Fiorentini Establishes Committee to Promote Safe Hunting in Haverhill

Maria Zangari spoke at a Jan. 23, 2019 Public Safety subcommittee meeting in Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph)

Haverhill residents spoke—and Mayor James J. Fiorentini listened. Two months after a City Council subcommittee urged Haverhill’s top boss to form a committee to monitor and maintain safe hunting, Fiorentini plans to formally announce the five-member panel charged with doing just that.

At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, Fiorentini intends to appoint city residents Collin Norton and Sharon Netzley of the Haverhill Hound Rod and Gun Club, along with Ronald LaPlume and Maria Zangari to join Councilor Michael S. McGonagle on the Haverhill Hunting Committee.

Atlanta Street’s Zangari was among those to speak at January’s meeting of the Public Safety subcommittee, making local leaders aware of how shotgun pellets from hunters have hit her home and landed in her backyard, posing a safety issue for her family and pets.

“What I’m asking from you tonight is to show us and prove to us that you believe that the most important issue here is the safety of the residents you represent,” Zangari said at the time, imploring the McGonagle-chaired Committee to recommend Fiorentini form the advisory group.

At the time, Netzley said her Gun Club is willing to work with city officials to educate the community on proper protocols and install signage where appropriate. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which owns the 19-acre parcel along Little River Zangari spoke about, has also taken steps to protect neighbors. In December, the MBTA added transit police patrols and signage to deter illegal hunting in the residential area east of Hilldale Avenue and south of Route 495.

Massachusetts state law prohibits the possession “of a loaded firearm or hunt by any means on the land of another within 500 feet of any dwelling.”

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