Jim believes a mayor’s responsibility is to create a vision for the city. With input from many who share his plan to restore Haverhill to a premier location, he created a vision and has been implementing it for the past 20 years.
He brought $300 million in new investment to the downtown.
He developed new zoning to refurbish the waterfront.
He created the Rail Trail project for biking and walking – which added Haverhill to a string of like-minded cities along the eastern seaboard.
He also has vision and improvement plans already in motion for our neighborhoods, our recreational areas, our schools, our senior citizens, and our children. These include:parks and play areas throughout the City, citywide festivals, fairs, games and biking.
This past year, Haverhill approved a new development and growth plan - Vision Haverhill 2035. It updates a previous master plan for growing the city, addressing new issues, and preparing to seize new opportunities such as building commercial sites upward instead of sprawl. This plan provides a road map for “Targeted Growth” of Land Use, Housing, Economic Development, Public Facilities and Services, Natural & Cultural Resources, Open Space & Recreation, Transportation and Implementation.
With Mayor Fiorentini’s leadership, Haverhill revised its Zoning Ordinances to make it possible for developers to readily build while still preserving the essence, beauty, history and natural space of the City.
Mayor Fiorentini will continue to Invest in Haverhill’s Future.
For most of us, the most important thing in our lives is our children and grandchildren. They are precious to us and we want the very best for them. Jim’s family has deep roots in Haverhill schools. He attended Haverhill schools and so did his children. Jim’s sister taught in Haverhill for years and his son currently teaches there. Jim’s dad was also a teacher for a long time in Haverhill, and he taught Jim that education is the foundation of our future. As a result, Jim strongly believes every Haverhill child should receive a good education.
It would be wonderful if quality education was as simple as adding more teachers. But “quality” consists of quality teachers, quality books and materials, an environment conducive to learning; extra-curricular activities like chorus, band, sports; and sound buildings. In the past 10 years, Jim has worked to overcome Haverhill’s habit of funding education at the minimum required by the State. Since being elected Mayor, Jim has worked to increase education spending well above Net School Spending in Massachusetts. As a result, he has made historic increases in our school budget. Next year, his budget has $106 million for schools – $8 million over last year.
With Jim’s mandate, we rebuilt the High School and the Hunking School and a renovated Consentino School is already underway. In addition, we have a new High School running track and a state-of-the-art multi-sports playing field and as a new roof on the pool building.
Our schools now offer FREE full-day kindergarten, FREE lunch and breakfast, and MCAS scores of our students are on the rise. Both UMass and NECC Culinary School have located facilities in Haverhill, offering training and opportunities for our young people.
When Jim began as Mayor in 2000, there were no Level 1 schools in Haverhill. Today we have 5. Under Jim’s management, we've made tremendous improvements in the physical structure of our schools and they now have good maintenance. The dropout rate at Haverhill High School has gone down, while rates increase elsewhere.
Jim shares your goal for exceptional education in Haverhill schools – and has made that a reality.
Health & Safety
We are finally emerging from the fierce battle against the pandemic. Approximately 43% of the city has been fully vaccinated and 54% percent have received at least one dose. Our hard work is paying off!
This is an exciting time in our city, made possible by the many sacrifices of our residents and the hard work and dedication of Mayor Fiorentini’s administration working in partnership with our health and public safety departments and private health care providers.
But Mayor Fiorentini is not stopping there. He is working to get more residents vaccinated and provide help to our businesses and schools. We have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and loans to our restaurants and businesses, made millions of dollars in air-quality and other improvements to our schools, and set up a rental assistance program that has provided $800,000 to individuals and families at risk of losing their homes. Jim will continue these programs until the pandemic is firmly behind us.
Jim is creating a new 21st century Health Department with public health nurses and social workers to provide community outreach and neighborhood clinics in nutrition, exercise, disease screenings and mental health counseling.
To Jim, keeping Haverhill’s residents safe is fundamental. With Jim Fiorentini as Mayor, more new police officers have been added to the force in just the past few years – not only bringing the department to full staffing but to its highest staffing level in our history -110 officers. Recently, Jim appointed a new acting police chief, deputy police chief and our first female police captain.
Jim has invested millions of dollars in our fire department for fire station improvements - including major renovations at the Water Street fire station, new equipment and vehicles, and a new rescue truck.
Under Jim’s leadership, we now have a civilian Public Safety Dispatch that puts more police on the streets and firefighters in our fire stations. We also add new police and fire vehicles and modern equipment every year. To fight gangs and give at-risk youth hope and new opportunities, Jim recruited groups – including UTEC, Leaving the Streets Ministries and POSE - that help us keep our young people out of gangs by providing counseling and job opportunities for at-risk youth. Jim has also formed a police gang unit to bring additional law enforcement attention to overcome the problem and added bike patrols downtown.
The results are showing. Crime in Haverhill has continued to decline every year with impressive results which reflect how safe our community has become with Jim as Mayor:
- Home break-ins are down 81%
- Burglary is down 76%
- Robberies are down 63%
- Car thefts are down 83%
- Overall Crime is down 48% - 18% in the past 3 years
Our city is safe, and Mayor Fiorentini will keep it that way.
Haverhill is a great place to live, work and raise a family because of Jim Fiorentini’s work as Mayor. Haverhill has:
- A restored downtown that continues a celebrated revitalization.
- A building boom that includes a mix of affordable and market-rate units.
- Business parks providing jobs and tax revenue.
- New and renovated schools.
- Better education reflected in rising MCAS test scores and a declining dropout rate.
- New parks & playgrounds in almost every neighborhood.
- A beautiful and expanding Rail Trail along the Merrimack River.
- A new waterfront Boardwalk.
- Improved roads and sidewalks.
- An even safer city.
- Continued low taxes that are 4th lowest in Essex County.
Mayor Fiorentini has attracted $300 million in investment to our growing downtown, resulting in new construction, new apartments and an enviable restaurant district that competes with Boston. A bustling and walkable downtown combined with two commuter train stations have helped turn Haverhill into a destination city complete with restaurants, murals, museums, art galleries and boutique shops.
Major plans are being developed to remake the Merrimack Street entrance to downtown by rebuilding the Goecke Garage and adding dozens of retail stores and professional offices. At the other end of downtown, we will be transforming the abandoned Ornstein Heel property into a public riverfront park with walking trails, outdoor amphitheater and canoe launch along with new shops and restaurants.
Jim plans to use federal funds from the American Recovery Act to build the infrastructure for a new business park that will create more jobs. He has top people researching ways to leverage these federal funds into major upgrades for our city, including significant improvements to our water and wastewater system.
Over the past 5 years, we have spent an unprecedented $20 million on capital improvements -- new sidewalks, street paving, new fire trucks, windows at the police station and fire department. With an estimated $27 million anticipated from the federal government in new COVID recovery funds, Mayor Fiorentini will continue the progress of revitalizing Haverhill.
Jim Fiorentini keeps Haverhill Moving in the Right Direction – Forward.
This year, Haverhill implemented a new Master Plan after 25 years of working with the original plan. The result was new zoning for the city to keep our city’s beauty while providing a place for new families to live. Driven by public input, the new plan lays out a vision for where future homes, businesses, schools and recreational facilities should be located.
Among the concepts are Village Centers where housing and small stores share the same buildings – making a neighborhood walkable while still preserving the essence, beauty, history and natural space of the City.
By making Haverhill a city that is “easy to do business with” Mayor Fiorentini and his Economic Development team have been able to attract large companies that employ hundreds of people.Target, Starbucks, Burlington Coat Factory, Magellan Aerospace and Cedars were among the first major companies to locate in Haverhill..
In the coming year, at least another 3 big businesses will be coming to Haverhill providing nearly 1000 new jobs – Amazon (with a last-mile merchandise delivery hub), Monogram Food (with a large food preparation factory) and Edwards Vacuum (with a state-of-the-art technology center). These new jobs will be a mix of entry-level positions, mid-level and high-paying scientist and engineering jobs.
Jim’s work has also helped double the restaurants in Haverhill from 100 to over 200 - collectively employing over 1,000 people.
Mayor Fiorentini believes it is important to provide housing and jobs in Haverhill so the city is a place where people can live, work and raise their families in a healthy environment.