EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 12, 2013

Leaders gather for regional breakfast


When describing what their towns accomplished in the last 12 months, the leaders gave examples ranging from passing zoning changes to building new projects that saved the town money.

“2012 was a pretty good year for the city of Haverhill,” Fiorentini said. “We were able to rezone our downtown, eliminate the red tape and regulatory barriers, change our parking requirements.”

Through that work, “what you saw in the western end of downtown was a bunch of abandoned shoe factories that many people had forgotten about on streets that most of our residents didn’t even know the names of,” he added.

Zanni spoke of $1 million in savings the town incurred from redesigning its employee health care offerings, an accomplishment that many other town leaders also bragged about. He also talked about the high school renovation project that faced him when he took office a year ago.

“When I took office, Methuen’s planned $100 million renovation of the high school was off schedule, running off budget and in need of a new contractor,” he said. “Working close with the School Building Committee, my administration has successfully changed contractors, we put this project back on budget and we’re now on schedule.”

Maylor said North Andover also saved money through an overhaul of its health care offerings. But how the work affected his town far exceeded other communities.

“As I see health insurance numbers come out from the different bureaus and managers, we recently completed a deal with our employee unions that will save $3.5 million in health insurance costs,” he said.

The event also recognized MVCC Vice President Will Carpenter for 25 years of service to the chamber.

“Continuity is very important to our members, knowing that someone will be there for them to answer questions,” Bevilacqua said. “He is an invaluable member of the chamber.”

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