Public Meetings This Week: Lawrence Planner Set to Become MVPC’s Next Executive Director

Theresa Park, executive director of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. (Courtesy photograph.)

The public has opportunities to shape policy this week as various Haverhill boards meet. In the interest of transparency in government, WHAV provides this list of upcoming meetings every week.

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission is ready to name one of its own as the agency’s next executive director.

Theresa Park, Lawrence’s planning director and chairwoman of the Commission since 2017, was selected as the finalist for the position recently vacated by Karen Sawyer Conard. Conard was named Portsmouth, N.H., city manager. Park is expected to be formally appointed when the Commission meets Thursday, at 7 p.m., at the Commission’s offices, 160 Main St., Haverhill.

Park is an urban planner with more than 20 years of experience in economic and community development, according to her profile on the Commission’s website. She got her start at Haverhill-based Merrimack Valley Planning Commission and has worked in city planning in Lawrence, Lowell, Newton and Cambridge. She has also worked in non-profit and private sectors. She is involved with various community-based organizations, including EforAll, Immigrant Learning Center and Acre Family Childcare. Park graduated from George Washington University with a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and University of Massachusetts – Amherst with a bachelor’s in Finance.

In other meetings this week:

Tuesday, Jan. 14

Haverhill Retirement Board meets for its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m., in room 303, of Haverhill City Hall. The agenda includes a discussion of the Teamsters Union Local 170 contract.

Haverhill Housing Authority Board of Commissioners plans a special meeting to review and approved the revised Violence Against Women Act Policy for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development five-year plans. The meeting takes place Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 11:15 a.m., at the housing authority’s offices, 25-C Washington Square, Haverhill.

Haverhill School Committee’s Goals Subcommittee meets Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 3:30 p.m., in the mayor’s office, City Hall. The committee is developing goals for Superintendent Margaret Marotta.

Haverhill City Council meets Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m., in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers for its regular meeting. Items include a re-vote on granting a license for two parking spaces—as recommended by the Haverhill Police Department—in the Phoenix Row Parking lot for Haverhill Stem, 124 Washington St. (see related story). Councilors will also hear plans by Krueger LLP to build five rental apartments on the second, third and fourth floors of a downtown building that currently houses Olivia’s Restaurant on the first floor. The address will be known as 4 Batchelder Court. Housing is allowed under the city’s Smart Growth Overlay District for downtown. Parking will be 300 feet away in 10 spaces at 17-35 Locke St.

Wednesday, Jan. 15

Haverhill Board of Appeals meets Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m., in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers. Agenda items include continuing a hearing on Wash Square Jackson Haverhill’s request for a variance to construct a three-story building with 12 residential apartments. Among other items, the board hears a request for a special permit for a “hatchet throwing” entertainment license, which is not included in the city’s zoning table.

Thursday, Jan. 16

The Caleb Duston Hunking School Site Council meets Thursday, Jan. 16, 3 p.m., at the school’s main conference room, 480 S. Main St., to establish SMART goals and action plans.

Haverhill Special Education Parent Advisory Council plans an “Effective Communication Workshop,” presented by the Federation of Children with Special Needs, Thursday, Jan. 16, 6 p.m., at the Haverhill High School Library, 137 Monument St.

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