Haverhill School Committee Approves $70 Million Budget

Superintendent James F. Scully.

The Haverhill School Committee tentatively approved a $70 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Formal approval will come at a planned May 28 public hearing.

The budget—representing a three percent increase over the current year—was reduced by approximately $1 million. Increases are attributed to negotiated salary increases, new hires necessitated by Haverhill’s population growth and $500,000 in special education deficit spending that is being carried forward.

One cut—the position of transportation supervisor, recently vacated by Haverhill City Council Robert H. Scatamacchia—was, at least temporarily, reversed. Superintendent James F. Scully proposed eliminating the position and giving some of the same responsibilities to the director of student services. The director would also receive a $17,000 salary increase. School Committee President Scott Wood, however, argued successfully against cutting the $65,890 salary. He said union approval is required before moving certain functions from a union to a non-union position.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said making the cut improves the city’s leverage in negotiations—called “impact bargaining.” He received support from only School Committeeman Joseph J. Bevilacqua

The budget is contingent on the city’s receipt of $2.4 million in state assistance to pay the former city-owned Hale Hospital debt. State Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has again added the amount to the proposed state budget. Last year, the city failed to draw down the sum before then Gov. Deval Patrick ordered cuts to cover shortfalls in state tax receipts.

2 thoughts on “Haverhill School Committee Approves $70 Million Budget

  1. So was it ever revealed why Scatamacchia left that position ? It seemed to be a pretty cushy job and it increased his pension considerably. It was obviously a set up as he had no experience whatsoever. I wondered if it was a payback after the mayor got him in to trouble with the pot letter issue ?

    • Cushy? I took it as being just the opposite. I think he got in over his head and didn’t have the energy for the job. Scully wouldn’t have put up with it if that was the case. Remember, Scully is not a lifetime Hillie hack like a lot of them who would turn a blind eye to incompetence. And Scully is the ultimate politician who would remove the guy but at the same time not embarrass him.

      Scatamacchia getting that job and then leaving so soon after reminds me of ex-Haverhill Mayor John Guerin. A hack with a vision of getting in on the gravy train, but then once in, realizing he was in WAY over his head.