Council Declines to Support Bevilacqua’s Committee Deadline Idea

City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua.

As the two newest members of the Haverhill City Council call for more public involvement and suggest revising some council processes, at least one received a learning experience.

Freshman City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua made it known Tuesday night he plans to be an active participant on the council. First, as the council referred a start-of-the-term review of its rules and regulations to its Administration and Finance committee, Bevilacqua suggested moving future city inauguration ceremonies to an evening or Sunday for more public participation. Second, before the council sent a discussion of speeding concerns on Salem Street to the Traffic and Safety committee, Bevilacqua unsuccessfully sought to establish a reporting deadline on that and other subcommittee referrals.

“I understand that in some cases you can’t have a firm deadline for the actual report back, but at least I would just suggest a status report so that the public would know that in fact that this item is at this point in time. So I would just simply ask, again for your consideration, that we establish some minimum deadline. At least for a status report and maybe the final recommendation will basically be that we are in the process of reviewing items and this is where we are today. But I think the public would want to know where their item is,” Bevilacqua said.

City Councilor William J. Macek.

City Councilor William J. Macek.

But Councilor William J. Macek, who had suggested Bevilacqua make a motion, said he couldn’t support such a deadline.

“We do try to move things along as quickly as possible. Many things either have information that can not be obtained as quickly as we would like, other things require multiple meetings,” Macek said. “Meetings are continued sometimes on the same issue so I think trying to impose a maximum amount of time for a study review really would not work in practicality because of the issues that we do sometimes have before us. That’s been my experience.”

Bevilacqua did not receive a second to his motion and no action was taken.

Meanwhile, Councilor Andy Vargas, the second new council member, made what he called “a call to action” for the public to be more involved.

Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas.

Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas.

“This city was really built on civic engagement by the community. Local government can’t do it alone. Not even partnering with state and federal government where we can’t do it alone. We need active residents, we need private citizens who are willing to make the sacrifice to give us their time, to give us their energy and to give us their ideas,” Vargas said. “So please come forward. I offer myself as an individual who will always have an open door policy and I look forward to serving.”

In other matters, councilors voted to place on file Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s appointments to a six-member salary commission to study and make recommendations on salaries for elected city officials. Councilor Michael S. McGonagle was absent from the meeting.

5 thoughts on “Council Declines to Support Bevilacqua’s Committee Deadline Idea

  1. It’s not surprising that the council did not support Bevi’s idea. After all it only took 8 years to implement a parking program. 15 years to realize that the new police station was a boondoggle of shoddy construction, waste and fraud. How about the Hunking school which everyone knew over 15 years ago was in need of replacement ? So why would anyone support a timeline to hold anybody doing the city’s work accountable ?

  2. ACORN Andy.
    One meeting and you’re already pushing your liberal community organizer mindset. You don’t even have a clue yet that the city is absolutely broke, do you? All the neighborhood groups you’re soliciting have one purpose and one purpose only….to have city government do for them that what they refuse to do for themselves. Where exactly do you think the money is going to come from to provide for these self-centered groups?

    You want to champion a community organization for reform, Andy? Make cutting the amount of money taxpayers in Haverhill pay as a result of having an incompetent tax and spend liberal democrat mayor for the past 12 years your central focus. Every other need people in this city have starts there.

    • BRAVO, Jack!!! This community organizer mindset is for the birds! Our new councilor has to dig in and make his decisions based upon the City of Haverhill’s fiscal health (or lack thereof); but right off the bat he is attempting to build a group to support his tax and spend ideas.

      Speaking of the City being broke, my real estate taxes increased far more than the “mere pittance” that the City fathers made it out to be. My taxes increased substantially, and other homeowners have experienced even greater increases than I did. Sooooo, if the City is rolling in dough, why are our taxes increasing at this dramatic rate?

      • My assessment magically went up 15%, meaning I am also paying much more than a mere pittance of an increase. Basically the same assessment for the past 7-8 years, and BAM – up 15% this year. For absolutely no apparent reason.

        • So did mine. I went back a year to look at sales and relatively like homes that sold and it’s not even close. This also doesn’t include the foreclosures and defaults in my area (Bradford). I emailed the Assessor’s Office to get an explanation of their methodology. Although I have a pretty good idea of why they did it. The problem is, the market, at least here, is not reflective of the pre-2008 crash price where everything was overpriced.