Joseph J. Bevilacqua during an earlier appearance on the Open Mike Show.
Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua says, while he has always supported a solar project at Haverhill High School, the concept has been “overshadowed” by a focus on the developer.
That’s why he refused to join the rest of the city council Thursday night in signing a letter asking three school committee members to reconsider their votes against a 2.2 megawatt array proposed by Marlborough-based MassAmerican Energy.
“I have become increasingly concerned that the HHS solar project was becoming overshadowed by the issue of the developer and believed the council letter continued that focus, while I believed the issue should be focusing on a HHS solar project,” Bevilacqua told WHAV Friday morning.
The veteran school committee member who became a city councilor in January noted he is the only elected official who has supported a high school solar array as a member of both bodies. Consistent with that view, and believing it best to start fresh, Bevilacqua pointed out he was the city councilor who motioned Tuesday for Mayor James J. Fiorentini to issue a new request for proposals.
“On Wednesday, I had spoken to both the mayor and city solicitor, expressing my support for a HHS solar project and advised them I was advocating for an expeditious RFP if this project in question did not go forward,” Bevilacqua said.
His eight city council colleagues, in a letter read aloud at Thursday’s school committee meeting by Councilor Andy Vargas, asked School Committee President Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello and members Shaun P. Toohey and Scott W. Wood Jr. to reconsider the votes they made June 23.
“Recently there has been much controversy over a solar energy project that would benefit both the students and teachers at Haverhill High School. This controversy comes unwarranted, unnecessary, and at a significant cost to Haverhill taxpayers,” began the letter signed by eight councilors.
School Committeeman Sven A. Amirian works for MassAmerican Energy, the company designated by the city as developer of the high school project prior to Amirian being seated.