City Blames Host for 24-Hour Website Outage

The city is blaming its Internet service provider for Haverhill’s municipal website being offline for about 24 hours. However, an unconfirmed report suggests the city simply failed to pay its bill.

One WHAV listener said he was unable to pay his excise tax bill and others complained about lack of access to tonight’s Haverhill City Council agenda. Haverhill Finance Director Andrew Vanni, who also serves as head of the city’s Internet technology (IT) department, said he first learned the website was down this morning when he returned to work after the Patriot’s Day holiday.

“There was a technical issue with the host that supports our website,” Vanni said, identifying GreenNet as the provider. GreenNet’s voice mail indicates the company is owned by Nelson Valverde, who also operates Invalsa Coffee and Valverde Coffee Roasters of Salisbury. GreenNet did not return telephone calls by deadline.

Vanni added, “There’s nothing we can do. We might be looking for a new firm going forward.”

Vanni is paid a total salary of $111,000, which includes $102,000 as finance director, a $1,000 signing bonus, $5,000 to supervise IT and $3,000 to serve on the Haverhill Retirement Board.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini is reportedly out of town and Chief of Staff David S. Van Dam is out of the office until later this week.

9 thoughts on “City Blames Host for 24-Hour Website Outage

  1. At one time the school department had a full time IT Director, but that person retired. The duties of that person were then covered by the full time IT Director who was paid out of the city budget. As of last year, the city side IT Director has retired too. So that makes two full time IT Directors positions within the City of Haverhill that are now being covered by one part time employee making $5,000.00/year to do the job. The two Directors had to be getting paid in excess of $150,000.00 year in salary. My guess is the mayor continues to budget those positions even though they go unfilled. Which raises the question, YET AGAIN, what is the mayor doing with the taxpayer dollars budgeted for those jobs but are not being paid out given they are vacant?????

  2. That “unconfirmed” report is false. Hosting services do not return with connection errors when a bill is paid. The server would be reached, but would simple come up with a generic “site unavailable” page provided by the service. Web Hosting 101.

    • Robert, yesterday, you questioned why this is news. After a 24-hour city website outage, it is hoped you now agree this was a story worth covering. Unlike other media, purportedly serving this community, WHAV has adopted the position that news is, unfortunately, much more than positive fluff. In fact, democracy is, itself, at stake if residents do not have the information they need to evaluate the operation of government.

      • I do not agree this should be covered as news. In my honest opinion, this is a misuse of time and energy that could be used to pursue real issues. Servers go down. Domain registrars go down. WHAV was down for me for an hour or so last Friday and I didn’t see a story about it. It would be one thing if the site was down for an extended amount of time with no response from the city. It wasn’t.

        I appreciate what WHAV does for the community, but this was a stupid story.

    • When I clicked on, that’s exactly what it said….site unavailable. They didn’t pay the bill. Just admit it and move on ! It’s like Hootersville around here. Mr Haney is in charge of everything and NEVER takes responsibility for anything unless it’s good news. Oh, it IS NEWS when they fail to take care of business. But, let’s talk other news then Robert.

      How much money is Haverhill losing on parking revenue ? Why were we told the program would be in “the black” when it started ? Where does the money go ? Which account will the 5k paid by the movie folks end up in ? More news: Why didn’t the Mayor negotiate fixing the water st / Main st intersection lights, which are broken, into the new project on the old Woolworth site ? That’s what usually happens with projects of that magnitude ? How did I do for news ?