June 12, 2012 - Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Springfield Parking Authority (SPA) Chairwoman Mary E. McNally today announced several changes at the Springfield Parking Authority. The SPA Board has eliminated the position of Executive Director effective June 30, 2012. Harold 'Hal' King currently serves as the SPA's Executive Director. Ehsanul 'Bokul' Bhuiya will oversee day to day operations at the SPA on an interim basis. Springfield Redevelopment Authority Executive Director and former SPA Executive Director Christopher Moskal will temporarily provide management oversight for the SPA.
In preparation for a refinancing of the SPA bonds due in June of 2013, and the issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the management of on and off street parking currently contracted to Republic Parking and expiring in early 2013, Mayor Sarno has directed the City's Director of Internal Audit Cecilia Goulet, to undertake a review of the SPA's current financial position and report back to him and the SPA Board of Directors within sixty days.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated "Taking better advantage of the economic development capabilities of the Springfield Parking Authority as an essential element in our economic development delivery system is key to our continued success."
"With the current debt of the Authority and the conditions of its facilities, especially the civic center garage, it is important for the City to make sure that there is a clear expectation of the SPA, better management and marketing of all on and off street parking in the downtown area and its return to its original role as an economic development tool for the City," commented Mayor Sarno.
Since last year, the City has been working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and MassDevelopment on the issue of parking in the downtown. A study was commissioned by MassDevelopment and was recently presented to the business community by Utile, Inc. The study assesses the current parking inventory and demand in downtown as well as locations for potential new parking sites to replace the aging Civic Center garage in the central business district. The report suggests a significant number of available spaces (on and off street), and stresses the need for the Authority to play a more active role with marketing and management.
Mayor Sarno recently appointed Al Chwalek, the City's Director of the Department of Public Works to fill a vacancy on the SPA Board.
"We want to ensure that, as the City pursues economic development activities, its planning and development efforts through its other public sector entities are optimally configured for maximum effectiveness," added Mayor Sarno..