Joseph Petty Article

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Joseph Petty
Mayor joseph petty.jpg
Mayor of Worcester
Assumed office
January 2, 2012
Preceded by Joseph C. O'Brien
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Gayle Perrone
ResidenceWorcester, Massachusetts
Alma mater Nichols College
New England School of Law

Joseph M. Petty is an American attorney, politician and the current mayor of Worcester, Massachusetts. [1]

Early life and education

Raised in Worcester, Petty graduated from Holy Name Central Catholic High School. He attended Nichols College and earned a law degree from New England School of Law. [1]

Political career

Petty was first elected to the Worcester City Council in 1997. After serving six two-year terms on the council, he mounted a campaign for mayor in 2011 when incumbent Joseph C. O'Brien decided not to seek reelection due to family concerns. [2] [3] He defeated former mayor Konstantina Lukes, perennial candidate Bill Coleman, and Carmen Carmona by earning 48% of votes cast. [4] During the preceding campaign, Petty received the endorsement of Congressman Jim McGovern. [5]

As mayor, Petty has overseen the partial demolition and redevelopment of Worcester Common Outlets, an abandoned downtown mall. This effort involves recreating a direct roadway between Union Station and Worcester City Hall and Common that was lost when the mall was built in the 1960s. [6]

In May 2012, Petty brokered a tax reform compromise among city councilors. Some councilors favored a sharp decrease in the city's commercial tax rate, while others wished to maintain the lowest possible residential tax rate. Petty proposed a comprise that decreased the commercial tax rate by $5.57 and raised the residential tax rate ¢92 per $1000 of assessed value. This tax reform, which passed on a 6-5 vote, was the subject of controversy, for it came in the wake of a revelation that annual property revaluations would lead to significantly higher commercial tax bills. [7] While the city's assessors contended that the increased tax bills were due to reforms, such as considering a building's exact vacancy rate when calculating its assessment, other figures accused past administrations of improperly overriding assessments to provide lower tax bills. [8]

In early 2017, Petty apologized after he was caught on tape making disparaging remarks about people protesting a city council proposal. Earlier in the evening, he had thanked the protestors, saying they made Worcester proud. [9]

Personal life

Petty is married to his wife Gayle Perrone and they have three children. [10]


  1. ^ a b "Mayor Petty". Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  2. ^ "Two Minutes With . . . Joe Petty". Worcester Magazine. December 29, 2011. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  3. ^ Nick Kotsopoulos (September 17, 2011). "O'Brien ends re-election bid for city mayor; Family challenges cited". Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
  4. ^ "Election Results". Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  5. ^ Nick Kotsopoulos (October 23, 2011). "In mayor's race, no clear leader". Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
  6. ^ Walter Bird (July 4, 2012). "GoLocalWorcester Sits Down With Worcester Mayor". GoLocal Worcester. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  7. ^ Walter Bird (May 23, 2012). "Worcester's Contentious Tax Debate". GoLocal Worcester. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  8. ^ Jeremy Shulkin (May 16, 2012). "Worcester's Contentious Tax Debate". Worcester Magazine. Archived from the original on May 21, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  9. ^ Kyle Scott Clauss (Feb 2, 2017). "Worcester Mayor Caught on Hot Mic Calling Trump Protestors 'Freakin' Morons'". Boston Magazine. Retrieved Feb 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "About Joe". Retrieved January 5, 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph C. O'Brien
Mayor of Worcester, Massachusetts
January 2, 2011 - present
Succeeded by