Voters will go to the polls next week to decide who will lead Haverhill, as the city deals with growing pains and aging school buildings.
With Hunking School deteriorating and inner-city crime causing problems, voters will elect their mayor, city councilors and School Committee members on Nov. 5.
Here are the choices:
For mayor, incumbent James Fiorentini faces a late challenge from Tyler Kimball, who last week announced he is running a sticker campaign. He did not take out nomination papers before the deadline. Kimball is a Haverhill firefighter whose family owns Kimball Farm on East Broadway. The seat has a two-year term.
For City Council, eight incumbents face seven challengers for the board’s nine available seats. The only incumbent not seeking re-election is Michael Hart, a local lawyer who said he is stepping away from the political scene for now. The challengers include two former councilors, two city lawyers, a high school teacher, a school custodian and the owner of a popular downtown sandwich shop. Councilors serve two-year terms.
For School Committee, three incumbents face two challengers for three available seats. The challengers have backgrounds in education. Committee members serve four-term terms.
Fiorentini has said he is happy Kimball stepped up to challenge for the mayor’s seat because it gives Fiorentini a chance to talk about his administration’s accomplishments, including investments in old downtown buildings by merchants and housing developers.
Fiorentini is seeking a record sixth-consecutive mayoral term and had no challenger until Kimball’s surprise announcement.
Kimball said his qualifications for mayor include knowledge he gained of the Fire Department budget when he was head of the firefighters union in 2008, as well as his experience in running a large farming business.
When asked if he was dissatisfied with Fiorentini as mayor, Kimball said he would not attack Fiorentini because he does not want to run a negative campaign.