BLANDFORD – Town Administrator (TA) Joshua A. Garcia recently took out papers seeking election as mayor of Holyoke. Garcia, who was born and raised in Holyoke and still lives there with his wife and children, said seeking the office was something he always had in the back of his mind and he was encouraged in that direction by family, friends and teachers.
“Even today, in my adulthood, people would often joke, ‘Look, Mr. Mayor,’” he said.
Garcia has been town administrator in Blandford since the spring of 2018, when he came on in an interim appointment following the departure of the former town administrator. Initially, he was still employed as the municipal services manager for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), and his duties in Blandford were considered part of his work with PVPC.
In August of 2018, when the search for a permanent TA failed to hire a candidate, Garcia left PVPC and came on full-time in Blandford, still on a “temporary” basis, pledging to give up to three years of service to the town.
At the time, Blandford was reeling from the aftermath of several challenges, including straightening out the financial disarray left by a former collector who had embezzled an estimated $150,000 from the town from 2002 to 2011 and who had been convicted of the crime earlier in 2018…