Tom McGroarty

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Thomas McGroarty
Mayor of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
In office
January 2, 1996[1] – January 5, 2004
Preceded by Lee Namey
Succeeded by Tom Leighton
Constituency Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Joanne McGroarty
Children Jordan McGroarty
Residence Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States
Religion Catholic

Thomas "Tom" McGroarty is an American Democratic Party politician who served as the mayor of the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania from 1996 to January 5, 2004.

He took his oath of office just after midnight, surprising the outgoing mayor.[1]

He served as the twenty-second mayor of the City of Wilkes-Barre. McGroarty was from East End and was born on December 22, 1962. In 1983, McGroarty was elected to Wilkes-Barre City Council and served for twelve years before his election as mayor.

McGroarty graduated from Coughlin High School, Luzerne County Community College and Bloomsburg University. He was both an officer and enlisted member of the 109th Field Artillery, where he served as service battery commander.

McGroarty was elected mayor in 1995 and re-elected in 1999. He was the only mayor to be elected both as a Democratic and Republican, having waged a successful write in campaign as a Republican in 1995. By securing the both nominations, McGroarty enjoyed relationships with both Democratic and Republicans officials.

McGroarty expanded city services in each of the city's twelve neighborhoods. But his main focus became emergency preparedness and recovery, as a result of a blizzard and significant flooding in his first month in office. McGroarty met President William J. Clinton at the White House, and hosted the President during a tour of Wilkes-Barre on February 16, 1996. During his visit, President Clinton announced federal funding for the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project, which provided flood protection. Long after McGroarty's departure, those same levees, enhanced on his watch, protected Wilkes-Barre in September 2011, when river levels were 42.66 feet, 1.75 feet above the flood level of Hurricane Agnes.


  • "I don't know what to expect next, maybe a volcano eruption,"---quoted by the New York Times when major flooding hit parts of the Northeast which included Wilkes-Barre, about three weeks after the mayor took office.[2]


  1. ^ a b Filaroski, P. Douglas (1996-01-03). "Mayoral Switch Rancorous: A Surprise Early Morning Ceremony and Hard Words Mark The Start of The McGroarty Administration at City Hall". The Times Leader. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  2. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (1996-01-22). "Flooding Called Worst in Decades". New York Times. pp. A1. 
Preceded by
Lee Namey
Mayor of Wilkes-Barre
Succeeded by
Thomas M. Leighton