Councilors Consider Bolstering Planning Dept. Tonight

Greater Haverhill Foundation representative Sally Cerasuolo O’Rorke told councilors Tuesday the group is already seeking candidates to help the city’s economic development and planning department.

Haverhill city councilors tonight continue reviewing the city budget for the year that begins July 1 with a request to help fund a partnership that would temporarily add two consultants to the city’s economic development and planning department. Meanwhile, one local partner group is already recruiting candidates for those jobs.

The Greater Haverhill Foundation (GHF), as part of a 22-month initiative with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the city, recently advertised to fill the positions and has since been conducting interviews, according to GHF representative Sally Cerasuolo O’Rorke.

“We have a couple of great potential candidates and we had hoped to have somebody on board by, maybe, June 1 or maybe the middle of June. But we’re narrowing it down to two or three candidates and the mayor will interview the final two candidates. And hopefully we can pick a great choice and give Bill all the support that he absolutely needs because he is amazing,” Cerasuolo O’Rorke said.

She spoke before the Haverhill City Council Tuesday night during a presentation by President John A. Michitson. Michitson asked other councilors to support spending a total $104,000 as the city’s share of funding the collaborative over the next two fiscal years. Providing an update, Cerasuolo O’Rorke said interviews continue toward finding a full-time economic development consultant and part-time marketing consultant to work under Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr.

As WHAV reported previously, the collaborative agreement is the result of a $72,000 “Haverhill Economic Analysis” initiative launched last June. An “Economic Analysis Report” was presented to project partners last November by consultants hired to develop “a tactical plan to promote existing business expansion and new business recruitment to the city.”

The city council holds the budget review session at 7 p.m., tonight, in the council office, room 204 at Haverhill City Hall.

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