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Haverhill Voters Re-Elect Fiorentini, Elect Three Women to Council, Retain School Committee

Haverhill voters largely stayed the course during Tuesday’s balloting—re-electing Mayor James J. Fiorentini, filling three City Council vacancies and installing three women and leaving the School Committee alone.

Fiorentini already held the record for a decade for the longest number of terms as mayor. He secured 5,623 votes—or 852 more than sitting City Council Vice President Colin F. LePage. Fiorentini did not hold back his excitement at winning a 10th term.

“Hey, I won,” he told WHAV.

LePage thanked his supporters. “Thank you to all the people who volunteered and tirelessly spread the word about my vision for Haverhill. A special thanks to Dan Trocki, Guy Cooper, the Haverhill Fire Department 1011 and the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts for their endorsements. The outpouring of support was truly overwhelming and heartwarming for me and my family,” LePage said.

Haverhill City Council

What may be a record number of women serving at the same time on the City Council came with the elections of Melissa Lewandowski and Catherine Rogers, who now join current Council President Melinda E. Barrett. Barrett told WHAV three vacancies on the City Council is a change that is topped only by a third of the Council being comprised of women.

“Three women is a sea change because that’s never happened before either,” she said.

Noting the population is made up of more women than men, Barrett said “we’re almost to where we should be.” She said Lewandowski, the daughter of former School Committee member Glenn Lewandowski, also brings many benefits to the local legislative body.

“That’s great. I’m happy. She was one of the people I was hoping to get on because having an attorney on can never be a bad thing as far as an attorney’s eyes to look at thigs,” she said.

Former Haverhill School Committee member Shaun P. Toohey was also elected. Other than filling slots vacated by LePage and Councilors William J. Macek and Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, voters left the remaining incumbents seated.

The Council’s top vote-getter is Timothy J. Jordan, who received 5,601 votes. There is already speculation the City Council, especially with a third of the members turning over, might consider going back to a tradition where members elected the top vote-getter as their president. The Council stepped away from the custom nearly two years ago when members declined to name the then-highest vote recipient, Joseph J. Bevilacqua, as their leader.

The full City Council, in order of vote, to be seated in January are Jordan, John A. Michitson, Barrett, Bevilacqua, Thomas J. Sullivan, Lewandowski, Michael S. McGonagle, Rogers and Toohey.

Voters also decided the third vacancy on the City Council will be filled by former School Committee member Shaun P. Toohey.

School Committee

Voters also kept the School Committee intact, re-electing, in order of votes, Paul A. Magliocchetti, Richard J. Rosa and Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello. For his first-time seeking elective office, Miguel Andres Quinones pulled in 3,835 votes, but fell short. Magliocchetti was the highest vote-getter citywide, winning 5,953 votes.

Ballot Questions

In a major sign of change, voters approved by substantial margins ballot questions calling for future election of City Council and School Committee by ward or district.

Asked whether Haverhill should elect one city councilor from each of the city’s seven wards and four at large, residents voted 5,548 to 2,999 to approve the change. Voters also decided by 5,410 to 2,996 that they wish to have a nine-member School Committee with five members elected from districts to be defined by the City Council and mayor and three more from across the city.

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