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Haverhill

August 1, 2013

Fiorentini uncontested for record sixth term

Lack of candidates means no preliminary election

HAVERHILL — Voters will wait until November to cast their ballots for Haverhill’s next leaders.

For the second city election in a row, there will be no preliminary contests in September for City Council, School Committee or mayor.

For the first time since he won the corner office of City Hall in 2002, James Fiorentini will not have a mayoral challenger, guaranteeing him a record sixth consecutive term as Haverhill’s leader.

Prior to the 2011 election, the last time there was no preliminary vote in Haverhill was 2005. Preliminaries are held when there are more than double the number of candidates for available seats. A preliminary would be held if there were 19 council candidates, seven School Committee candidates or three people running for mayor.

The final election is set for Nov. 5.

The lack of a preliminary will save the city at least $26,000, not including additional costs for extra police officers and other city workers who help with elections, City Clerk Peggy Toomey said.

Former City Councilor Michael Young and Raul Diaz took out nomination papers to run for mayor, but neither returned them by Friday’s deadline to get on the ballot.

There was also the possibility of a preliminary election for School Committee, but neither David Prescott nor Diane Boulanger Prescott, who are married, returned their nomination papers.

That leaves two challengers and three incumbents vying for three seats on the school board. The challengers are Gail Sullivan and Maura Ryan Ciardiello, a former Haverhill teacher who ran unsuccessfully for Governor’s Council last year. Incumbents seeking re-election are Joseph Bevilacqua, Raymond Sierpina and Paul Magliocchetti.

There will be 15 City Council candidates on the ballot — eight of nine incumbents and seven challengers — for nine seats. The only incumbent not running is former council president and local attorney Michael Hart. The challengers are: Former councilors David Hall and Kenneth Quimby; Fred Simmons, a Haverhill school custodian and head of his workers union who has run unsuccessfully in the past; E. Phillip Brown, a Haverhill High School teacher; Lynne Saben; Melinda Barrett, owner of a downtown food and sandwich shop; and Timothy Connors, a local attorney.

Incumbents seeking re-election to the council are John Michitson, Robert Scatamacchia, William Ryan, Michael McGonagle, Colin LePage, Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, William Macek and Thomas Sullivan.

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 annual salary is $90,000.

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