In the News

Mayor Sarno Responds to City Council and Defends City Clerk Atty. Tasheena Davis and Transparent Process with Recreational Marijuana Companies Community Host Agreements

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “First of all, City Clerk Atty. Tasheena Davis’ integrity, honesty, professionalism and hard work ethic are unquestioned. Secondly, City Clerk Davis was leading this process well before she was appointed as our City Clerk. As to the process, this is exactly why I requested to bring on an independent outside consultant, who specializes specifically in this field – Atty. Julie Steiner. In her own words, she has stated that my administration has run a very transparent and professional process. I am personally offended that anyone would question this process. We took great pains to be sure that it was totally independent and transparent.  Again, I did not divert from the 12 member highly professional Committee’s top four selections, nor Atty. Steiner’s recommendations and just as important, the Committee’s work on the Community Host Agreements. So this political grandstanding is absolutely ridiculous and being used once again for personal gain.”

City Solicitor Ed Pikula said, "The Springfield City Council review of the marijuana Host Community Agreements should, for the most part, be ministerial and in no instance should they be involved in any “negotiations”.  The execution of contracts by the City is solely within the discretion of the Mayor. The state legislature created statutory and charter provisions granting the authority to the Mayor for the purpose of limiting the power of other municipal officials to make contracts “so as to unify the control of the city's commercial transactions and guard against waste.” See Urban Transport, Inc. v. Mayor of Boston, 369 N.E.2d 1135, 1137–38, 373 Mass. 693, 696–98 (1977), Lumarose Equipment Corp. v. City of Springfield, 446 N.E.2d 1087, 1088, 15 Mass. App. Ct. 517, 518 (1983), G.L. c. 43, § 29. To accomplish this purpose, the mayor must be able to exercise his practical wisdom in the administration of the affairs of the city without interference."

Solicitor Pikula continued, "Clerk Davis is an attorney who has become an expert in this field of law, and we have utilized an outside consultant who has experience throughout the state and is a Professor at Western New England School of Law. They have participated in an open and transparent process with the highest level of integrity, where each company made proposals which were public and voluntary. Rejecting expert advice under these circumstances is unprecedented and contrary to the purposes of laws cited above, in my more than 35 years of government experience."

The members of the Review Committee were:

  • City Councilor Tracye Whitfield
  • Health & Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris
  • Police Captain Brian Keenan
  • DPW Director Chris Cignoli
  • Building Commissioner Steve Desilets
  • Planning Director Phil Dromey
  • Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi
  • Atty. Tasheena Davis
  • CAFO TJ Plante
  • Atty. Julie Steiner
  • Deputy Procurement Director Atty. Theo Theocles
  • Chief of Staff Tom Ashe

The Community Host Agreement Committee were:

  • Atty. Tasheena Davis
  • Deputy Procurement Director Atty. Theo Theocles
  • Atty. Tom Moore


Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm