A hundred years ago, Benjamin Disraeli, a conservative British statesman wrote, “Change is inevitable…change is constant.” Forty-five years ago, Sam Cooke wrote, “a change is gonna come.” Their words still ring true today. Whether you’re someone who welcomes change or becomes anxious in its wake, we are all affected by it. Here in the city of Springfield, a plethora of social, cultural, financial and political changes have become inevitable constants leaving us with two starkly different alternatives: to resolutely face them and persevere in navigating our way or to become overwhelmed, complain, and stubbornly resist their implications.
The choice we make will define both how successful we become and the legacy we will leave to those who follow us. This month, the Finance Control Board, instituted in the wake of our city’s financial instability and in the midst of a corruption probe, will complete its tenure and return the city back to local control. In addition, we are in the midst of a municipal election campaign where ward representation guarantees each segment of the city a voice on both the city council and school committee. The time has come for a new generation of leaders to lead the way in proclaiming that “business as usual” is no longer an option. Read the rest of this entry »