EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

May 27, 2014

Haverhill City Hall has exodus from top jobs

HAVERHILL — City Hall is losing three of its most important workers.

The longtime heads of the city’s financial, human resources and purchasing departments will all leave within days of each other starting next month.

Mayor James Fiorentini said the public knows little about these workers and their positions because they are behind the scenes at City Hall. However, the positions are critical to keeping city government running, he said.

Mary Carrington, the city’s human resources director, and Robert DeFusco, the city’s purchasing chief, are retiring. Charles Benevento, Haverhill’s finance director and auditor, is leaving for a similar job in Amesbury.

Carrington’s last day is June 10, DeFusco’s is July 1 and Benevento’s is July 2.

Fiorentini said it’s going to be a challenge to replace three key people at the same time, but that he is looking at it as an opportunity to reorganize City Hall to save money and increase efficiency.

The mayor said he is promoting Assistant Auditor Patricia Martel to interim auditor. She has worked in City Hall for 16 years, he said.

Fiorentini said he has also arranged for the city’s outside auditing firm to send a worker to City Hall for two or three days over the summer to help Martel until he hires a new chief financial officer. The mayor said he is also looking to outsource some functions in the financial and human services departments. Bringing in temporary workers to help in those departments is also a possibility, he said.

“These are back-office, behind-the-scenes functions that the general public has no idea what they do,” Fiorentini said of the three pending vacancies. “But the city can’t function without them.”

The mayor said he is trying to find neighboring communities to partner with Haverhill on a regional purchasing operation.

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