Podcast: Haverhill City Council Again Considers Fate of City Spending Plan Tonight

Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Haverhill Firefighters Local 1011 President Timothy Carroll. (WHAV News file photographs.)

Interviews with both Haverhill Firefighters Local 1011 President Timothy Carroll and Mayor James J. Fiorentini may be heard back-to-back on WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts.

Haverhill city councilors meet again tonight to decide whether to approve a city spending plan for the year that starts July 1.

One of the sticking issues is fire department staffing levels. Both Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Haverhill Firefighters Local 1011 President Timothy Carroll both pitched their points of view directly to the public on WHAV’s morning show. Last week, Fiorentini argued the City Council should not give in to pressure from the firefighters’ union

“We don’t just represent special interest groups. We shouldn’t just represent unions who may be politically powerful. We have to represent the whole city. The taxpayers of the city. Everyone. And, the firefighters are pressuring them to add more mandatory overtime to their budget and I understand why. I get that, but the city councilors should not be caving into this. They should be looking out for the taxpayers and the best interest of the city,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, Carroll, who was a WHAV guest Monday, said disagreements with the mayor have been going for a long time.

“The fact of the matter is for 19 years, the mayor and the fire union hasn’t gotten along. Everything the mayor does with us is to hurt us in some way, shape or fashion. He’s trying to take our firefighters out of dispatch and put civilians in there, which in turn would cost the city another $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year in salaries and overtime, because civilians can’t work 24-hour shifts. So, that would cost the city more money and he doesn’t care about the cost in that aspect because he just wants to punish the firefighters in any way or shape he can,” he said.

Carroll said statistics show that increasing the staffing of three firefighters per truck to four firefighters per truck would result in a 68% decrease in the chance of an injury, while increasing 25% to 50% the ability to get more work done on a fire scene.

Other areas of contention are amount that should be allocated for youth mental health activities and the cutting of the school’s assistant facilities director.

The Haverhill City Council meets tonight at 7, remotely and in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

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