Analysis, Part 2: Is Turnabout Fair Play in Haverhill’s Vote on Whittier Tech?

In the public interest, WHAV today presents in two parts, a series of fact checks to shed light on certain myths and little-known facts in advance of next week’s vote on the future of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School. Part 2 of 2

There’s a saying that turnabout is fair play. For or against building an estimated $444.6 million replacement Whittier Tech, some leaders appear unaware of the district’s history and a lawsuit 45-years ago that affirmed the formulas. When the agreement among the 11 communities was negotiated in 1967, Whittier had one formula for capital spending, like a new building, and another for paying annual operating costs. Haverhill has paid 50-70% of the annual costs over the past 50 years, but with only 15% of the representation.

UMass Lowell Poll Shows N.H. Republicans Prefer Trump and Support Right to Abortion

With the New Hampshire presidential primary coming up this month, UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion and YouGov poll results show former President Donald Trump holds a commanding lead for the Republican party’s nomination in the 2024 race for the White House, with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in a not-so-close second – she trails by 30 points. Of 450 likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters surveyed, 52% would vote for Trump, while 22% signaled they would vote for Haley, who once served as Trump’s U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and was recently endorsed in the race by N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu. “The poll results throw cold water on any traction Haley thought she had,” said UMass Lowell’s John Cluverius, the center’s director of survey research and an associate professor of political science. “Despite an endorsement from Sununu–whom the poll found enjoys an 80% favorability rating among respondents–and her attempt to thread the needle on abortion, she can’t seem to close the deal.”

Against Haley, Trump leads in every demographic category, and she fares worse among female respondents than male, he added. Candidates trailing behind include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, 10%; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 6%; entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, 4%; and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, 1%.

Grand Jury Indicts Lawrence Councilor-Elect and One Other on Fraudulent Voting Charges

Two Lawrence women were indicted by an Essex County grand jury on charges related to fraudulent voting in connection with the November 2023 Lawrence election. Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said Wednesday Lawrence District A Councilor-Elect Fidelina Santiago was indicted on four counts each of illegal voting or attempt to vote, conspiracy to vote or attempt to vote illegally, unlawful interference with voter and obstruction of voting. “Interfering with an election not only undermines the legitimacy of government, but erodes the public’s confidence in the process.  My office will vigorously prosecute individuals that threaten the integrity of elections,” Tucker said in a statement. Indictments were also returned for Jennifer Lopez on the charges of four counts each of illegal voting or attempt to vote, conspiracy to vote or attempt to vote illegally, unlawful interference with voter and obstruction of voting. Both women will be arraigned later.

Legislature to Decide Whether Two Haverhill Candidates Can Run for or Serve Two Offices at Same Time

Haverhill city councilors voted this week to formally ask legislators to ban politicians from running and serving in two offices at the same time. All councilors present Tuesday approved sending the state legislature a home rule petition that would ratify voters overwhelming approval of two ballot questions. Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Mayor-elect Melinda E. Barrett led the call to seek the amendment to the city’s new mostly ward-based elections law. Fiorentini explained. “I personally didn’t have a promise with people running for more than one office, but the people have spoken.

Sullivan the Favorite to Lead the Haverhill City Council Come January

(Additional photograph below.)

Haverhill City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan is currently the favorite to lead the City Council as its president in January. Sullivan, second highest vote getter with an unofficial 6,418 votes recorded last week, received the endorsement Monday of current Council Vice President John A. Michitson, who topped the count with 6,508 votes last Tuesday. “I’m honored and humbled to have John Michitson’s support for the presidency. I understand that it is a tremendous responsibility that I look forward to doing. I hope to earn the support of my fellow councilors and will be speaking to each one of them in the every near future to ask for their support,” Sullivan told WHAV.

Haverhill Voters Make It Clear They Want Candidates to Seek Only One Seat at a Time

Haverhill voters responded last night with a resounding “no” to the idea of candidates seeking and holding more than one office and defeated two candidates who sought to do so. Coincidentally or not, incumbent School Committee member Toni Sapienza-Donais lost both the Ward 2 School Committee seat and Ward 2 City Council post. Likewise, Fred A. Simmons lost his bids for an at-large City Council seat and Ward 4 School Committee seat. The first ballot question asked whether a person should be prevented from holding the office of mayor, city councilor or School Committee member while simultaneously holding any other elected or appointed office of the city or another position with the city for which they are paid out of the city treasury. That question received a total of 8,310 yes votes compared to 1,343 no votes.

Barrett Becomes Haverhill’s First Woman Elected Mayor; Election Brings New Faces at all Levels

By Marc Lemay. You can call her Mayor-Elect Melinda E. Barrett. On Tuesday, the 10-year city councilor defeated Guy E. Cooper for the seat in the corner office of City Hall. Barrett received 7,038 votes to Cooper’s 3,024 votes in unofficial results. In her acceptance speech to supporters, she reflected on the overall movement that not only brought her into office by a more than 2-1 margin, but also swept in a record number of women to other offices and brought a change in the system of local government.

Haverhill Voters to Decide New Mayor, Mostly Ward-Based City Council and School Committee

Haverhill City Clerk Kaitlin M. Wright is encouraging residents who haven’t already voted to take part in today’s general election—which will bring in a new mayor in January and the city’s first ward councilors and school committee members. Wright says about 2,800 Haverhill residents took part in early voting and vote-by-mail as of Monday. She notes 519 people took part in early voting and, as of Monday, about 2,300 people returned mail-in ballots. “As “Tip” O’Neill once said, ‘All politics are local,’ and this is going to be one of the most pivotal elections that we will see in our time in Haverhill with a new mayor coming into office. I highly encourage people to get out there and vote,” she says.