Five incumbents and five challengers have taken out nomination papers to run for City Council in the fall — and two months remain before the deadline for filing paperwork to get on the ballot.
Prospective challengers for nine, two-year terms on the council include: E. Philip Brown, a Haverhill High School teacher who has edited a local history trivia book and hosted a children’s show on community television; Fred Simmons, a longtime school custodian and head of that union, who has run for council in the past; local attorney Timothy Connors; Ken Quimby, a perennial candidate and former councilor who lost his re-election bid two years ago; and Charles Early.
Former councilor and retired Haverhill police officer David Hall and School Committee veteran Scott Wood are also expected to jump into the council race, though neither has taken out nominations papers yet.
The last day to take out nomination papers is July 26. To get on the ballot, a candidate must return the papers, with signatures from at least 50 registered voters, to the city clerk’s office by July 30.
Incumbent councilors who have taken out papers so far include: Thomas Sullivan, who finished 10th two years ago, but was elected by the council to fill a vacancy when Sven Amirian resigned his seat last year to become head of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce; Michael McGonagle; William Macek; Colin LePage and Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien.
Two potential challengers have also emerged against James Fiorentini, who is expected to seek an unprecedented sixth term as Haverhill’s mayor.
Raul Diaz and Michael Young have taken out nomination papers for mayor. Young, a teacher at Whittier Regional Technical High School, finished fourth in the 2009 City Council election, but he failed to win re-election in 2011. During his two-year stint on the council, Young was a vocal critic of Fiorentini.
Fiorentini has yet to take out papers but recently said he will make an announcement soon about whether he will run this year. In the past, he said he would like to be mayor as long as voters want him.
In addition to the job of mayor, all nine City Council seats and three of Haverhill’s six School Committee spots are up for election in the fall. The preliminary election, if one is needed, would be Sept. 17. The final election is Nov. 5.
Preliminary elections are held if there are more than double the number of candidates for available seats or positions. For instance, a preliminary will be held if there are 19 council candidates, seven School Committee candidates or three people vying for mayor.
There looks to be a contested race for School Committee also, with incumbents Paul Magliocchetti, Raymond Sierpina and Joseph Bevilacqua up for re-election. Of the trio, only Bevilacqua had taken out nominations papers as of Tuesday.
So far, challengers Maura Ryan Ciardiello and David Prescott have taken out papers for School Committee. Ciardiello, who ran unsuccessfully for Governor’s Council last year, is the daughter of longtime city councilor and former Haverhill mayor William Ryan. Prescott, a retired police officer, is the husband of former councilor Diane Boulanger Prescott.
Should he be elected to the council, Wood has said he would likely finish the two years he has remaining in his School Committee term. There are no laws against holding both seats, except that a person can receive pay for only one position.
The mayor and councilors serve for two years. The School Committee seats are for four years, but they rotate, with three of the six seats available every two years. School Committee members get $5,000 per year and councilors get $8,000. The mayor’s annually salary is $90,000.