EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 31, 2013

Haverhill City Council


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Haverhill City Council

Elect 9 for 2 years

INCUMBENTS

QUESTIONS

1. Why should people vote for you?

2. What are the two most important issues facing Haverhill? Why?

3. What is your opinion of the current City Council and how it is doing?

4. What important decisions or votes have the council made this term to improve the city?

Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien

Age: 58

Address: 66 Webster St.

Occupation: RN case manager

Education: Vermont College of Norwich University

Family: Married to Thomas O’Brien; four daughters, Elizabeth, Julia, Shannon and Bridget

1. I am committed to fiscal responsibility, committed to public safety and education and committed to improving the quality of life in Haverhill. As a nurse, I problem solve from a different perspective that brings balance to the council.

2. Currently, the toughest issue is replacing the Hunking School. We, the elected officials in Haverhill, need to work together and put the right plan in place to replace the school. And we need to convince the community that it’s the right thing to do.

3. This current council is collaborative and hard working.

4. Replacing Hunking School and producing a well researched balanced budget with the mayor.

Colin LePage

Age: 49

Address: 5 Sunrise Drive

Occupation: Sales manager for PEM Engineering

Education: Salem State College

Family: Engaged to Kerrie Scarpaci; four children, one grandchild

1. I am a dedicated, effective, tireless worker for the citizens; who researches, reviews and considers all potential solutions to issues affecting our city. An independent thinker with experience to get the work done. Example: implementation of a fiscally successful curbside single stream recycling program — saving over $333,000 in three years.

2. Our long term debt issue and how it limits our ability to better plan and effectively resolve other financial matters such as the Hunking School. Attracting more business investment and development to the downtown and business parks to stabilize the tax base for residents and improving quality of life services.

3. I am proud to serve on this council and believe we have done a good job of examining and questioning the intricate details of budget items and their allocations, brought forward quality of life improvements and works in a positive manner for the benefit of the city and the residents.

4. This council completed the creation of enterprise funds for the water and wastewater departments for increased accountability and reallocated $200,000 to the capital improvements account without additional cost to the taxpayers. Approved zoning regulations to further improve development of the downtown and created an ordinance to clean-up abandoned properties.

William Macek

Age: 62

Address: 227 Concord St.

Occupation: Business owner and attorney

Education: M.Ed./Management, Juris Doctorate

Family: Married to Maria J. (DiPirro) Macek; two grown children, Daniel and Nicholas

1. I have the experience and ability to provide honest leadership. I am a lifelong Haverhill resident. I want to continue to serve as your city councilor to improve your quality of life. I always study every issue. I support public, veteran and elder services, educational advancements, commercial development and recreation.

2. Public safety is key to Haverhill’s future. Without adequate public safety, Haverhill and its residents will suffer. Children, adults and seniors will stop supporting local businesses. Growth will reverse, people will shop, eat, work and live elsewhere. Replacing the Hunking School is vital to Haverhill’s future. The replacement will improve education citywide. I will work to support an affordable plan that will not require increased taxation.

3. I do not believe I should judge my colleagues. My answer will focus on myself. I have the experience, education and ability to properly represent the best interests of Haverhill and its residents. I am honest, hardworking and bring proven leadership to the council. I listen and have successfully delivered.

4. I voted for the Hunking School repair, and to seek replacement funding through a state grant. I voted to increase personal in public safety, education, veteran, senior and recreational services, along with increases in understaffed departments. Twice I voted to stabilize the classification tax rate, and to limit various fees.

Michael McGonagle

Age: 55

Address: 39 Newton Ave.

Occupation: Business owner McGonagle Contingency Staffing Inc.

Education: BS Management Lesley College

Family: Wife Maureen (Riley), sons Michael Jr. and Brenden

1. People should vote for me based upon my experience and past performance in regard to dealing with city issues. My business experience and ability to work with others to present solutions has allowed me to successfully integrate with citizens and public and private sector leaders.

2. Under-funded pension liability and the increased cost of employee healthcare are on everyone’s radar. 2) Unfunded state mandated requirements like combined sewer overflow, capping the landfill and catch basin filtering are heading our way. These approaching issues need to be dealt with along with our need to provide for a middle school solution and a capital budget to maintain our existing municipal buildings.

3. I feel this council has acted in the best interest of the city and has developed a solid working relationship with the mayor and his department heads. Council members do not always agree but, respectful dialogue is the key to our ability to focus on issues that move our city forward.

4. One of the most important votes we have as councilors is our opportunity to review and approve the city budget. This is our chance to influence the mayor to try to add or subtract from line items that we feel are the best use of our tax dollars. In our last budget we worked with the mayor to add two new police officers and dedicate an additional $200,000 into a capital account for school maintenance.

John Michitson

Age: 54

Address: 119 Kenoza St.

Occupation: Chief engineer and program manager, MITRE Corporation

Education: HHS Class of 1977; Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Degree, Merrimack College, 1981; Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Sloan School of Management

Family: Wife Heidi, son John, daughter Grace

1. My record on the council shows my commitment to Haverhill. Most recently, I led the effort, with local businesses, Mayor Fiorentini and director of economic development, to attract and retain entrepreneurs, startups and manufacturing companies to Haverhill. In two years, the downtown Burgess Business Center has attracted 32 small companies.

2. How do we attract industry on large scale to provide good jobs at all skill levels and expand the commercial tax base? A new middle school facility in Bradford is desperately needed but it depends on voters to approve a debt exclusion to raise taxes above Proposition 2½ levy.

3. The City Council has complementary skills that enable many perspectives to be considered before a final vote is made. The City Council could improve by becoming more proactive in planning for budgets, city property infrastructure maintenance and economic development.

4. The council approved rezoning for Merrimack Street for future development of block of buildings from Woolworth’s to Landmark. I lobbied for additional $200K for building maintenance in city budget, got support from colleagues, and mayor added it to increase maintenance spending to $900K for FY14, the most in many years.

William Ryan

Age: 75

Address: 16 Concord St.

Occupation: Retired

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Northeastern University

Family: Married to Maureen, four children

1. During my service on the City Council I have been an active member, appointed to several committees by the mayor and councilors. I have a 99 percent attendance at council meetings. I have been an active member, speaking out on the important issues that face our city.

2. Keeping Haverhill as an affordable place to live and raise our families. We must keep the cost of local government, including wastewater and water assessments and property taxes from making Haverhill unaffordable for the average citizen.

3. The current City Council is one of the best that I have worked with. Council President Bob Scatamacchia has been an outstanding leader for our city. He has worked well with our mayor and every member of the City Council.

4. As a City Council we have voted and worked to keep Haverhill as an affordable city to live in and raise our families.

Robert Scatamacchia

Age: 63

Address: 11 Revere St.

Occupation: Partner in the Paul C. Rogers Family-Scatamacchia Funeral Home; Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and Banking from Suffolk University

Family: Married 34 years to Paula Anzaldi Scatamacchia; four children and three grandchildren

1. My 18 years of city council experience and 40 years of business experience enables me to provide a common sense, business approach to city government.

2. Developing Merrimack Street and building a new Hunking School. Developing Merrimack Street will expand our tax base providing more revenue, and finish the development of our downtown. A new Hunking School is important because it is the least expensive alternative to the taxpayer, and will have no impact to the rest of the school system.

3. Having been a councilor for 18 years, and working with dozens of city councilors, I firmly believe the current council is one of the best. This council has government experience, and privileges a wide range of life experience. There is no grandstanding with the current council. There is always a professional approach to every issue.

4. This council has provided a professional approach to city government. Because of that professionalism, the city has been able to expand its industrial and commercial development bringing new revenue to the city.

Thomas Sullivan

Age: 52

Address: 77 Longview St.

Occupation: Real estate attorney

Education: BS in Govt, Suffolk University, MPA Suffolk University Law School, JD

Family: Jonathan, Julie and Ellen

1. I am passionate about Haverhill and making it a better place for people to live, work, learn and play. Throughout my lifetime I have volunteered, chaired and organized some of the city’s greatest events, including the annual VFW Santa Parade, now in its 49th consecutive year.

2. The Hunking School replacement issue and our long term debt. Why? The most important short term issue is the need to replace the Hunking School. The option that makes most sense from a cost and strategic planning standpoint is the one to build a new school on the present site for up to 1005 K-8 students. Long term debt caused by increased pension and health care costs, ongoing Hale debt, and the landfill cap issue loom large as the most important long term issue.

3. The current council is doing a great job working together always in the best interests of its citizens. Unlike the United States Congress, we councilors at the local level understand the importance of achieving compromise and tackling tough issues instead of delaying them and causing major crises.

4. The most important vote was the FY2014 budget. It included measures to improve school safety and curriculum, hire additional police officers, and improve our parks/recreational facilities. Haverhill is blessed with 36 square miles of land, much of which is still rural and forest. We need to protect our most vital natural and recreational resources.