Mayor Sarno presented Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito with the keys to the city, and Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks Buildings and Recreational Management, and Judy Matt, President of the Spirit of Springfield, presented the Governor and Lt. Governor with special gifts and souvenirs from the Spirit of Springfield and Bright Nights. In addition, Ray Berry, founder and owner of White Lion Brewing, presented Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito with a six-pack of White Lion Beer, a gift Mayor Sarno had presented to then Governor-Elect Charlie Baker back in 2014 during their first meeting. Dino Facente, owner of the Koffee Kup, presented the Governor and Lt. Governor with a collection of some Boston Cream Pie cupcakes, the Commonwealth’s official cupcake.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I wanted to do something special for Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and thank them for friendship, support and always being there for our Springfield. No other Administration has been as receptive and supportive to Springfield and Western Massachusetts then the Baker-Polito Administration. Because of who they are, I had unprecedented access to our Commonwealth’s highest elected office and together we were able to accomplish a lot of tremendous projects and initiatives for our city. We spoke all the time, many-a-times he loved coming down to Springfield, as did the Lieutenant Governor and we got things done! We got things done for the city of Springfield because of our relationship. Our partnership went beyond being a Democrat or Republican, it was simply who is in the best interest for our Springfield and our Commonwealth. This get together was a simple ‘Thank You’ and I just wanted to wish them the best!”
Other speakers during the program included Sister Mary Caritas, State Representatives Joseph Wagner and Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr., and former Springfield City Councilor Tim Rooke.
Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito spoke fondly of their time in office and the many friendships they made, including the many numerous local and statewide programs and initiatives that have been implemented that supported all of the communities across the Commonwealth, including Springfield. They highlighted their many trips throughout the state, including many stops in Springfield, such as being the first Governor to kickoff the Spirit of Springfield’s iconic Bright Nights in Forest Park in 2021 and championing the numerous economic development projects such as 31 Elm Street and Court Square, the new Civic Center Garage, LEED energy efficiency Awards, Union Station and West-East Rail, CRRC, Parks, Housing, and neighborhood projects to name a few.
Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito thanked Mayor Sarno for his unyielding friendship and support since day one of taking office back in 2015, and remarked on how their relationships with local officials from mayors, town managers, and others, all played an integral role in the many successes their administration has accomplished.
Some of the attendees included Pastor Darwin Rivera of Centro Cristiano Nacion De Jesus, Greater Springfield NAACP President Bishop Talbert Swan; City Councilors Maria Perez, Lavar Click-Bruce, Melvin Edwards and Tim Allen; School Committee member Joesiah Gonzalez; State Representative Brian Ashe; Cynthia Simison, Executive Editor of the Republican; George Arwady, Publisher and CEO of the Republican; Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood; Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi; School Superintendent Daniel Warwick; Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris; DPW Director Chris Cignoli, CAFO TJ Plante, CDO Tim Sheehan; Director of Disaster Recovery and Compliance Tina Quagliato Sullivan; City Clerk Gladys Oyola; HR and Labor Relations Director William Mahoney; Associate City Solicitor Talia Gee; Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Judi Crowell; Director of Capital Asset Construction Peter Garvey; Director of Open Space Peter Krupczak; Chief of Staff Tom Ashe; Director of Communications William Baker; Director of Constituent Services Molly Shea; Deputy Director of Neighborhood Services Ed Whitley; MGM Springfield President CEO Chris Kelley; MGM Springfield VP and Legal Counsel Gus Kim; Board of Police Commissioner Norman Roldan; Heriberto Flores; YMCA of Greater Springfield President and CEO Dexter Johnson; Way Finders President and CEO Keith Fairey; Square One President and CEO Dawn Distefano and VP of Development and Communications Kristine Allard; Mercy Medical Center VP of Government Relations Daniel Keenan; Patrick Carnevale; Jose Delgado; and the presidents from the City of Springfield Neighborhood Councils.