Public Candidates Forum Takes Place Tonight at Haverhill High School

Candidates for Haverhill City Council and School Committee are participating in a public forum tonight at the Haverhill High School Library.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill is sponsoring the forum, beginning at 6 p.m. WHAV expects to carry the forum live at League President Joel R.M. Gagnon said public forums are one of the principal responsibilities of the organization.

“It is one of the tasks of the League of Women Voters to help people get involved. Besides voter registration, civic education programs are important,” said Gagnon, who assumed the local presidency in 2014.

Rebecca Backman, of the League of Women Voters of Andover/North Andover, will moderate the “Meet the Candidates Night,” which is expected to last three hours.

School committee candidates will kickoff 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. Candidates Joseph J. Bevilacqua and former council President Michael J. Hart will not be participating, according to a league spokesperson. Bevilacqua will be greeting Gov. Charlie Baker and special guest Mrs. Thomas M. Menino, widow of the former Boston mayor, at the annual dinner of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce. Hart is said to be out of town.

The public is invited to attend and bring questions for the candidates. To reach parking, drivers should follow signage at the entrance of the Monument Street high school, travel past the swimming pool and tennis courts and use parking lot E.