Joint City Finance Director; City of Springfield; Chief Financial Officer, Springfield SchoolsTimothy “T.J.” Plante’s interest in Springfield began when he was in graduate school and wrote his thesis on the state of the city’s finances.
Today, the father of a 2-year-old son and newborn daughter is dedicated to restoring “a great city — the economic engine of Western Mass.,” he said. “I am driven to continue to improve Springfield and its schools, and I want to make sure people look to us and emulate what we do.”
Plante manages a $624.5 million budget for the city and its public schools. Not only is he the first to hold both positions simultaneously, he made history by winning the Meritorious Budget Award from the Assoc. of School Business Officials for his most recent school budget, which was a first for Springfield. He also won the Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officer’s Assoc. for fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011, which the city had also never won before.
“My job entails a lot of responsibility,” he said. But he is passionate about his mission. As he works to continue to implement a financial turnaround of the city, he wants to maintain the improvements made to date.
Plante is especially motivated to make a difference in the School Department. “There are a lot of critical needs, as there is a high dropout rate and a low graduation rate,” he said. “It’s a special and unique challenge, but I am working to ensure that the district’s limited resources are spent on students to help close the achievement gap, improve education, and implement best practices in school finance. I want to continue to build its reputation.”
Plante also serves on the Regional Employment Board, various committees of the Mass. Assoc. of School Business Officials, and the International City/County Management Assoc.
“Time management is the only way to get everything done. But this is a great city,” he reiterated. And one with a financial leader who has shown he can accomplish great things.
— Kathleen Mitchell