Haverhill High Government Students Show Current Events Knowledge at Council Forum

Haverhill High School Advanced Placement Government students with participating candidates for Haverhill City Council. (WHAV News photograph.)

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Haverhill’s housing crisis, plans for balancing the budget, crime and Merrimack River pollution were front of mind Monday night when Haverhill High School students grilled candidates for Haverhill City Council.

While the audience turnout was somewhat sparse, the questions compiled by the students, all members of the Advanced Placement Government class of instructor Shaun Ashworth, were timely.

Participating candidates included, in ballot order, Thomas J. Sullivan, Colin F. LePage, Fred Simmons, John A. Michitson and Timothy J. Jordan, and all seeking a seat as one of the four councilors-at-large. Others, looking for one of the newly created ward councilor slots, were Katrina Hobbs-Everett, Ward 2; Devan Ferreira, Ward 3; Kenneth E. Quimby Jr., Ward 4; Michael Morales and Shaun P. Toohey, both Ward 5; and Catherine P. Rogers, Ward 7.

On the matter of the budget, candidate Michitson received a laugh from the audience when he jokingly questioned the origin of the question.

“I think Mayor (James J.) Fiorentini probably asked that question. We won’t reveal our sources. There is little to no fat on Mayor Fiorentini’s budget. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

A question regarding crime in the city landed squarely in candidate Morales’ wheelhouse since his resume includes working as a teacher/counselor at the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.

“Poverty begets crime and one thing that we cannot do is just out-arrest our way out of the problem. We can’t just be locking people up and say well, hopefully they’ll get the treatment they need in jail. I promise you they will not.”

The candidates finished the forum with a minute to explain what attribute they had making them worthy of a vote. Those reasons varied from “common sense” to “being old and experienced.” All of the candidates reminded the audience that election day is Nov. 7.

Moderators were David Martinez, a junior, and Dean Reinoso, a senior.

(Names are listed in ballot order under each campaign)
Barrett, Melinda E.
Cooper, Guy E.
City Council-At Large
Sullivan, Thomas J.
LePage, Colin F.
Simmons, Fred A.
Michitson, John A.
Jordan, Timothy J.
City Council Ward 1
Basiliere, Ralph T.
Veras, Alexander Robert
City Council Ward 2
Sapienza-Donais, Toni
Hobbs Everett, Katrina E.J.
City Council Ward 3
Ferreira, Devan M.
City Council Ward 4
Quimby, Kenneth E.
Lewandowski, Melissa J.
City Council Ward 5
Toohey, Shaun P.
Morales, Michael
City Council Ward 6
McGonagle, Michael S.
Aguilo, Oliver
City Council Ward 7
Rogers, Catherine P.
School Committee-At Large*
Magliocchetti, Paul A.
Rosa, Richard J.
Ryan-Ciardiello, Maura L.
School Committee Ward 1
Diaz, Erica (write-in)
School Committee Ward 2
Sullivan, Gail M.
Sapienza-Donais, Toni
School Committee Ward 3
Dilonex, Liliana
Ferguson, Cheryl A.
School Committee Ward 4
Lalumiere, Mikaela D.
Simmons, Fred A.
School Committee Ward 5
Story, Jill Taylor
Hickey, Lynette
School Committee Ward 6
Pfeil, Chad
Collins, Yonnie
School Committee Ward 7
Grannemann, Thomas W.
Rogers, Hunter Price
* No election in 2023

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