EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 6, 2013

Kimball vows to be a political fixture

Despite mayoral loss, he will regularly bring issues to city leaders

By Bill Cantwell
bcantwell@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — Residents got a relatively brief taste of Tyler Kimball during his late-starting write-in campaign for mayor, but they can expect to see a lot more of him in the near future.

The city’s elected officials can expect the same thing.

In the wake of his election day loss to Mayor James Fiorentini, Kimball was canvassing the city yesterday, talking to people about his ideas to make Haverhill a better place.

He said he met briefly with Fiorentini to offer his congratulations on the mayor’s re-election, as well as offer suggestions to improve city issues which Kimball focused on in the campaign. Kimball, who said he will run for mayor again in two years, hopes the mayor and other city leaders consider his suggestions now, so Haverhill can improve immediately in ways they are not yet addressing, he said.

“I am driven more than ever,’’ he said. “This is my new passion.

“I don’t need to be mayor,’’ he said of his efforts to change the city. “I just want Haverhill to be the greatest city in Massachusetts.’’

Besides talking to the mayor, Kimball said he will bring issues and ideas to city councilors.

“You will see me before the council on a regular basis,’’ he said.

City Council President Robert Scatamacchia said Kimball is welcome to speak at council meetings, just as any other resident would be.

“I have no problem with it,’’ Scatamacchia said. “One of the functions of the City Council is to do exactly what Tyler wants to do.

“He’s more than welcome to come to the meetings,’’ he said. “Just because he ran for mayor doesn’t mean he can’t speak. Anybody can do that.’’

Kimball is a city firefighter. His family owns Kimball Farm on East Broadway. His name was not on the ballot because he entered the race after the deadline to file nomination papers.

Of the 9,310 total votes cast on Tuesday, Fiorentini got 6,490 — clearly a wide majority to bring his sixth term as mayor, a Haverhill record. Elections officials said it will likely be several days before they know the total votes received by Kimball because those write-in and sticker votes must be counted by hand.

One of the platforms of Kimball’s brief campaign was getting young people to understand the importance of agriculture and how the community gets its food.

Yesterday, he said one of the issues he will now push involves the city making money from the sale of eels caught in the Merrimack River. He said if the city invests $10,000 for traps, Haverhill city could make $2,000 a day from the sale of eel meat, which goes for $3 a pound.

“It’s a resource we have,’’ he said.

Kimball said he will also push for a greater police presence downtown to make it safer at night and weekends. He said he will also propose a program called “trash for food,’’ which involves homeless people picking up trash in exchange for receiving meals.