Michitson Wants Haverhill to Brand Itself as ‘Forward Thinking’

Council President John A. Michitson has created a presentation, including example opportunities around the city.

A public presentation during Tuesday night’s Haverhill City Council meeting focuses on a “proof of concept pilot to establish Haverhill as a manufacturing center for the innovation economy.”

Council President John A. Michitson has requested to discuss “results and recommendations” of a study to “brand Haverhill as a forward thinking, pro-innovation community with a core competency in advanced manufacturing,” through proposed partnerships with Boston-area businesses and startup accelerator MassChallenge Inc., Boston, according to documents released to WHAV.

Michitson calls for partnerships with research and development arms of startup businesses in the Boston-Cambridge area as well as along the route 128 corridor, leading to manufacturing jobs in several key areas of the city. Such areas include undeveloped or underutilized areas of business/industrial parks on upper Hilldale Avenue, as well as Computer Drive and Research Drive off route 97.

Other “example opportunities” include developing a startup/small business center incubator in the Burgess building on Essex Street and utilize the downtown Transformative Development District, including Harbor Place on Merrimack Street, as a “catalyst” to create a “pilot satellite innovation center” with MassChallenge.

Michitson is expected to recommend, among other things, the council ask Mayor James J. Fiorentini to meet with the CEO of MassChallenge “to explore opportunities.”

2 thoughts on “Michitson Wants Haverhill to Brand Itself as ‘Forward Thinking’

  1. John, you are to be commended for this proposal, but let’s be serious, okay?
    As you look at the map of the city, as a managing elected public official don’t you have to ask yourself why there are so many vacancies to begin with? How is it that the city has arrived at this point in time where attracting and retaining businesses is so difficult? That John, is going to require some introspection relating to your own performance, as well as your colleagues.

    Any professional businessman is going to fully vet where they locate their business. What would they find in doing so in Haverhill? They’d find a place where taxes a guaranteed to go up every year. They’d find a place where the mayor is hellbent on creating as many new taxes and revenue streams as possible, many times at the expense of business owners, and you as a city councilor do nothing about it. They’d find a mayor who will go out of his way to seek revenge against any business owner who dares speak out against his policies. They’d find a city government where employees can literally commit felonies and nothing happens to them. They’d find a mayor who engaged in a ploy to deceive you and your colleagues to attract a medical pot distribution company all in the name of revenue generation. And on, and on and on it goes. John, do you somehow think all of this is not well known outside of Haverhill?

    John, with this proposal, especially coming from you, you’ve highlighted a major problem in the generation of economic development in the city. That has to do with the position of Economic Development Director Bill Pillsbury. How can the city hope for robust economic development when you have a person working in a guaranteed lifetime government job with absolutely no accountability to the performance of his job? Do you think this is how it works in the real world where people manage commercial properties? A professional working in the real world of the private sector with this high a vacancy rate would have been replaced a long time ago. You know that, John! The thing is, when are you going to get serious and do something about it? If you were really serious you’d change the position so it attracts professionals and you’d offer a commissioned salary package, just like they receive in the private sector. How else are you going to get a real professional? Otherwise John, the city will continue to be stuck with some unmotivated employee just going through the motions.

    John, lastly, if your plan is to develop a process and then hand it over to the mayor to manage, why bother? Do you think he’s going to impress potential business owners? Maybe you can overlook him showing up to meeting with food stains on his lapel, but that actually means something to the serious folks in the private sector. And John, you should know better than anyone that the mayor is a proud liberal. And how do liberals do business? They give things away for FREE! The only benefit of the city the mayor knows how to promote is giving tax breaks in order to attract businesses. Which means, as usual, the taxpayers get screwed again.