Fiorentini Talks Priorities for Eighth Term as Mayor: ‘Enough With Downtown’

James J. Fiorentini was elected to a record eighth term in Haverhill Tuesday and the longest-serving mayor already has his work cut out for him in 2018.

Speaking to WHAV at a post-election victory party, Mayor Fiorentini renewed his commitment to finding a replacement superintendent for retiring James F. Scully and outlined his plan to transform areas of the city.

“On the city side, we’re going to put together a new master plan that is going to be the most important thing we do over the next 10 years or so. That master plan is going to decide where we’re going to be in the next 10 to 15 years: Where we want growth to be, what type of growth, what type of people we want to move into our city. It’ll be the most important thing we do,” Fiorentini said.

A key 2018 priority for Fiorentini is renewing the city’s partnership with MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative, which supplied funding and resources for the recent revitalization of downtown Haverhill.

Fiorentini worries he may lose a key strategic ally if TDI fellow Noah Koretz shifts his focus from Haverhill elsewhere due to a promotion. Koretz was recently named deputy director of the quasi-public agency, but the mayor is still anxious to move onward and upward.

“Fourteen years ago, I took office with a pledge to reinvent downtown and we’ve succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. Now I think it’s time to say ‘Enough with the downtown. Enough with the affordable developments downtown.’ It’s time to look at where we want to go from here and what sort of growth we want and where we want it on the outskirts,” the mayor said.

City revitalization isn’t the only thing on Fiorentini’s mind, however. Over the next few months, the politician tells WHAV he’ll explore options for a possible congressional run.

“It’s something to take a look at. These openings don’t come up very often,” he said Tuesday. “What I have to struggle and wrestle with is, Can I be the type of mayor I want to be if I decide to run for Congress? That’s what I’ll be looking at in the next month or two. These races aren’t all about money. They’re about ideas. I don’t know about the money piece. I’ve got to think about it.”

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