Candidate Profile In Eagle Tribune
Address: 77 Longview St.
Occupation: Residential real estate attorney
Education: Juris doctorate, Suffolk University Law School
Family: Partner Jonathan, two daughters
Political background: Legislative aide to former state Rep. Frank Emilio, 1981-1990; chief of staff to former state Sen. James Jajuga, 1992-2001; present vice chairman, Haverhill Democratic City Committee
Civic involvement: Member and past chair, VFW Santa Parade; member and VP of development, Winnekenni Foundation; member and VP Career Resources Corp.; member, board of directors, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce; member, Haverhill License Commission
Why voters should choose you: I am a hard-working, dedicated, civic-minded individual with a solid record of accomplishments in community service projects and civic causes. I am committed to improving the quality of life for all our citizens.
The city may soon need to build two new schools to replace Hunking elementary and Whittier middle. Some believe the only way to pay for the city's portion of the cost of a new school is to increase taxes with a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion. If the city demonstrates an urgent need for something like a new school, would you support an override or debt exclusion to help pay for it?
A consensus needs to be developed on moving forward involving the whole community. We need a process that is open, honest and one in which our residents can rely on. I will make sure that happens before any override or debt exclusion is considered.
Haverhill has seen some controversial business ventures defeated by neighborhood opposition recently, including pig farms proposed in Bradford and a waste-to-energy food disposal plant on upper Hilldale Avenue. If you had a vote, how would you have voted on those proposals and explain your thought process on the city's need for new business, tax revenue and jobs verses concerns about quality of life issues?
Haverhill needs jobs and tax revenue, but we are a community first. There are many ways to raise revenue, but we should not sacrifice our quality of life in order to do it. These developments will last a long time, so we need to make sure we do them right, and not sacrifice our future for the sake of a few dollars.
In what areas do you believe the council has done a good job recently and where do you think it could do more or better?
The downtown parking plan was long in coming and has good and bad points, but we need to tackle these difficult issues head on and address them thoroughly before implementation, making sound decisions that advance our downtown, our neighborhoods, our schools, and our city.