Joseph Petty

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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
Children 3
Residence Worcester, Massachusetts
Alma mater Nichols College
New England School of Law
Profession Attorney

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

Early life and education[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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