About Mayor Jim Fiorentini
Background and Summary
Jim is a former VISTA Volunteer who worked in Waterloo, Iowa, with the poorest of the poor to deliver good government services to them. While in Vista, he organized a school for high school dropouts. What makes Jim special is his lifetime commitment to keeping kids in school and to helping those less fortunate than him.
Jim worked his way through Tufts University and Northeastern Law School by driving a cab in Boston (often in the poorest areas) on nights and weekends. He also worked washing dishes, on construction jobs, and numerous other jobs prior to becoming a lawyer in 1973. He was even a substitute teacher in Medford, Boston, and Stoneham in 1968 and 1969, and taught at the Martin Luther King School in Boston.
Jim has been married for thirty-four years to Martha (Cooper) Fiorentini and they have three children: Regina Lucia, Chrissy, and Jay.
Jim's commitment is to the middle and working class families of Haverhill. His goal is to deliver the best possible government services at a cost we can all afford.
- Haverhill High School, 1965
- Tufts University, BA, 1969
- Northeastern University School of Law, JD, 1973
Jim has taken, and taught, numerous post graduate courses. In 2007 he was selected as guest lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he spoke about "Dynamic Leadership for a Dynamic City." Jim has also been a practicing attorney for over thirty years. In this capacity, he met budgets and had the responsibility to hire and fire people.
City Councilor 1996-2003, Council Vice President 2002-2003. As a city councilor, Jim fought for more money for public education and to expose the problems at the Hale Hospital. When the management company at the Hale said that the hospital was making money, then Councilor Fiorentini said "file those numbers in the fiction section of the public library." Jim is widely credited with having blown the whistle on the incompetent management team at the hospital.
Jim ran for Mayor in 2003 and was elected with 57% of the vote, carrying every precinct. Since then, he has been reelected a record four times, making him the longest-serving mayor in the history of Haverhill. He promised to avoid receivership and to revitalize abandoned factory buildings by using Brownfield's funding to restore them to the tax rolls.
Jim's plan has worked. It is now ten years later. The buildings that had been abandoned for a half a century and had been all but forgotten, are now being reused as upscale housing.
Our river front is being redeveloped. We now have beautiful boardwalks and rail trails. A modern large-capacity garage has taken the place of defunct businesses across from our new and improved train station. And we are on our way to meet Jim's dream of making Haverhill the North End of the Merrimack Valley with the influx of various restaurants.