The City of Springfield employs a strong mayor form of city government. Springfield’s mayor is Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, who has been serving since 2008.
The city’s governmental bureaucracy consists of 33 departments, which administer the municipal services like the police, fire, public works, parks, public health, housing, economic development, and the Springfield Public School System, New England’s 2nd largest public school system.
Springfield, like all municipalities in Massachusetts, enjoys limited home rule. The current city charter, in effect since 1959, uses a “strong mayor” government with most power concentrated in the mayor, as in Boston and elsewhere. The mayor representing the city’s executive branch presents the budget, appoints commissioners and department heads, and in general runs the city.
Springfield’s legislative body is its City Council, which features a mix of eight ward representatives—even though the city has more than double that number of neighborhoods, resulting in several incongruous “wards”—and five at-large city representatives, several of whom have served for well over a decade.
The Springfield Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the city and holds the distinction of being one of the oldest established fire departments in the United States.