Questions into fire commissioner’s residency requirements

Springfield Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) As the investigation into an attack involving Springfield’s Fire Commissioner and a retired fire captain continues, there are questions as to whether the fire commissioner actually lives in Springfield.

Viewers asked us to look into the issue and Tuesday we got you some answers.

It’s city policy that the Springfield Fire Commissioner live in the city of Springfield but after East Longmeadow police responded to an attack at the commissioners home last week, some people aren’t sure where he lives.

“My opinion is if he’s supposed to live in Springfield, then he should live in Springfield, you can’t have it both ways. You should be all in or all out,” said Ludlow’s Matt Ketchale.

The Commissioner lives on Judy Lane, which straddles the East Longmeadow Springfield line.

East Longmeadow Police Sgt. Patrick Manly said 9-1-1 calls from the home go to them, even if a crime technically happens on the Springfield side of the line.

Springfield City Solicitor Ed Pikula wouldn’t go on camera with us for this story but says the fire commissioner meets their residency requirements he says he votes in Springfield and pays taxes to the city which is good enough for the law department.

The I-Team pulled up tax records and found he pays taxes to both communities.

Last year he paid $3,763 to East Longmeadow and $2,436.16 to Springfield.

We also learned his kids go to school in East Longmeadow which some people think is fair.

“They are right on the line, I feel they have the right to make use of both towns, they pay taxes to both towns, I don’t see any problem with it at all,” said East Longmeadow’s Cheri Ricciardi.

The commissioner also told us he pays the trash fee in Springfield and is counted in the census. Below is his full statement on the matter.

Commissioner’s Statement

“It is disturbing to think that the discussion of my address has become the focus for the media rather than the attack which occurred at my home and was witnessed by my wife and young children. This has been a traumatic event in which my family is still dealing with. I am a resident of Springfield who pays property taxes, the trash fee, votes in Ward 7 and is counted in the census; all of which is public information.”

Commissioner Conant

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