HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Former Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse has officially left city hall.
Friday afternoon, city council president Todd McGee was sworn-in as acting mayor, but he can only fulfill the role for a short time, leaving the mayoral seat up in the air.
McGee told us he could only fulfill the role of mayor in a part-time capacity, so now the city and state are ramping up efforts to make sure there is a smooth transition of power until the November election.
On Friday, after nearly a decade, Morse served his last day as the leader of the city of Holyoke. Now, McGee will serve as acting mayor. He told Western Mass News he could not take on the seat full-time.
During this transition period, the Holyoke charter would require a special election in just a few weeks. In an effort to not hold multiple elections, the city is voting on Tuesday to change the charter.
“So what it would do is cancel the special election, so that we don’t have four elections in a matter of two or three months,” said State Rep. Patricia Duffy.
Duffy told us once the vote is signed by the acting mayor, she will file it as a home rule petition in the state legislature.
“Everyone in the state legislature knows it’s coming. They support it, they want to do what the city of Holyoke wants,” Duffy noted.
The filing will allow McGee to surrender the seat and have another city councilor serve as mayor until November.
The preliminary and general elections would then proceed normally, with the winner quickly taking over.
“Whoever wins the general election in November will be able to serve shortly thereafter, not have to wait for our January inauguration date,” said Holyoke School Committee member and mayoral candidate Devin Sheehan.
Sheehan, one of the candidates running for office, said if elected, he plans to focus on economic development within the city.
“Being able to grow our tax base, so we don’t have business tax over $40 per $1,000…working with someone of our small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic recovery,” Sheehan explained.
We reached out to Rebecca Lisi, who is also running for mayor, but we have not heard back from her at this time.