Every Haverhill Ward Has at Least One Council Candidate with Ferreira Entrance; Grannemann for Schools

Tuesday is the day of Haverhill’s special election, but interest is also building for this fall’s first ward-based city elections. As it stands now, only four of seven ward council seats are contested. Devan Ferreira, known for her activism around education and agriculture, ensured there would be at least one candidate for every ward by taking out nomination papers recently to run for Ward 3 councilor. Ferreira lobbied unsuccessfully in 2017 to keep the charter of the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School, but helped convince the City Council in 2019 to form a Haverhill Agricultural Commission. Of sitting city councilors, only incumbent Joseph J. Bevilacqua has yet to take nomination papers from the Haverhill city clerk’s office.

Guest Opinion: 2017 Study Says Investing in School Buildings Improves Student Outcomes

Editor’s note: Haverhill voters have a week to decide whether to support a debt exclusion as the method of financing construction of a new Dr. Albert B. Consentino School. A special election takes place Tuesday, June 6, at voters’ usual polling locations. Early voting runs from Wednesday, May 31, to Saturday, June 3, at Haverhill City Hall, in the former basement offices of the Registry of Motor Vehicles, 4 Summer St. Hours are Wednesday and Friday, from 8 a.m.- 4p.m.; extended hours Thursday, from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m.; and weekend hours Saturday, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

As a Haverhill parent and community member, I believe investing in our schools is crucial to ensure that all children have access to the best possible educational facilities and resources. The upcoming vote on the debt exclusion to fund the new Consentino Middle School is a crucial step in making this belief a reality.

Haverhill Opens Early Voting May 31 for Consentino School Election; Evening, Weekend Times Available

Four days of early voting, in advance of Haverhill’s upcoming special election, begins next Wednesday. The City Clerk’s office says it plans early voting from Wednesday, May 31, to Saturday, June 3, at Haverhill City Hall, in the former basement offices of the Registry of Motor Vehicles, 4 Summer St. Hours are Wednesday and Friday, from 8 a.m.- 4p.m.; extended hours Thursday, from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m.; and weekend hours Saturday, from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. The standard election day is Tuesday, June 6, at regular polling locations. Voters are being asked whether they support a debt exclusion to finance the construction of a new school. The ballot question asks, “Shall the city of Haverhill be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition two and one-half, so called, the amount s required to pay costs of constructing a new Dr. Albert B. Consentino Middle School located at 685 Washington St.

NEW: Voters in Haverhill’s Ward 1, Precinct 1, Will Cast Ballots at Consentino School June 6

Haverhill city councilors met in an emergency session Wednesday afternoon to move a Ward 1 polling location. Residents of Ward 1, Precinct 1 will now vote during the Tuesday, June 6, special election, at the Dr. Albert B. Consentino School, 685 Washington St. Councilors approved the change away from the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center where ongoing construction is not expected to be completed before the special election. The emergency meeting was called to comply with state law that requires a 20-day notice prior to the election when a polling location changes. Wednesday was the 20th day before the election, according to Haverhill City Clerk Kaitlin M. Wright.

School Committee Member Scott Wood Launches Campaign for Haverhill’s Mayor

School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. made it official Tuesday afternoon that he is a candidate for the job of Haverhill’s mayor. The announcement came as little surprise since Wood already listed a mayoral committee with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. He was elected to the Haverhill School Committee in 2003, two years after he graduated from high school, and became the youngest elected official in the city’s history. “As the only candidate with experience in education, law enforcement, finance and as a small business owner, I am uniquely qualified to address the challenges facing our city while moving the community forward,” Wood said in a statement, adding, “My priorities of public safety, economic development, the cost of housing, taxes and education reflect the issues that matter most to Haverhill residents.”

Wood enters the race to succeed 20-year incumbent Mayor James J. Fiorentini and joins City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett—who announced in February, George Eleftheria and former mayoral contender Debra Campanile. Former City Councilor Colin F. LePage, who ran for mayor in 2021, has not declared his candidacy, but still has a mayoral committee on file with the state.

Campaign Notebook: Most Haverhill Races Remain Uncontested, No Candidates Yet in Some Wards

Haverhill’s city election season appears to be warming a little, but there are only five officially contested races so far, no candidates at all in some wards and all candidates still subject to returning their completed nomination papers. Candidates taking out nomination papers to succeed Mayor James J. Fiorentini are City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett, George Eleftheriou and former mayoral candidate Debra Campanile. Although, as of news deadline, School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. has not taken out nomination papers from the Haverhill city clerk’s office, but he has declared he will be a candidate for mayor. (See separate story.)

For the newly configured City Council, to be composed of seven city councilors elected by ward with four others elected at-large, there are only three contests at this early stage. For Ward 4, City Councilor Melissa J. Lewandowski and former City Councilor Kenneth E. Quimby have taken out papers.

Workshop Details Haverhill’s Change to Mostly Ward-Based Council, School Committee

More than 70 Haverhill residents learned more about Haverhill’s change to a mostly ward-based electoral system during an informational workshop sponsored by the Latino Coalition of Haverhill. Coalition President Argenis Marte and Nairoby Sanchez pointed out that the new system includes City Council and School Committee representation from each of Haverhill’s seven Wards and offers a greater possibility for voices throughout the city to be heard and addressed. Rep. Andy X. Vargas was also in attendance along with Haverhill Police Sgt. Kevin Lynch and Officers Milady Figueroa and Christian Guzman. “This is an exciting and somewhat complex time for Haverhill municipal elections and the Latino Coalition is doing a great job educating and reaching out to the community.

Six Take Nomination Papers for Haverhill Elected Office on First Day of Availability

Six residents were the first to take out nomination papers for Haverhill elected office, including one candidate for mayor, three for ward city councilors and two for ward School Committee members. George Eleftheria took out nomination papers from the Haverhill city clerk’s office for a run for mayor. The only declared candidate for city hall’s corner office, City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett, is expected to take out nomination papers before the deadline. Others who have active mayoral committees on file with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance are former City Councilor Colin F. LePage and current School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. Neither has yet to retrieve nomination papers. For Haverhill City Council, former Councilor Kenneth E. Quimby Jr., as expected, took out papers for election to the Ward 4 City Council seat, while Haverhill Planning Board member Michael Morales took papers for Ward 5 city councilor and Alexander Veras for Ward 1 city councilor.