Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini says the city has weathered a difficult storm over the past year but he fully believes better days are on the horizon.
The mayor presented his annual State of the City address Tuesday night, calling the event “A Salute to the City’s Health Care Workers.” His speech, which ran about 25 minutes, was broadcast from the Citizen’s Center, lately a hub of coronavirus vaccinations.
“I wanted to be here tonight to say, in person, to all of you who have worked so hard during this pandemic, thank you. Without their hard work and sacrifices, our losses would have been so much greater,” he said.
The mayor recognized many of those frontline workers by name, including Haverhill Public Health Nurse Mary Connolly. He also lauded the work of the more than 100 volunteers who helped make a lofty goal, set back in December, now seem like a realistic possibility.
“We set a goal that by July fourth, 75% of our city would be fully vaccinated and our residents would enjoy the greatest, in-person July Fourth celebration ever. I’m proud to report that as of tonight, 15,000 Haverhill residents have received a vaccine, about 25% of our city, and the goal we set in January now seems within reach,” Fiorentini noted.
The mayor spoke of other financial commitments the city made to help people and businesses facing hardship due to COVID-19, including spending $800,000 to help prevent homelessness and $165,000 to help downtown restaurants.
He also gave kudos to those who have put in the hard work making sure our school children can return to a safe environment when they go back to the classroom next month.
The mayor also addressed crime in the city, which he said is down significantly, and economic development, which he said is on the way up. He cited recent announcements that Amazon, Monogram Foods and Edwards Technology (See separate story) have all committed to setting up shop in Haverhill—moves that should bring 700 new jobs into the city.
The mayor closed his address by saying “The future is bright and, because of all of you, our city is strong.”