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Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini

Every year, Wall Street financial analysts come to Haverhill to review our books and give us a financial report card— called a “bond rating.”

This newsletter deals with some great news for our city— for the second year in a row our bond rating is up. It is in stark contrast to the situation we were in only two and half years ago when our bond rating was tied with Springfield’s for the lowest in the State and many observers predicted we would continue to go down to receivership. They were wrong— with a series of tough fiscal measures, we went up. This newsletter goes into some detail about our bond rating. This newsletter also deals with a new urban river visions grant the city received. This grant is step forward with our vision to reconnect people to the waterfront. If you need help in finding where you vote, you can either call our city clerk’ s office, 978-374-2312. Till next month I remain at your service.

Wall Street Gives Haverhill a Thumbs Up— Raises Bond Rating

When my administration took office three years ago, Haverhill stood on the brink of fiscal disaster. A previous administration left us with a staggering Hale debt, $7 million a year which had to be paid at the start of every budget.

Three years ago, our bond rating was tied with Springfield for the lowest in the State. The Bradford Fire Station was closed. The public library was slated to be closed, and was kept open only when the city settled a lawsuit to keep the library open one more year. Newspapers were filled with stories that we could become the first city since Chelsea in 1990 to go into receivership. We were determined not to let that happen.

We held a series of meetings with the Department of Revenue and presented them with our plans to turn the city around.

Our short plans were to hold the line on spending. We imposed a hiring and spending freeze, and resisted pressure to spend what we did not have. We refused to give out pay raises we couldn’t afford, and asked our good employees to pay more in health insurance. We worked with our unions to consolidate 5 health care plans into one, and with increased bargaining power, saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums. We eliminated positions, and consolidated departments. We asked the Department of Revenue and our legislative delegation for short term relief and we got it.

In the long term, we knew we also had to increase our tax base. We rezoned downtown to allow old factory buildings to be reused as housing. We eliminated red tape and regulatory barriers to allow for retail growth. When it was done, we had more retail growth coming to our city than at any time in history with Lowe’s, Target, Starbucks and BJ’s Wholesale Club all coming to Haverhill.

Every community has to borrow to pay for capital costs. The interest rate is set by what is called a “bond rating.” Bond ratings are set by Wall Street financial firms, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s. These firms come to our city, review our books and records and issue us a bond rating. The higher the bond rating, the lower your interest payments. Bond ratings are critical — they are your fiscal report card.

This year, for the second year in a row, Wall Street analysts raised our bond rating. Here is what the bond rating agencies said:

“Moody’s expects the city’s financial position will continue to improve ....”

Standard and Poor gave us the highest possible ranking for good management: “Haverhill’s management practices are considered strong...”

Improving our bond rating took a great team effort by many hard working and dedicated employees of our city.

Make no mistake about it: Haverhill still faces enormous financial struggles. The improvement in our bond rating means we are headed in the right direction.

Mayor Kicks off Fall Tree planting programs

Trees are an important element in keeping up a city’s appearance. Three years ago, we began planting trees for the first time in years, and reintroduced elm trees to Haverhill for the first time in a half century. Saturday, we started our fall tree planting program, planting over 70 trees. This fall we are planting Elm trees, maple trees, pear trees and oak trees!

Saturday, thanks to the fine work of Elaine Barker and Haverhill’s Brightside, we also planted commemorative trees. You can help, join our commemorative tree program. For $250 you can plant a tree in honor of a loved one. If you would like to adopt a tree, send an email to:

Help Our Food Pantries

We are proud of local residents like Lisa Merrill and Al Januszewski who volunteer for food pantries run by their churches to help those less fortunate. They have set up donation boxes around city hall for food pantries. Please stop by with your canned goods and make a donation.
Bob Gablosky Is Artist of the Month November, local artist Bob Gablosky will display his art work, including drawings of Haverhill, in the Mayor’s office as part of our program to promote local art and artists. Stop by the Mayor’s office to see Bob’s great work!

New Face At Emergency Management

Nancy Murphy of Haverhill has been named as the new Assistant Emergency Management Director for the City.  Ms. Murphy fills a position that has been vacant for over one year.

As Deputy Emergency Management Director Ms. Murphy will assist the Emergency Management Director, James Michitson and will take charge of establishing the City’s medical reserve corps. The City of Haverhill continues to plan and prepare for emergencies which may occur in the City

Last year’s flood shows that the City of Haverhill was and is prepared for emergency. Our emergency management plan is filed with the State and was updated as of this year.  We were one of the first communities in the state to establish a Pandemic Flu Task Force. We continue to plan and to prepare.Nancy Murphy has years of experience in the emergency management field.  She has worked for the State of Massachusetts, for the American Red Cross and most recently Governor Mitt Romney’s office.  She is an expert on grant writing and we believe her assistance will help us in obtaining additional grants for the City of Haverhill. The City of Haverhill welcomes Nancy Murphy to our team.”

Jim Fiorentini is the mayor of Haverhill and was just elected to his second term. Mayor Fiorentini is a Democrat. No public money was used to produce or distribute this newsletter. You can E-mail Jim Fiorentini at: jimfior02@aol.com



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The November, 2006 Edition of the Valley Patriot
The Valley Patriot is a Monthly Publication.
All Contents (C) 2006
, Valley Patriot, Inc.
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