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January 15, 2014

Pelosi called 'gold standard' for local politics

Council chambers named for late mayor in ceremony

HAVERHILL — The late Theodore A. Pelosi Jr., Haverhill’s mayor for six years and a city councilor for two decades before that, is the gold standard for city government and local politics, according to city councilors and four former mayors.

The council’s City Hall meeting room was named the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers in a ceremony last night attended by friends and family of the late mayor, who died in March 2012 at age 85.

Pelosi, a political icon and lifelong resident who graduated from Haverhill High School in 1944, was a fixture in local government in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. He was the city’s first Italian-American mayor, the first mayor to serve three consecutive terms and the longest council president in Haverhill’s history.

The council approved Mayor James Fiorentini’s proposal to name its chambers after Pelosi in September, but put off the ceremony until last night.

Fiorentini, most city councilors and four former mayors attended the ceremony, recalling their memories of Pelosi and telling stories about his long political career.

After they spoke, the meeting moved to the hallway outside the chambers where Pelosi’s wife Patricia unveiled a photograph of her husband.

“He spent many years and energy to serve the people of Haverhill and he loved every minute of it,” Patricia Pelosi said of her husband of 60 years. ‘I’m sure he’s looking down on us tonight and smiling.”

Joining Patricia Pelosi were the Pelosis’ daughters Felice and her husband Peter Beil; Claudia and her husband Peter Cuddy; and their son Andrew and his wife Allison. The Pelosis’ other son Francis and his wife Dorothy live in Florida and were unable to make it to last night’s ceremony.

Also attending the ceremony were former Haverhill mayors John Guerin, James Rurak, William Ryan and James Waldron.

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