Updated: Council ‘Front Runners’ to be Absent From Wednesday’s Candidates Forum

City Council candidates Joseph J. Bevilacqua and Michael J. Hart.

Story updated to reflects comments by Joseph J. Bevilacqua.
LWV_stackedTwo of the perceived front-runners for seats on the Haverhill City Council won’t be present at Wednesday night’s candidates’ form, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill.

Candidates Joseph J. Bevilacqua and former council President Michael J. Hart will not be participating, according to a league spokesperson. Bevilacqua is reportedly busy with the annual dinner of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, where he is employed as president. Hart is said to be out of town. All six school committee candidates are expected to attend.

Bevilacqua told WHAV he offered to pre-record his statements or attend early, but was told by league officials that would not be possible.

The “Meet the Candidates Night” involves city council and school committee candidates. It will take place Wednesday, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Haverhill High School library. Rebecca Backman, of the League of Women Voters of Andover/North Andover, will moderate the forum.

School committee candidates will launch the forum, providing opening and closing statements and answering questions between 6 and 7 p.m. They include incumbents Scott W. Wood Jr. and Shaun P. Toohey and challengers Pamela Conte, Gail M. Sullivan, former City Councilor Sven A. Amirian and Michael Shurman.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the 13 participating city council candidates will also provide opening and closing statements and answer questions. Participants are expected to include incumbents Melinda E. Barrett, Colin F. LePage, William J. Macek, Michael S. McGonagle, John A. Michitson, Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, Thomas Sullivan and William H. Ryan and former councilors David E. Hall and Kenneth E. Quimby Jr., Katrina Everett, Fred A. Simmons and Andy Vargas.

8 thoughts on “Updated: Council ‘Front Runners’ to be Absent From Wednesday’s Candidates Forum

  1. It sounds like they have legitimate reasons for being unable to attend the Candidate’s forum. Also, as far as I know, we don’t have polls for Haverhill elections, so I don’t understand why WHAV states that those two candidates are frontrunners.

    • “sounds like” being the operative words here – of course the excuses “sound like” they are legitimate – but probably not – this is how Haverhill is run – same people all the time – no new blood, no one steps up and challenges the status quo out of fear.

      • It’s a futile effort until/unless gerrymandering is ended. Whoever gets into office is at the whim of Brian Dempsey, he controls the purse strings to this city. He can single-handedly destroy (politically) anyone not on board. It doesn’t help that The Merrimack Valley is full of these complicit cowards either.

        Out of the local candidates, The Bevilacqua Clan (minus Joe) appears to be the worst-of-the-worst in regard to government employment and campaign bribes, I mean donations. The rest send a few bucks, $5K here, a few thousand there over the years, but most play, and they pay, and almost all of them pay to Dempsey (per The Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance). This of course is impossible to find the connection of relatives and friends, but clear when you see “unemployed” or “homemaker” having made $500 to now new limits of $750 dollar campaign contributions, never ind the special law that allows unions, and ONLY unions pay their bribe of $15K per candidate! The obfuscation is intentional, just like nearly everything else in government, transparency is the enemy.

        No one in their right mind would run, especially for Mayor, because any clear thinking individual “should” be able to see who controls this broke municipality. Those who actually vote, the few that do anyways, I would argue have a self-interest to preserve the status-quo (read government pay/benefits/retirement) in a system that is mathematically designed for failure having already reached “matured” status and hoping for “on-the-come” returns. Those days are ending, and the fraud being perpetrated on Haverhill Residents, as well as Massachusetts Citizens is starting to come due unfortunately for a great many Americans.

    • Unfortunately, headlines must be heavily condensed. The first paragraph of the story, however, uses the term “perceived” before front-runners. Both historical have been top vote-getters in their respective races.

      • Understood – I don’t think the cronyism comment was meant toward WHAV as much as the general atmosphere from a political standpoint in the city as a whole.

  2. They won’t be there because they are the usual hacks that will get a majority of votes from the usual group of dummies who will vote for them. They’ll both still win and Haverhill will get more of the same excrement we’ve had for elected officials in our city for years.

    It never changes – taxes and fees up – and leadership and honesty down.