Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini.
After more than a year of cable television-related controversies, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini has begun the process of assembling a new Cable Television Advisory Committee.
The mayor appointed Michael Lyons and Frank Bernstein to the board that makes recommendations regarding the city’s contract with Comcast. Fiorentini appointed Lyons, 438 South Main St., and Bernstein, 4 Tulip Circle, last week. More appointments are expected before the current Comcast contract expires in 2019.
Last month, city councilors voted unanimously to ask Fiorentini to regroup the advisory board in part, as council Vice President Melinda E. Barrett said, to serve as “an ombudsman for the citizens of the city.”
“I’ve heard from a number of citizens that have run into being manhandled by customer service representatives from Comcast. And that’s just one of the issues. The contract for Comcast with the city is on the horizon and I think it would be prudent for us to have a committee up to speed on technologies and upcoming issues and the issues our citizens are having,” Barrett said.
A year ago, Barrett also asked for the reinstatement of the committee, noting the city is solely responsible for determining how $1 million in Comcast fees are distributed. Most of that money is assigned to Haverhill Community Television to operate the city’s public access, education and government channels