Tempers Flare Over Haverhill Veterans Parking; Macek and Bevilacqua Trade Charges

Councilors William J. Macek, left, and Joseph J. Bevilacqua. (Jay Saulnier photographs for WHAV News.)

Some unexpected verbal fireworks at Tuesday’s City Council meeting regarding the proposed designation of three parking spaces near the VA Primary Care Center on Merrimack Street as veterans-only parking.

The proposal came before the Council previously but hasn’t been approved primarily because of an issue over the language of the ordinance. This delay rankled Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua who vented his frustration on his Facebook page claiming that his fellow councilors were dragging their feet on the issue.

“I sit here in amazement because this City Council gave two parking spaces in a public parking lot to a pot shop on Washington Street and we’re sitting here for the second time debating giving disabled veterans the ability to park closer to the VA Clinic,” Bevilacqua said.

A Jan. 29 social media post from Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua was a source of irritation for some of his fellow councilors.

Councilor William J. Macek shot back at his colleagues’ insinuation his fellow council members don’t care about veteran’s needs, saying the only reason for the delay was because they wanted to be sure that they were getting it right.

“Councilor Bevilacqua’s untruth on his Facebook page was outrageous and I think that he owes us both a verbal apology at this council and he also owes us a posting on his Facebook page to correct what was posted incorrectly last week,” Macek said.

After the dust settled somewhat, the Council along with City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. were able to draft an ordinance at that meeting which will allow for the designated parking spaces. Cox told councilors the original ordinance was unclear, was drafted without his approval and wouldn’t have been enforceable.

Comments are closed.