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
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 Springfields 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
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
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 couldnt 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 Lowes, Target,
Starbucks and BJs Wholesale Club all coming to
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 Poors and
Moodys. 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
This year, for the second year in a row, Wall Street
analysts raised our bond rating. Here is what the bond
rating agencies said:
Moodys expects the citys financial
position will continue to improve ....
Standard and Poor gave us the highest possible ranking
for good management: Haverhills 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
citys 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
Saturday, thanks to the fine work of Elaine Barker and
Haverhills 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: email@example.com
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 Mayors office as part
of our program to promote local art and artists. Stop by
the Mayors office to see Bobs 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 Citys
medical reserve corps. The City of Haverhill continues to
plan and prepare for emergencies which may occur in the
Last years 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 Romneys 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
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The November, 2006
Edition of the Valley Patriot
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