Development, government reform priorities for Morse in next term

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke’s mayor celebrated the beginning of another term in office Monday. Mayor Alex Morse was sworn-in for a third two-year term in office, during a ceremony at the City Hall auditorium.

Mayor Morse’s third term comes as an internal investigation is happening into the peck school, after allegations of staff abusing children with special needs surfaced.

He said they have taken all the proper steps by removing staff who may have been involved, and that the internal investigations will reveal what exactly the problems were.

The Mayor said the first thing he will work on during his third term is the budget deficit and the drug overdose epidemic. “I think it’s continuing to advocate for more funding I think for me it’s making sure people who have struggles with addiction are seen as people who need help not so much people who need to be locked up. I think it’s important to make sure that people are in rehab rather than in prison.”

During his speech, Mayor Morse mentioned the improvements he’s made in the city over the past four years during his first two terms. Those improvements included a decrease in crime, a rise in graduation rate, and new housing.

Morse said the reason he decided to ever run for mayor was to revitalize Holyoke.

Morse was re-elected in November, defeating businessman Francis O’Connell. This is the last two-year term for a Holyoke mayor, as voters approved a ballot question in November that will increase terms to four years. The first election for a four-year mayoral term will be in 2017.

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