Wedegartner immersed in ‘Mayor 101’


  • Outgoing Mayor William Martin talks with Roxann Wedegartner at Hope & Olive in Greenfield on the evening of the Nov. 11 general election. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Miyaca Coyote, left, speaks with Roxann Wedegartner at Buckley HealthCare Center in October prior to Wedegartner’s election as the third mayor of Greenfield. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 12/19/2019 10:44:50 PM
Modified: 12/19/2019 10:44:39 PM

GREENFIELD — She’s making a list and checking it twice — although her list is not for Christmas.

Roxann Wedegartner is preparing to be the third mayor of Greenfield, taking office after Mayor William Martin’s 10-year tenure.

She said she’s excited “to just get started.”

“It’s time now,” Wedegartner said. “I think Mayor Martin feels the same way. He bothers every time we meet to tell me how many days it will be until I become the mayor.”

Wedegartner and other newly elected officials will be sworn Jan. 2, at 11 a.m at the John W. Olver Transit Center.

This sort of mayoral transition is a first in the city’s history, since the elections moved to November instead of June, according to the mayor’s office. The first mayor of Greenfield, Christine Forgey, took office at the end of the fiscal year, as did Martin, who has been offering Wedegartner guidance leading up to Jan. 2.

“Mayor Martin put together a very thorough transition plan — Mayor 101 meetings,” Wedegartner said. “He’s been meeting with me, (Director of General Administration) Mark Smith has been meeting with me. They’re talking about things that won’t be finished up on their watch.”

Wedegartner said her time is largely spent sitting in on meetings, including the capital budget and department head meetings.

One item of business is filling the position of director of general administration, if vacated by Smith, until the end of the fiscal year. His contract expires Dec. 31.

“I realize how much the department heads rely on him and how much help he had given them,” Wedegartner said. “I have a newfound appreciation for his position and what he’s done for the city. The position needs to be filled right away, I need it day one.”

Other positions to be filled in the current fiscal year include the procurement officer, an assistant procurement officer and the mayor’s administrative assistant.

She said, while not much has been unanticipated while preparing for the position, the most unexpected part of the process has been “the degree to which people are excited about the change.”

“I don’t cast that as a reflection on Mayor Martin at all, but rather than seem reticent, they’re (municipal employees and department heads) trying to be very forthcoming helping me adjust,” Wedegartner said.

Wedegartner said she sat in the department head meeting in December and met each of its members.

“Because I was on the Planning Board for so long, I met many of the people in those roles over time as well as throughout the campaign,” she said.

She’s also meeting with community members.

“There are other people out there in the community who want to meet with me,” she said. “They have issues they want to discuss about things going forward.”

Wedegartner was invited to a reception at the State House by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito with mayor-elects and re-elected mayors around the state.

“It was great to meet all of the incoming mayors, three of which — there was probably more — were all women,” she said. “I felt that was good preparation. The lieutenant governor now knows me by face and so does the governor. Mayor Martin had a very good relationship with Lt. Gov. Polito and Gov. Baker. He paved the way for me. They already knew about me and were very welcoming.”

Wedegartner will take up the budget in January and anticipates meeting with department heads and Finance Director Liz Gilman.

“I want to place a lot of trust in her advisement through the budget process, then in January/early February, I will finalize the mayor’s budget,” she said. “I have every confidence it will go more smoothly than last year’s partly because we have a new council. With respect to budgets, in relation to the executive office and the council ... I feel like I campaigned on the concept of fiscal sustainability and will start that process of trying to figure out what, for Greenfield, that means.”

When she’s not preparing for being the next mayor, Wedegartner will spend the holidays with her family.

“The Wedegartner family is very small — myself, my husband, my daughter and her husband, my son and his wife, and two grandchildren,” she said. “My husband’s birthday happens to be New Year’s Day. ... They (the grandchildren) come and we have a birthday party thrown in.”

The mayor-elect added that while “Mayor Forgey and Mayor Martin are easy words to get across, ... Mayor Wedegartner is a mouthful.”

“I’m fine with Roxann,” she said. “It’s my name, I’m proud of it, I’ve had it for a long time. Or mayor. If we’re in a meeting or in public, mayor is fine.”

Reach Melina Bourdeau at or
413-772-0261, ext. 263.


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