Macek Wants Answers Tuesday About Snow-Plowing Failure

City Councilor William J. Macek.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

With an estimated six to eight inches of snow still in the middle of Haverhill streets the day after last week’s nor’easter, City Councilor William J. Macek isn’t buying the story blaming equipment failures for the problem.

Macek, who has placed his concerns on Tuesday night’s City Council agenda, has a few theories of his own, ranging from how snow clearing is administered to whether equipment was pulled from streets too early.

“It wasn’t just one street. It was almost a city-wide experience,” he told WHAV.

The city councilor said his telephone rang constantly Wednesday morning and his email box filled fast. After talking with residents, he said he toured the city and compared city streets with surrounding towns.

“Cross the Haverhill line and it was like I went into another world.”

Macek has asked Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Public Works Director Michael K. Stankovich to come to Tuesday’s meeting prepared to answer specific questions. These include a list of equipment, what time plowing began, what preparations were made ahead of time and when work stopped. Other questions center on the administration of the department following years of budget cutting.

“The organizational chart and the responsibilities of the city equipment and also the private equipment needs to be rethought,” Macek said.

He explained the city once was divided into six or seven districts with a foreman for each. Macek also wonders whether workers quit too early. “It’s been suggested to me the plows were pulled too early and it continued to snow.”

Besides the mayor and public works director, Macek said, council President John A. Michitson has invited Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro to give his perspective. Fiorentini, while taking blame for poor street conditions, suggested parking enforcement added to the problem.

Macek said residents simply want answers.

“We have to make sure it doesn’t happen again and figure out why it happened this time.”

The councilor is asking residents to voice their concerns and share their observations at Tuesday night’s meeting, beginning at 7:30, after the mayor’s State of the City Address, at the new Hunking School.

9 thoughts on “Macek Wants Answers Tuesday About Snow-Plowing Failure

  1. As a plow operator in the 80’s we had a overseer (checker) for each area of the city. Every so many hours we would meet and he would instruct us to what area needed to be done better or what and where we needed cars towed. We would then set out and clear. Most importantly we were always told would push back curb to curb and when we were done at the end of the storm to push all corners in the area we were assigned. After driving around Haverhill I see many areas one car wide with spots on both sides that were not cleared and 1 to 2 feet of snow that could have been pushed back further. Corners in many areas were never done. This failure was due to bad management from the Highway department for not having checkers in each area to manage the storm and auto removal.This may have been caused by under funding the highway department or not having the correct amount of heavier equipment mixed with pick up trucks.

  2. Is there really any question at this time in Haverhill’s history about what happened before, during and after the storm? Management of people, processes and events requires someone with experience and expertise. How many events like this have happened through the years since this totally incompetent mayor was elected? It is literally one event after another showing this mayor has absolutely no idea how to manage any city department. It’s been one screw up after another for the past 12 years.

    His mismanagement of Hunking School alone cost city taxpayers $30Million. Last week we learned he was covering up for the past three months that contaminated water got into the water system putting the health of the city’s elderly and children at risk. The list of his failures over the years is a long one.

    This is an election year for the mayor. What is it going to take before people realize what a complete failure he has been? Someone dying because of his incompetence? Including the Hale Hospital and Hunking School this incompetent mayor has put Haverhill taxpayers $130Million in debt and doubled yearly tax bills.

    Enough is enough !!

  3. Instead of asking questions now, why were you not asking questions before about how this stuff is done ? You folks are clueless as to how things are done around the city. See: Mayor charges fee of $300k to Hunking project. Where were YOU ?

    It is a simple answer. The Mayor tried to save some money and didn’t call the contractors out SOON enough. Then, they couldn’t move the snow as MOST of the equipment hired consists of pick up trucks. This has been an issue for years. It’s cheaper that way. Obviously you folks STILL haven’t figured out how this Mayor operates. He micro manages everything down to paper clips.

  4. If the streets weren’t cleared properly, and it appears they were not, the obvious answer is the plows needed more time to remove the snow.

  5. You must have had a plowed street. Those of us that still have trouble manuering side street are thankful someone is trying to hold the mayor accountable

    • Mike Bradford area. I live 2 houses down from Greenleaf School and here it is a week later and I still need to walk my daughter in the middle of the street to get her to school because the south elm sidewalk near the school is still not plowed or removed. Something needs to be done before a kid gets hit by a car soon.