Councilor Floats Idea to Let Residents Name Public Places for Themselves, Others

Imagine waiting at the Richard Asadoorian bus stop, getting picked up by the Leo J. Leonard memorial bus, being driven to the Albert B. Consentino School where your first class is in the Daniel J. Harrington Library and eating lunch in the Jordan Hannagan cafeteria.

If City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua can persuade his colleagues and a handful of city officials, Haverhill residents may get the chance to name classrooms, city offices and other public spaces for themselves or others -- for a fee, of course.

Bevilacqua calls it an investment opportunity that could add an unknown amount of money to the city and school budgets.

“I get the concept. It’s Ernie DiBurro on a small scale,” said council Vice President Melinda Barrett. DiBurro, a successful local business owner, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the school department, much of it to upgrade various features of the athletic department, including the high school weight room, a field house at Trinity Stadium and a brick wall and gates at the entrance to the track and playing fields behind Haverhill High.

“He’s talking about naming rights for every corner of the city,” said Councilor William J. Macek. The idea needs to be developed beyond a concept, Macek said. All sorts of questions would have to be answered, including who would approve the acknowledgements, how much they would cost, and how long they would last, just to name a few.

But Bevilacqua argued that in addition to raising some money for the city, a more important outcome would be the sense of ownership and investment that current and former residents would feel for their city.

“Think of all the kids who come back for reunions and weddings, and go to the school they attended and be able to say, ‘There’s a room named after my parents,’ “ he said.

Councilors agreed to write to Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Schools Superintendent James F. Scully and DPW Director Michael Stankovich to begin discussions on an investment program for the city.

In case you were wondering about the people named at the beginning of this story, Richard Asadoorian was a resident of Lowell Avenue, Leo Leonard was a bus monitor who passed away this week, Daniel Harrington was a longtime principal of Consentino School, and Jordan Hannagan is a student who saved a friend from choking on his lunch in 2014 in the Consentino cafeteria.


6 thoughts on “Councilor Floats Idea to Let Residents Name Public Places for Themselves, Others

  1. I don’t see anywhere in this article the amount of money that Bevilacqua expects to raise doing this. How much money are we talking about, and who will decide who the winner will be?

  2. This guy is an epic blowhard! Really !?! we have department heads wasting time discussing this?

    Although, the” William H. Ryan Memorial Combination Sewer Line” or the “Saun Toohey Toxic Waste Dumpster Facility” could sway me.

  3. Leave it to Joe Bevilacqua to come up with this idea. If you look at Joe’s resume it’s filled with a lifetime (please notice I intentionally didn’t use the word career) spent sitting on boards and committees. He literally has never had a real job!!! He currently represents the a business association, yet he’s never had to meet payroll, borrow money from a bank, hire and train employees, etc. Someone needs to tell Joe that Albert B. Consentino actually accomplished something in life. The Basiliere Bridge was named after a real person. So too was Cuomo Bridge and Caleb Dustin Hunking School. These people have their name’s recognized because they did something Joe has never done…work hard to accomplish something. They didn’t get their names there by paying the most money to a failing, broke city government.

    Selling naming rights to raise money and putting a label or plaque on everything you find cheapens the achievements of people who actually contributed to the city. It should come as no surprise that this never crossed Joe’s mind.

  4. Great Idea all of the colleges in the area including the State Universities and Community Colleges have buildings, labs and class rooms named for donors. I’m hopeful that the council and school committee will develop a plan that will bring mush needed funds to our city without burdening our tax payers. Great recomendation,well thought out, as presented by Joe Bevilacqua.

  5. That’s interesting. Charging a fee to name something that is already owned by taxpayers who paid for that bus or building with public funds. Hmmm. What’s next a fee for the CFM of air we breathe ? Are you kidding ? Another hair brained scheme to raise money. Why not just spend less ?