Haverhill City Council Vice President Colin F. LePage made it official late Monday night that he will actively seek the corner office at City Hall.
LePage launched a new mayoral website with an announcement video and also issued a written statement just before 10 p.m. In the video at lepage4mayor.com, LePage outlined his work over the last dozen years on the City Council, but turned to explain his about face and why now is the time for a mayoral run.
“I have now determined that my efforts will be best spent leading the direction of our city rather than being a member of the governing body. I believe it’s time to move the progress of improvement in Haverhill further and faster. I am ready to lead that effort,” he declared.
Asked if a city council re-election run is off the table, LePage responded to WHAV by telephone, “That is my intention.” His decision has no bearing on the City Council election calendar since there are not enough candidates to force a Tuesday, Sept. 14, preliminary election. However, assuming Mayor James J. Fiorentini and early challenger Guy Cooper remain in the race, voters will be asked to send only two of the three to the November final election.
LePage outlined where he differs from nine-term incumbent Fiorentini. He said he brings “swifter decision making” and “greater government transparency” and will “not allow opportunities to be wasted because of hesitation and indecision.” While LePage did not offer specifics, he said will spend the next 14 weeks discussing public safety, the city’s educational system, infrastructure and diversity.
“I have never been afraid to challenge and question budget allocations or policy proposals. I have never shied away from digging deeper and seeking answers to tough questions. As mayor I will lead the charge for government transparency and budget accountability,” he said in the video.
In a separate statement, the city councilor noted his key roles in the city replacing two 33-year-old fire trucks, appointing three new middle school health teachers, receiving a Green Community grant award of $315,000 in 2019 and $250,000 every year after and adopting single-stream curbside recycling that saved the city more than $2 million in waste disposal costs.
LePage said he plans “an aggressive campaign of community appearances, door knocking and issue announcements to explain to voters his vision for the future of Haverhill.”