We join with Haverhill in mourning the passing of former Mayor Theodore "Ted" Pelosi Jr., who died early Tuesday morning at Merrimack Valley Hospital. He was 85.
Pelosi was an icon of city politics from the late 1960s into the 1990s. He was elected mayor in 1987, having served as City Council president for 20 years prior to that.
Pelosi led Haverhill through difficult times during his three two-year terms as mayor. The Police Department was coming under heavy scrutiny because the then-chief's son, a detective with the force, was charged in a regional drug ring. Financial problems were hitting Haverhill hard, and the new Hale Hospital was falling into deep debt. Haverhill leaders had to search for ways to keep its budget balanced.
Throughout it all, Pelosi was a consummate gentleman, respected even by political rivals such as current Councilor William Ryan, whom Pelosi ousted from the mayor's office in the 1987 election.
"It was a friendly rivalry," Ryan told our reporter concerning his mayoral campaigns against Pelosi. "We were always respectful of each other. The city will be a lesser place without his guidance and his presence."
Others praised Pelosi's dependability and willingness to work toward common goals.
"He was a honest, trustworthy man who worked hard for the city," said City Councilor William Macek, who served on the council when Pelosi was president. "He was a teacher and a mentor to me who was respectful of everyone. You couldn't ask for a better mayor. He was a trustworthy and dependable individual."
"He would never just shoot down ideas," said Councilor Robert Scatamacchia, who served on the council with Pelosi from 1980 to 1983. "He would always work with us to find solutions instead."
Pelosi gave his best to the city he loved. We extend our sincere condolences to his friends and family.