By: Tom Duggan – October 23, 2013 (2:38pm)
With no candidates challenging five term Haverhill Mayor Jim Fiorenitni in his bid for reelection next month, it looked like the longest serving mayor in Haverhill history was sailing to an uncontested win.
“Not so fast,” says Haverhill Resident Tyler Kimball, owner of Kimball Farms and a lieutenant on the Haverhill Fire Department.
Kimball is mounting a sticker campaign to challenge Fiorentini for the mayor’s seat because, he says; “Democracy is important, nobody should run unopposed. The people deserve a choice and I want to give them that choice. If they choose to vote for me or they choose to vote for Mayor Fiorentini at least they have more than one candidate to choose from and that is the main reason I am running. Nobody should run unopposed.”
In an exclusive interview with The Valley Patriot Thursday, Kimball says that he is not accepting donations from anyone and will spend about $20,000 of his own money to run his campaign.
“I’m not taking donations because I don’t want to owe anyone anything if I win. I am not making any deals with anyone. I’m as plane-Jane as they come. I believe in one thing: callouses, it’s about hard work. This is a grass-roots campaign.”
Kimball says he believes that something needs to be done to rescue the city from the Fiorentini administration “throwing money at every problem hoping they will go away. I don’t believe in that. You fix the problem long term, you get your hands dirty, you get to the bottom of it. Throwing money at a problem only puts it off until later. It doesn’t actually solve anything.”
“What was the mayor’s solution for making the hill safer? Spend more money on police. You don’t spend more money on police. We have plenty of people who work on salary for the city. I will get them out there, and I will be out there myself, picking up trash, working with the neighborhoods and there will be no crime on the hill. We have plenty of people working for the city who can help with the crime problem, when I am mayor it will be everyone’s job to deal with the crime problem. There will be no such thing as ‘that’s not my job’. W when I get elected. Taking care of our crime problem is everyone’s job. They will no longer work 40 hour a week they will work the hours that I work. And I work a lot of hours.”
Kimball says that Mayor Fiorentini has neglected the city’s highway department and under his administration it will be fully staffed.
“Just look at the highway department, they have no manpower to do what they need to do. Sure, the mayor spent a ton of money on new equipment, but we have nobody to run the equipment. So, all this brand new equipment is sitting there going to waste because he laid off a ton of people in the highway department.”
“The other thing is, he treats the employees terribly. How much production do you think you are going to get out of a city employee who hates their job because they get treated like dirt? How dedicated do you think people are to their jobs when they have to worry about retribution? Look at what he just did to Ricky Welsh, the union president. He causes so much unnecessary stress on city employees, and I promise if I am elected I will treat every city employee with respect, but they are going to have to their jobs.”
Kimball also says there is a stark contrast between how he will run the city and the way Mayor Fiorentini is running the city now. He says he is not happy with the way the mayor administers the city budget and will cut duplicate services, waste and prioritize the city budget to make sure city workers have the equipment they need, like laptops for the fire department.”
Asked what he would do as chairman of the school committee (the mayor sits as chair) Kimball said he would bring in businesses and members of the community as well as police officers and firefighters to interact with school children.
“My true passion is children and education. If we don’t straighten out the kids of today we will have real problems tomorrow. But if we can teach kids the foundation of life, that school work is most the most important thing in their lives they have a chance.”
My solution for crime especially juvenile crime in Haverhill is very simple. If we get the cops involved and firefighters involved, and have them go to the schools, every kid will know a police officer personally. Every kid will know a firefighter personally. They will know each other by first name. That decreases the chances of them doing something wrong because not only do they know the cop and a firefighter by name, but when our public safety officials are on the streets doing their jobs they will know these kids too. That’s very powerful.”
“It’s the same thing with business and industry,” he continued. “We need to bring these people into the schools It’s really simple. You have the kids interact with the business, manufacturing and retail leaders in the community. These kids are going to go out into the real world some day and they are going to need experiences dealing with people in the real world, the business world. They need to understand what is out there waiting for them when they graduate.”
“There isn’t a baby born who grows up saying, ‘I am going to be a killer, or criminal when I grow up.’ It come from not caring and not being nurtured. It’s really very simple. I care and I want to help these kids understand that there is a future for them, but they need to understand what is waiting for them in the real world so they will be prepared and less likely to commit crimes.”
Tyler Kimball says he will be circulating stickers from now until Election Day. Voters will have to wither write in Kimball’s name on their ballot or place a sticker on the ballot with his name on it. Kimball says voters interested in getting involved with his campaign can visit his Facebook page.