Council Delays North Ave. Vote When Attorney Takes Ill at Meeting

A decision on permitting a 90-unit housing project on North Andover was postponed two weeks when a lawyer passed out during the presentation.

Attorney Robert Harb became ill during the discussion of the proposal by Continental Wingate Development Co. of Needham. Councilor Mary Ellen Daly-O’Brien, a nurse by training, assisted. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital after School Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti dialed 911.

Harb had answered a question by Councilor William J. Macek, regarding whether the permit was appropriately before the council, when the incident occurred.

There was no word this morning on Harb’s condition.

Last Tuesday, Haverhill city councilors, frustrated over frequent postponements of the hearing, voted six to two to postpone the hearing one more week. Councilors William H. Ryan and Colin F. LePage opposed the delay.

Passes Marijuana Ordinance

In other council business, councilors voted unanimously approved and “ordinance relating to peace and order.” The news law prohibits consumption of marijuana, medical marijuana or THC “in or upon any public way, or upon any way to which the public has a right of access, or any place which members of the public have access as invitees or licensees, in any park, playground, or recreation area, in a schoolhouse or on school grounds owned by the City of Haverhill.”

Insiders said Mayor James J. Fiorentini privately opposes the measure, saying it runs counter to voter sentiment. Councilors, however, were lobbied heavily by the police department, a source said.

Referring to WHAV's earlier story, a number of councilors said it was not their intent to "recriminalize" marijuana, but rather give the police the tools they need to stop public consumption. They likened the ordinance to laws against drinking alcohol in public.

Approve Sale of Smiley School

Councilors also approved selling the Smiley School, Main Street, to the Greater Haverhill Foundation for $187,500. It will be used by Angel Care Kids Therapy Center, now at 70 Merrimack St.