Edwards Receives Plaudits from Haverhill Mayor, Council, Former License Commissioners

Mayor James J. Fiorentini presents a citation to retiring License Commissioner Joseph C. Edwards. (WHAV News photograph.)

(Additional photograph below.)

A changing of the guard was on display at the Haverhill City Council on Tuesday as Haverhill License Commission Chairman Joseph C. Edwards resigned after 22 years. He will be replaced by another long-time Haverhill public servant, former City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas.

In honoring Edwards, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said he had some doubts about reappointing him to the position at first.

“My second appointment was a man who had campaigned hard for my opponent, but he asked to be reappointed to the License Commission so I looked into it and I found that he had done an outstanding job. During the 20 years that I’ve been mayor and two years prior to that, Joe Edwards has been an outstanding License Commission chairperson,” the mayor said.

Saying Edwards’ service had been so exemplary, the mayor presented him with the Mayor’s Outstanding Citizen Award, something he has done only four times in the past 20 years.

Others who worked with Edwards over the years also expressed admiration for his work ethic, including Councilor Thomas Sullivan, who served as a license commissioner before becoming a city councilor. He presented Edwards with an official citation from the Council.

Sullivan’s successor on the Commission was WHAV President Tim Coco, who served with Edwards and the late Gerald A. Sewell on the board for six years.

“Joe continually demonstrates the highest ethics and integrity and sets a community example with his quiet generosity. I had not met Joe before my appointment, but I knew of his long list of accomplishments. It was just such an honor to work with Joe,” Coco said.

Although Edwards, by all accounts, leaves big shoes to fill, the mayor assured council he had extreme confidence Haverhill’s former City Clerk Koutoulas was fully capable of meeting that challenge.

“Linda Koutoulas has done an absolutely fantastic job for the city for many, many years. First, as my administrative assistant and, as a result of that, I appointed her as city clerk where, once again, she did an outstanding job,” Fiorentini said.

The Council gave unanimous approval to her appointment, which will run until May 23, 2026.

Haverhill City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan presents City Council citation to License Commissioner Joseph C. Edwards. (WHAV News photograph.)

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