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Greenfield swears in new mayor after police-focused campaign

Virginia "Ginny" Desorgher takes the oath of office as Greenfield, Massachusetts, mayor on January 2, 2024.
Karen Brown
Virginia "Ginny" Desorgher takes the oath of office as Greenfield, Massachusetts, mayor on January 2, 2024.

Greenfield is among the western Massachusetts cities with a new mayor this week.

Ginny Desorgher was sworn in Tuesday after defeating incumbent Roxann Wedegartner in November.

After Desorgher took her oath of office, in front of a packed community center, she vowed to prioritize the views and needs of her constituents.

"You are the strong heartbeat of this city and the pulse which brings life to this community. Thank you for your never-ending resilience, creativity, and insights," she said.

"As your mayor, I pledge always to listen, learn, collaborate and ensure that all voices are heard and every perspective valued and appreciated."

Desorgher also swore in more than a dozen other Greenfield city officials.

"Thank you for standing up to help out," she told them. "And though you know it will be very, very challenging at times, you had great courage and stepped forward."

Desorgher was elected after a contentious campaign that focused, in part, on claims of racial bias within the police department.

One of her supporters, Jesus Leyva, who himself lost a city council campaign, said he expects Desorgher will move ahead with a police audit that stalled during the previous administration.

"It's not just about police reform or going after a bad police officer," he said. "I think it's about trust."

After the swearing in, Desorgher — a former nurse — said she plans to heal divisions in the community.

"I have a habit of bringing people together," she said. "I did that in the emergency room and I'm going to do that here."

Elsewhere in western Massachusetts, new mayors are also starting their jobs in Pittsfield and in Agawam.

Karen Brown is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter for NEPM since 1998.
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