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Western Massachusetts community leaders hopeful Gov. Maura Healey will visit

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announces a settlement that resolves Massachusetts' lawsuit against Purdue Pharma at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Chris Van Buskirk
/
State House News Service
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announces a settlement that resolves Massachusetts' lawsuit against Purdue Pharma at a press conference on July 8, 2021.

Some western Massachusetts municipal leaders are hopeful Gov. Maura Healey will be visiting. That's after a new report came out on former Gov. Charlie Baker's visits to communities across the state.

Baker made 45 official public appearances in Springfield during his eight years in office, according to The Boston Globe and is the highest number among western Massachusetts cities and towns. Further down the list was Westfield with seven visits.

Mayor Michael McCabe said such appearances make a difference.

"Work gets done when you get to know people face to face," he said. "It's being able to actually understand what's going on on the local level — to be able to see it."

Amy Wang is chair of the Select Board in Worthington. She said former Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito visited several times but Wang was "completely disappointed" Baker did not.

"The hilltowns have always been neglected and Worthington being a small town — I think to a large extent — we're ignored," she said. "We're regarded as not being important because we don't bring that many votes.

Wang said she's hopeful Worthington will get better attention from Healey.

Douglas McNally, who is the head of the Select Board in the Berkshire County town of Windsor, also said while Baker did not visit, Polito did. And he said the Baker administration worked to serve the needs of smaller communities in the western part of the state.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.