EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 2, 2013

Haverhill City Council Challengers


3. The current City Council appears to have succumbed to the status quo. The voters of Haverhill are receiving lip service which is the equivalent of no service. The council is scurrying to lure businesses into Haverhill, but they are doing nothing to ensure that jobs for Haverhill residents come with those businesses.

4. When decisions need to be made, they must be based on the overall well-being and best interest of the city as a whole. It is the City Council's job to develop policies, programs, budgets and laws with complete transparency and accountability. I can do better because as a long-term resident and a business owner in the city, I can fully identify with the needs of the people and the businesses.

Fred Simmons

Age: 50

Address: 420 Amesbury Road

Occupation: Custodian, Haverhill public schools

Education: Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School; Northern Essex Community College; Northeast Regional Police Institute

Family: Fiancé Joyce Whipple Gamble

1. I am the voice of working families. Tax and water bills continue rising, but there is no understanding how this impacts residents. As a leader of SEIU 888 since 2003, and previously with AFL-CIO Leather Workers, I see struggling families working to make ends meet and they need an advocate.

2. Residents are not getting their money's worth from City Hall. Unfilled jobs create costly delays. This not only frustrates residents, but actually costs money. Taxpayers face huge cleanup costs at the Old Groveland Landfill, but redevelopment of the area|a solar farm, for example, could make money for the city.

3. Councilors fail to proactively address city issues and only moves from crisis to crisis. Councilors should not wait for the mayor's office to send information. They must spend more time in the city's neighborhoods and better understand the plight of working families. A system of ward councilors is ultimately required.

4. Frankly, most councilors don't work hard enough. Our system of government requires a balance between the executive (mayor) and legislative (council) functions. Councilors are not fulfilling the oversight role. This results in unnecessary and costly emergencies.

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