Podcast: All Five Haverhill Mayoral Candidates Answer Questions About Pressing Issues

Haverhill mayoral candidates, top row, from left, George Eleftheriou, City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett and retired Patrolman Guy E. Cooper. Bottom, from left, School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. and Debra M. Campanile. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

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All five candidates running to become Haverhill’s next mayor have spoken directly to listeners during a series of live interviews with Win Damon, host of WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program.

All interviews, running about 10 minutes each, are now available to be heard on demand at WHAV.net and all popular podcast sites. Arranged in ballot order, the candidates are Melinda E. Barrett, Scott W. Wood Jr., Guy E. Cooper, Debra M. Campanile and George Eleftheriou.

Instead of generic questions, WHAV asked each candidate on Tuesday’s preliminary election ballot about specific and pressing issues. They were asked the following questions as time allowed:

  1. For years, financial constraints forced the city put off buying equipment, building improvements and construction of new schools and a Broadway-area fire station. Which buildings are your top two priorities and how do you propose paying for them?
  2. Paying for the city’s long wish list requires raising taxes to the max, overriding Proposition 2 ½ or cutting spending. Which approach will you take? If cuts, which specific line items would you strike?
  3. To stretch its budget, the city has gradually moved more spending to the water and sewer budgets—such as making those departments pay rent to City Hall—causing rates to go up. Do you think the city properly moved expenses to the ratepayers and do you see a way for the city to subsidize rates by moving capital expenses back to the main budget?
  4. As mayor, you are also the head of the School Committee. What initiatives would you propose to fix the high absenteeism problem?
  5. The city is said to have a housing shortage which is causing rents to go up. At the same time, some argue there is too much construction. What do you think is the proper balance and how would your administration achieve it?
  6. What is the first piece of legislation you plan to send the City Council for passage?
Preliminary Election Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023
(Names listed in ballot order under each campaign)
Barrett, Melinda E.
Wood, Scott W. Jr.
Cooper, Guy E.
Campanile, Debra
Eleftheriou, George
City Council Ward 4
Lewandowski, Melissa J.
Quimby, Kenneth E.
Lambert, Craig
School Committee Ward 4
Lalumiere, Mikaela
Wood, Scott W. Jr.
Thomas, Courtney
Simmons, Fred A.
School Committee Ward 7
Grannemann, Thomas
Downer, Edward
Rogers, Hunter

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

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