Phil Laverriere Deserved Better


May, 2012

For nearly 40 years Phil Laverriere served the Merrimack Valley as the head of the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council.

In that time, Mr. Laverriere helped tens of thousands of poor people get heat in the winter, day care for their children, provided education and English Classes for newly arriving immigrants and headed hundreds of programs which helped those in need.

Last month, Mr. Laverriere was forced to resign as head of the GLCAC after a spate of “gotcha” stories in the daily paper showing him engaging in non-work related activities during the work day.

But the fact is Laverriere was a salaried employee who spent countless nights, early mornings and weekends giving out scholarships, speaking to young people and running various other civic organizations. It’s not like Laverriere was punching a clock and going out to play cards while we were paying him for his time. But the daily paper never told that side of the story. They never gave their readers the full picture of how many people he helped or how many nights and weekends he spent helping the community.

We think it’s a shame that, because the daily newspaper printed one side of the story, a man who gave so much for so many years will now be remembered for playing cards during (what others would call) “the work day” instead of being hailed for all the great work he has done to make The Valley a better place.

We at the Valley Patriot do remember all the hard work and dedication Mr. Laverriere gave this community for more than 40 years. And we hope that you will too.