Metro

Western Mass. governor’s office will remain open, Baker says

Black and Latino caucus tells him it’s a key resource

Governor Charlie Baker will retain the Springfield office opened by his predecessor, which was closed for the last month.

The Springfield office came up Wednesday morning during a private meeting between Baker and members of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus, which includes four Springfield lawmakers.

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Lawmakers wanted to ensure the office would stay open.

“The concern by many in the delegation was to make sure that the office is a vibrant office,” so people from Western Massachusetts do not have to come to Boston to “solve their issues,” said Representative Russell Holmes, a Mattapan Democrat who chairs the caucus.

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“The governor and his staff were very attentive to make sure that is addressed.”

The Springfield office houses two people from the governor’s office and staffers from several agencies.

The Washington, D.C., office will also remain open, though it will have just one person staffing it instead of the two it had under Deval Patrick when he was the governor.

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Holmes called the meeting productive.

“We haven’t had a good meeting of this kind for a while, quite frankly,” said Representative Benjamin Swan, Democrat of Springfield.

Asked if Baker is more accessible than past governors, Swan said:

“I’m not going to say that but what I will say, if he keeps up what he’s doing today, then I will say yes.”

Swan said he knew Baker when the Republican was a member of Governor William F. Weld’s cabinet.

“I found him to have been accessible at that time,” Swan said.

“Nothing’s changed,” Baker broke in.

‘The governor and his staff were very attentive to make sure that is addressed.’

Russell Holmes, a Mattapan Democratic representative, on the need to maintain a governor’s office in Springfield 
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Baker plans to meet with the caucus quarterly.

“I think we have a chance to create a real working agenda and opportunity to get a bunch of stuff done,” he said.

Other attendees included state representatives Carlos Gonzalez, Democrat of Springfield, and Gloria Fox, Democrat of Roxbury, and senators Sonia Chang-Diaz, Democrat of Jamaica Plain, and Linda Dorcena Forry, Democrat of Dorchester.

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