By Shawn Regan
---- — HAVERHILL — A former city councilor who gained a reputation for verbal jousts with Mayor James Fiorentini and scrutinizing the city’s finances might soon have a high-profile stage to battle Fiorentini again.
Michael Young, a teacher at Whittier Regional Technical Vocational High School who finished fourth in the 2009 election but failed to win re-election in 2011, has taken out nomination papers to run for mayor in the fall.
In his last year on the council, Young was the only councilor who voted against the mayor’s budget because he said he disagreed with the proposed tax hike. Young also said many of his questions about revenue and spending, especially in the water and sewer departments, were not answered to his satisfaction.
Young did not return a phone call seeking his comment for this story.
He served a single two-year term on the council before failing in his re-election bid.
Raul Diaz of 8 Blaisdell St., Apt. 2, has also taken out nominations papers for mayor. He has no history of running for office in Haverhill.
Fiorentini, who is nearing the end of his record fifth term as Haverhill’s mayor, said that in the next two to three weeks, he will make an announcement about whether he will run this year. In the past, he said he would like to be mayor as long as voters want him.
In addition to the job of mayor, all nine City Council seats and three of Haverhill’s six School Committee spots are up for election in the fall. The preliminary election, if one is needed, would be Sept. 17. The final election is Nov. 5.
Preliminary elections are held if there are more than double the number of candidates for available seats or positions. For instance, a preliminary will be held if there are 19 council candidates, seven School Committee candidates or three people vying for mayor.
The mayor and councilors serve for two years. The School Committee seats are for four years, but they rotate, with three of the six seats available every two years. School Committee members get $5,000 per year and councilors get $8,000. The mayor’s annually salary is $90,000.
Several newcomers have taken out nomination papers since they became available May 8. The list includes: E. Philip Brown, a Haverhill High School teacher who has edited a local history trivia book and hosted a children’s show on community television; Fred Simmons, a longtime school custodian and head of that union, who has run for council in the past; local attorney Timothy Connors; Ken Quimby, a perennial candidate and former councilor who lost his re-election bid two years ago; and Charles Early.
Incumbent councilors who have taken out papers so far include: Thomas Sullivan, who finished 10th two years ago, but was elected by the council to fill a vacancy when Sven Amirian resigned his seat last year to become head of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce; Michael McGonagle; William Macek; and Colin LePage.
Former councilor and retired Haverhill police officer David Hall and School Committee veteran Scott Wood are also expected to jump into the council race, though neither has taken out nominations papers yet. Hall was also a frequent critic of the mayor and an alley of Young when they served together on the council.
Wood, a manager at a local mortgage banking company, has said he would likely finish the two years remaining on his School Committee term if elected to the council. There are no laws against holding both seats, except that a person can only receive pay for one.
On the School Committee, first-termers Paul Magliocchetti and Raymond Sierpina are up for re-election, along with senior member Joseph Bevilacqua.
Maura Ryan Ciardiello and David Prescott, a retired police officer, have taken out papers for School Committee. Ciardiello, who ran unsuccessfully for Governor’s Council last year, is the daughter of longtime city councilor and former Haverhill mayor William Ryan. Prescott is the husband of former councilor Diane Boulanger Prescott.
The last day to take out nomination papers is July 26. To get on the ballot, a candidate must return the papers, with signatures from at least 50 registered voters, to the city clerk’s office by July 30.
Who's running The following people have taken out nomination papers: :MAYOR (two-year term) Michael Young Raul Diaz :CITY COUNCIL (Nine seats, two-year terms) E. Philip Brown Fred Simmons Thomas Sullivan (I) Michael McGonagle (I) Timothy Connors William Macek (I) Colin LePage (I) Charles Early Ken Quimby :SCHOOL COMMITTEE (three seats, four-year terms) Maura Ryan Ciardiello David Prescott NOTE: (I) denotes incumbent