Photograph courtesy Haverhill Rotary Club.
As Haverhill city councilors sit down tonight to investigate happenings at Haverhill Community Television (HCTV), sources say the group’s president has resigned.
Carol Verny of Newburyport has reportedly stepped down because she no longer meets residency requirements for serving on the board. Verny first served as a representative of the Haverhill Public Library where she formerly served as library director.
The latest twist, if confirmed, represents a bit of irony, as it was Verny who notified board member Stanley W. Colten that he was ineligible to serve because of a bylaw change. Verny said last fall the board “amended its bylaws,” eliminating appointments by the mayor, Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill Public Schools and Haverhill Public Library. However, upon an inquiry by Haverhill City Councilor Melinda Barrett, attorney Michael J. Hart, representing HCTV, said Colten would continue to serve until 2017.
Attempts to reach Verny and Haverhill Community Television Executive Director Darlene Beal were unsuccessful at deadline.
Haverhill city council’s Administration and Finance committee will review a motion by Councilor Melinda Barrett “to discuss lack of City representation on HC Media board of directors,” according to city council Administrative Assistant Barbara S. Arthur. The full city council unanimously referred the matter for further discussion by the committee at its Jan. 6 meeting.
Barrett seeks a review of the bylaws, which reportedly would remove representatives for the mayor, the public schools, the public library, and Northern Essex Community College from the HCTV board.
Barrett said $8 million in public money is expended on the endeavor, and city representation is expressly written into the original bylaws from HCTV’s inception.
“I think the back-and-forth and the abrupt changes, or the seemingly abrupt changes to their makeup, seems to make them seem like they’re trying to close off public scrutiny. Whether that be the case or not, it appears that way,” Barrett said.
The Haverhill city council’s Adminstration and Finance committee meets at 7 p.m., tonight, in the council office, room 204, at Haverhill City Hall.