Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to swear in Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini in less than two weeks for the mayor’s 10th and, what has been deemed, his final term as the city’s chief executive.
Baker, who also chose not to seek re-election next year, is the latest among dignitaries that have presided over Fiorentini’s record number of inaugurations. Two years ago, Congresswoman Lori Trahan administered the oath of office and, in 2016, U.S. Sen. Edward J. “Ed” Markey had the honors.
“We are extremely honored to have, for the first time, the governor of Massachusetts to attend the inauguration and to conduct the swearing in,” Fiorentini said in a statement. “Gov. Baker has been a partner with cities and towns throughout his entire tenure as governor. We are honored to have him here.”
Baker comes for Haverhill’s inauguration Monday, Jan. 3, at 10 a.m., in the Nicholas. Ross Auditorium at City Hall, 4 Summer St. The governor is also expected to attend Lawrence’s government inauguration that night at 7. Lawrence Mayor Brian DePena was already sworn in Nov. 12 following his election win against interim Mayor Kendrys Vasquez. Vasquez took over for Mayor Daniel Rivera when Rivera left the job to head MassDevelopment. Lawrence city councilors, school committee members and Greater Lawrence Technical School Committee members will also be sworn in that night.
Haverhill’s inauguration also formally seats three City Council newcomers: Melissa Lewandowski, Catherine Rogers and former Haverhill School Committee member Shaun P. Toohey. Lewandowski and Rogers join Councilor Melinda E. Barrett in delivering a record number of women serving at the same time on the City Council.
The entire ceremony takes places under the auspices of the Haverhill City Council. The legislative body will decide whether to restore the frequent practice of electing its two top vote-getters as president and vice president respectively. If so, the jobs would fall to City Councilors Timothy Jordan and John A. Michitson. Others re-elected to the Council last month were Joseph J. Bevilacqua, Thomas J. Sullivan and Michael S. McGonagle.
All three School Committee members up for re-election last fall will also be returning. They are Paul A. Magliocchetti, Richard J. Rosa and Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello.
Fiorentini’s office said the event is being planned under existing COVID-19 protocols with a small reception to follow outside the auditorium. Details could change, however, depending on the status of the pandemic.