For Holyoke, Massachusetts, The Third Mayor In As Many Weeks

Apr 12, 2021

A new acting mayor will take the oath of office in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on Tuesday after a vote by the City Council Monday night.

Holyoke's former mayor, Alex Morse, left March 26 for a job as the town manager of Provincetown. Council President Todd McGee stepped into the role, but he said because of his job at MassMutual, it could only be a short-term assignment.

On Monday night, the council voted to have another of its members — Terry Murphy — become the new acting mayor. His opponent in the race was City Councilor Peter Tallman.

The initial vote was 8-5. After Murphy won, his colleagues voted for him unanimously and Tallman said he was "100% behind him."

Murphy said he was humbled to be chosen.

"It's nice to feel like people trust you enough and have the confidence in you to do the job," he said.

Murphy also described the path ahead.

"There's no way I can please everybody," he told his fellow councilors. "I'm going to be making some tough decisions but when I make 'em, it is because I think that's what's best for the city."

The council's vote occurred after the city petitioned the state legislature to allow it to avoid a special election this spring, and appoint an interim mayor other than the council president. Governor Charlie Baker signed off on the request last week.

Murphy is 72 years old and retired. He was the director of Holyoke Community College bookstore and coached baseball there.

"I'm trying to figure out how I start getting up that early in the morning," he said, aware of his more demanding schedule in the months to come. " I guess I'm going to have to get a better alarm."

Murphy will only serve until the results of the next municipal election in November are certified. Two other city councilors and a school committee member have announced they're running in that election.