For LePage, it’s back to the City Council | News | #citycouncil

HAVERHILL — Voters on Nov. 7 gave the nod to Colin LePage’s return to the City Council.

The former six-term councilor, who in 2021 decided to run for mayor but lost to incumbent Mayor James Fiorentini, has been away from politics for two years.

”It’s humbling when you don’t win but you have time to reflect on things,” he said. “I’m also feeling refreshed after 12 years of hard work on the council.”

LePage jumped back into the political arena this year and, on Nov. 7, won an At Large council seat, one of four available city-wide council seats.

In the past, he’d served with three other council incumbents who were recently reelected as at large councilors: John Michitson, Tom Sullivan and council president Tim Jordan.

LePage will also be serving alongside reelected incumbents Shaun Toohey, Michael McGonagle, Catherine Rogers and Melissa Lewandowski, and also council newcomers Ralph Basiliere, Katrina Hobbs Everett, and Devan Ferreira.

LePage, a regional sales manager for an industrial fastener manufacturer, served on the council from 2010 to end of 2021 and says his biggest accomplishment was to push the city into single-stream curbside recycling.

”I had been talking about single-stream recycling as a member of Team Haverhill for two years and it was what I campaigned on,” he said. “The city implemented that during my first year in office and it’s proven to be a success and has saved the city millions of dollars in reduced trash disposal costs.”

Also during his six terms, he advocated for adding more middle school health teachers at a time when there was just a single one shared between four middle schools.

”Now they have one for each school,” he said. “I also pushed for mental health services, which address a range of issues among youth that had not been addressed in over 10 years.”

LePage was known for his close inspection of the city budget, and, in one instance, he uncovered $600,000 in unaccounted-for cash in a city escrow account.

”The city used it for a reduction in the property tax rate that year,” he said.

The $600,000 was just a portion of the $2.75 million in unaccounted funds that LePage had identified in the city budget that was better used to lower property tax bills and increase funding for public safety and educational purposes.

Also during his time in office he was an outspoken advocate for a comprehensive health education program for city youth and visited middle schools and the high school to speak personally with students about the perils of substance abuse. For LePage, it was personal when he spoke heart-to-heart with students about the loss of his two sons, Christopher and Sean.

”I want to continue in public service and believe I can continue finding money in the budget for better purposes than have been laid out by the administration,” he said. “Come January we will have a new system of Ward council and school committee and I feel I can help with that new dynamic. I’ve also worked alongside Melinda Barrett, who was council president when I was council vice president and was just elected to serve as mayor. We always had a good working relationship.

”I’m very thankful for the support of voters and am humbled they brought me back to be a council member,” LePage added. “I plan to come prepared to face all current and future issues facing the city and help find solutions for them.”

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