Hero Award Spotlight: Timothy (TJ) Plante
Timothy (TJ) Plante is the chief administrative and financial officer (CAFO) for the City of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Once on the brink of financial collapse (i.e., facing a $41M deficit in 2004), Springfield is far ahead of the curve in its recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and shows a commitment to building back even stronger. TJ has helped the city overcome tremendous fiscal challenges.
- In 2021, the City pushed forward multiple development projects, including the completion of a new elementary school, and acquired three buildings downtown to generate additional market-rate housing, office space, and restaurants. And according to Springfield’s Multi-Year Financial Plan published March 2022, the City’s reserves equal $49.3M and are poised to grow as TJ commits to transferring free cash to the reserves each fiscal year.
- Technology upgrades, process improvements, and extensive collaboration and relationship-building with public and private leadership over the past decade have empowered the City to maintain core services in the face of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also providing vital programs and services without implementing any layoffs. The City has been able to place continued emphasis on public health and safety, education, healthy neighborhoods, and community services all without the use of City’s stabilization reserve fund.
- Under TJ’s financial leadership, the city has an AA-bond rating from Standard and Poor’s and A2 rating from Moody’s. (From 1997-2007, the City had a Baa3 credit rating, equating to junk bond status.)