GREENFIELD — Judy Swift moved to Greenfield with her family in second grade. She never left.
The assistant vice president and business development officer for Greenfield Banking Co., Swift, 63, seeks to be mayor of Greenfield.
Swift is running for the office because she said she believes she can affect positive changes to make the city she loves an even better place to live and work.
Currently, she serves in an at-large position on the Greenfield City Council, a position she sought after realizing the passion she has for the community.
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“I realized I could make a difference, and I could spur change. When I realized that, that’s when I got on city council,” she said. “And through that, I’ve realized I have more to offer, so I’m excited to be mayor.”
Swift ran in the Republican caucus in 2013 to fill the remaining two years of late Mayor Dick Pasco’s term and lost to Chuck Fewell, whom she faces again as Fewell runs for re-election.
Prior to then, Swift admits she had never put a lot of thought into being mayor.
“Was this something I had in mind many years ago? No. Not at all,” she said. “I had someone ask me to run for office several years ago, and I was like, ‘There is no way, that is not me.’ It changed.”
Swift realized she’s most excited when working on committees and efforts to improve Greenfield. She never bores when working on downtown revitalization plans or the city’s comprehensive plan, she said.
She has plans to retire from her job with the bank in October 2016, but if she’s elected, she’ll retire in January.
The possibility of spending the first few years of her retirement working for the city as mayor excites her.
“When it comes time to retire, that’s when you work your passion, and that’s what I’m attempting to do,” she said. “What I started noticing was if I was working … on something for the city, all of a sudden, it’s like I could work all night.”
“It just hit me: This is your passion,” she added.
Those closest to Swift who are helping with the campaign say her drive is what makes her the best candidate for the job.
Swift’s daughter, Angela Hall, said her mother’s passion for the city and the way she leads inspire her.
Her mother’s commitment to the city has been evident since Hall, 33, was a child.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “She’s not afraid to learn. … When she says she’s listening, that’s what she does.”
Swift’s tagline for her campaign is “I’m listening. Share with me your vision for Greenfield.”
Hall said her mother means it. She’ll listen to her constituents and others she’ll work with to make the best decisions for the city.
Her vision and goals for the city include working on economic development and quality of life.
She also wants all aspects of the community to work together toward common goals.
“In our community, when the citizens, businesses, government, city departments all work together, amazing things can happen,” she said.
Potts Ditch is one example, she said. The tunnel relocation project is an effort requiring many people’s cooperation, she said. It’s an accomplishment she is proud to be part of as a member of the city council.
“That was a big one,” she said. “I am proud of our city council that we came together and chose this time. It was so needed, so I’m very glad we got that done.”
Swift has been a member of a number of civic organizations and committees, including Greenfield in Bloom, the Greenfield Coalition and the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.
Those experiences and her time at Greenfield Banking Co. have helped her develop leadership skills needed to be a good mayor, said Leslie Frady, Swift’s campaign treasurer and co-worker.
The two have worked together for 23 years.
“In those years, I’ve watched Judy and her commitment to Greenfield,” Frady said. “She has a real passion for Greenfield, and she wants Greenfield to be the best it can be.”
Swift is always willing to listen and help in whatever way she can, Frady added.
Though being mayor isn’t what she’s always wanted, Swift said her love for the community has always been present. Being mayor just makes sense.
“I care a great deal about the citizens, businesses, the entire community of Greenfield,” she said. “I’d be a fabulous mayor.”
Early voting starts April 7 at the Hancock County Courthouse. Vote centers begin opening across the county beginning April 25. The deadline to cast a ballot early is noon May 4, while polls are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 5.
See upcoming editions of the Daily Reporter for stories about hot topics in the mayoral race, which include:
- Downtown revitalization
- New fairgrounds
- Economic development