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After A 22-Month Tenure, Springfield City Clerk Tasheena Davis Resigns

Tasheena Davis in front of American flag in Springfield City Council chambers
Paul Tuthill

There is a key job open in City Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Springfield City Clerk Tasheena Davis has resigned, effective June 1st, 2021 after just 22 months in the job. 

In a statement released by the office of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Davis said she will return to her previous job as an associate solicitor in the city’s Law Department.   She was quoted in the statement as saying “practicing law is a passion of mine and I am appreciative of getting back to my passion.”

Sarno said he is nominating Springfield Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola-Lopez to the clerk vacancy.

But the authority to hire the City Clerk rests with the City Council.  Council President Marcus Williams said candidates for the job will be solicited.  Applicants will be vetted by a three-person ad-hoc committee of Councilors that will recommend finalists for the full Council to publicly interview.

"Certainly, fully transparent," Williams said of the process that will be followed to hire the next City Clerk.

Williams said Oyola-Lopez will not get special treatment.

"I take the mayor's 'nomination' as similar to a recommendation letter," Williams said.

In July 2019, the City Council selected Davis as City Clerk.  She had been nominated by the mayor.  75 people applied for the position then.  The Council interviewed three finalists during an open meeting and voted 8-4 to appoint Davis.

She was the first Black woman to hold the job of City Clerk in Springfield.

Sarno said, if approved by the council, Oyola-Lopez would be the first Latina City Clerk.

"I am hopetul the City Council affirms Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola as our next City Clerk," Sarno said.

If Oyola-Lopez becomes City Clerk, Sarno said he plans to elevate her to a cabinet head in charge of the Elections Office and the 311 department.

"It makes sense," Sarno said. "She would be the face and operations of our public information sector for the city of Springfield."

In an interview, Oyola-Lopez said she was honored to be nominated by the mayor to be City Clerk.    She said the job would be a natural progression in her public service career.

"I love public service," she said. "I love making sure constituents are able to get the services they need. The City Clerk's office here in Springfield is one of the busiest in the state and we see births, deaths and all the vital records that go through that office are the lifeline of City Hall."

Oyola-Lopez has been the city’s Election Commissioner for 10 years.   She previously was an outreach coordinator in the Elections Office and before that was chief of staff for former State Representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.
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