Thank you for taking the time to learn about me and why I am seeking public office again this year. As a life-long resident of Haverhill, community activist, and local business owner, I have always been devoted to improving the quality of life of all its citizens, many of whom I consider to be friends and supporters. No matter what issues we face, I always try to respond in a thoughtful yet fiscally responsible way.
My roots in Haverhill begin in the Bradford section, where I was born and raised on Lockwood Street, and include many years of service to the VFW Santa Parade, founded by my dad, the late John. T. Sullivan. Now entering its' 55th year, the Santa Parade is the single most important holiday event and the biggest and best holiday parade north of Boston. I am proud of my dad and the Veterans who launched this cherished tradition in our City in 1964. And I am honored and humbled to have been able to keep the Parade going strong along with a group of dedicated volunteers since 1985.
Another of my passions is parks and recreational areas, including the revitalization of Winnekenni Castle and Park. I am Vice-President of Development with the Winnekenni Foundation, whose mission is to operate, promote and maintain Winnekenni Castle. A lot of positive changes and improvements have been made to the Castle and to Winnekenni Park itself, but there is so much more to do, not only at Winnekenni, but throughout our parks and recreational areas city-wide. I was and am a staunch supporter and advocate for improvements that have taken place at Swazey Field and the Portland Street Playground, and most recently the renovation and improvements at Cashman Field. In 2013 I launched a number of new improvements included in my "Winnekenni Park and Plug Pond Improvement Plan." Check out the complete plan on this website. Six years later I am pleased to report that substantial improvements have been and continue to be made, including transformative improvements to the front entrance of the Park, new flower beds around the area of the tennis courts and along the green space leading to Castle Road, swing sets, renovated tennis courts, and refurbished public bathrooms at both Winnekenni Park and Plug Pond, new park benches around Winnekenni Basin and Castle, informational signage along the Dudley and Porter Trails, thanks to Eagle Scouts Adam and David Rouleau, and an emergency mile marker system along those same trails and the Isaac Merrill Trail, thanks to Eagle Scout Nick Fabrizio and the Haverhill Fire Department, which will help our police and fire departments locate people in need of emergency assistance more quickly. Most recently and continuing into the spring, Eagle Scout candidate Lukas Rouleau is working on a project to mark the site of the historic Thomas Sanders' Birchbrow Estate, including improved trails and markings to the site.
Working with Haverhill resident (and my neighbor) Jeff Wardle, along with a group from the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) and the Haverhill Trails Committee (HTC), the trail system in the Park has greatly improved over the past few years, bringing more good folks utilizing the trails for walking, jogging, and mountain biking.
I am proud to be an active member of the city's Forest Management Committee, as well as an advisor to Haverhill's Brightside Adopt a Park Program, responsible for improving public spaces across the city by working together with residents, private business owners, and non-profit organizations to beautify green spaces city-wide. I, myself, am a proud sponsor of the Mill Street Island intersection located just below Gale Park on Route 110 at Mill Street.
My father instilled in me early on the importance of community service. I am Past President of the Board of Directors of Career Resources Corporation (CRC), whose mission is to empower the developmentally disabled community. I am a past member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce. I also serve on various city committees, most recently the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission. I am also the Chairperson of the City Council's Natural Resources and Public Property Sub-Committee.
In my formative years I learned a great deal about how government works, and sometimes how it doesn’t work, as a Legislative Aide to former Haverhill State Representative Frank A. Emilio and as Chief of Staff to former State Senator James P. Jajuga. My twenty years of experience in state government has enhanced my ability to make wise decisions after thoughtful deliberation on all issues of importance to our city.
No doubt our greatest challenges still lie ahead. It is important our voices are heard as we make critical decisions about the future of our City, our public school facilities, the quality of public education, public properties, and especially our public safety needs in order to maximize our safety and security.
There is so much to be thankful for in our city. The new Haverhill Heights and Harbor Place, the new Hunking School and the developing plans to renovate and add to the Consentino School, and the ongoing influx of new people seeking out Haverhill as a place to live and raise their families. In my real estate law practice I get feedback all the time from new people moving here from other areas, particularly the Greater Boston area. I always ask new residents what attracted them to choose Haverhill as their new home. Inevitably, they respond that housing prices are more reasonable than say in the Greater Boston area, and they say our property taxes are very reasonable comparatively speaking with other cities and towns. They often cite the quality of our public schools and our parks and recreational facilities as factors that attract them here as well. All great and positive reasons.
Thank you for your consideration.