Podcast: LePage says the main problem with the mayoral race is the services residents need, but are not getting
See also interviews with Mayor James J. Fiorentini and patroller Guy E. Cooper.
Part 3 of 3
In a series of interviews with the mayor of WHAV ahead of Tuesday’s Haverhill preliminary election, candidate Colin F. LePage said the biggest problem with this year’s election is not what the citizens of Haverhill have, but rather what they missed.
The current vice president of city council said he spent his dozen years on city council finding money that can be used to give more to residents.
“What I’m looking to do is, from what I’ve been doing at city council and I’m kind of known for looking at the budget quite thoroughly and finding that there are some things missing in the area. is about what taxpayers pay and to the extent of the services they could receive, ”he said.
LePage said, for example, that he found $ 600,000 that had been left behind in an obscure account in town. Beyond that, he said he discovered that the city had not collected mortgage payments of $ 225,000 over two years on a property in the city that had been sold for development downtown.
“Over the past few years, I have found over $ 2 million that just has not been properly allocated to be used to provide services to taxpayers,” he explained.
LePage also said in 2015 that he had identified $ 100,000 that could be used to hire needed health instructors amid the opioid drug epidemic. He noted that only one health teacher, serving four colleges, had worked in the previous 10 years. He said that thanks to his lobbying, schools have four again. On a related issue, he said he had visited middle and high schools to talk about “the dangers of drugs and addiction” in light of his son’s death.
One amount of money LePage has not been able to recover so far is a building permit fee charged to the new Caleb Dustin Hunking School project.
“The administration added $ 300,000 to the total Hunking School bill that taxpayers will have to pay for this. There was no additional benefit to citizens other than the fact that they now have to pay an additional $ 300,000 over 20 years to pay the building permit fees, ”he said.
He explained that the city did not charge itself a permit fee for the renovation of Haverhill High School, the construction of a police garage and repairs to the library at the Dr. Albert B. Consentino School. after the flood.
The councilor said he also successfully led the fight to replace the city’s two oldest fire trucks.
“Last year we also discussed the replacement of two 33-year-old fire trucks. We were told that the administration was only going to replace one. I and the majority of the Council did not think that was correct and that we could replace two, ”he said.
LePage said he and his family moved here 24 years ago due to the city’s potential and highlights such as four new schools under construction at the time and the presence of a ski resort, a castle, golf courses and open space.
In addition to WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available through Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.