989 to 1991 and worked with District Attorney William Bennett from 1996 to 2002. He served as executive director of the South End Community Center from 2002 until his election as Mayor.
Sarno is the recipient of the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts 2007 Serviam Award. He received the Man of the Year award in 2005 from Springfield Unico and holds numerous other athletic, scholarship and community service distinctions.
Mayor Sarno is the son of World War II survivors Alfonso and Clara Sarno, who immigrated to America and settled in Springfield, where they established Clara's Alterations and Al's Barber Shop. Sarno, who was born in Springfield on May 4, 1963, attributes his respect for all people and personal motto of treating everyone equally and with dignity to his upbringing.
Sarno and his wife Carla Sarno are the proud parents of two daughters Cassandra and Chiara.