EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 29, 2013

Hart not seeking council re-election

As candidates' deadline looms, Haverhill election takes shape

HAVERHILL — One veteran city councilor is out and another well-known former councilor is in, as candidates line up for this year’s election.

Councilor Michael Hart, a former council president, did not take out nomination papers to get on the ballot for the fall election by Friday’s deadline. Hart could not be reached for comment.

David Hall, perhaps the council’s most outspoken member until he was defeated in the 2011 election, has returned his papers with the required 50 signatures from registered voters and will be on the ballot.

“I really miss it, I really do,” Hall, a retired Haverhill police sergeant, said in a phone interview Friday. “I needed the rest, but I’m ready to work hard to get back and then to make this city better.”

Tomorrow is the last day to return nomination papers, leaving the final ballot for council, School Committee and mayor up in the air for one more day.

The leading vote-getter in the last election is off the fence, and has decided to run. Councilor John Michitson, who had previously said he likely would not seek re-election for job-related reasons, has decided to run after all.

Michitson, a former mayoral candidate, resigned the council presidency last year after taking a job promotion that required extensive travel.

“You bet I’m running,” Michitson said in a brief email to The Eagle-Tribune, adding he’s not ready to stop using his council position to recruit innovative companies here and pushing for the city to do a better job maintaining public buildings.

Longtime School Committee member Scott Wood had said in the fall that he would likely run for council, but he has decided not to. Wood said he will finish the two years remaining in his school term before deciding which elected office he might run for next time.

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