Tony Giunta resigns as Franklin mayor, citing death of his mother from COVID-19

  • Franklin mayor-elect Tony Giunta talks at his home in Franklin on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

Monitor staff
Published: 1/19/2021 10:37:27 AM

Franklin Mayor Tony Giunta announced he would resign his post effective immediately, citing the recent death of his mother and the need to spend time with family.

In a letter addressed to Franklin citizens last week, Giunta said he would leave the position “with a broken heart.” He cited the passing of his 95-year-old mother, who died of COVID-19. Her death spurred him to decide to spend more time with family.

“This week I buried my mother,” Giunta wrote. “For 95½ years she fought off everything life could throw at her – but ultimately it only took a week for this deadly virus to take her.”

Pierina Giunta was born in Italy in 1925, grew up in Dedham, Mass. and moved to Sanbornton with her family in 1986, according to her obituary.

“My family and I are going through a significant life experience – one where the death of a loved one teaches you to never take family and friends for granted. To maximize my time with those I always assumed would be there beside me forever and now harshly realize that is not the case, I have decided to resign as Mayor of this great City of Franklin effective today January 15th, 2021.”

Giunta was in his fourth, two-year term, having been re-elected in 2019. The Republican previously served as a city councilor and is the CEO of the American Energy Independence Company in Pittsfield. 

In his resignation letter, the mayor noted a number of recent developments under his watch, including the growth of the Peabody nursing and assisted living home, the addition of a Cumberland Farms, expansion of Central Street and the creation of the city’s whitewater paddling park, Mill City Park;.

“Franklin is poised to regain its prestigious status that it occupied not so many years ago,” Giunta wrote in the letter. “We’ve all played a significant part in this success and we should be proud of our achievements together.” 

He mentioned the unique and sudden hardships brought on by the coronavirus. 

“A year ago, the coronavirus was something affecting a province of China called Wuhan and was just another flu – nothing to worry about, something others would deal with and life would go on,” Giunta wrote. “Then with every passing month the news got worse and the virus crept ever closer.  During this time, degrees of separation from knowing someone who had contracted the disease went from distant to personal.”

It was unclear what the immediate succession and election plan would be. Giunta was not immediately available for comment Tuesday morning.

(Ethan DeWitt can be reached at 369-3307, edewitt@cmonitor.com, or on Twitter at @edewittNH.)




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