HAVERHILL — Highway superintendent Brian Zaniboni and chief financial officer and auditor Charles Benevento have both notified the mayor of their plans to retire around the first of the year.
The city is recruiting candidates for both jobs and has posted the two positions.
The highway superintendent job pays $115,954 a year while the finance job pays $140,000.
Mayor James Fiorentini said he received two applications for the highway job even before it was posted.
“For many people the only thing they see that relates to their taxes is work done by the highway department, such as fixing potholes, paving streets and plowing snow,” he said. “You need great schools but most people don’t have children and most don’t need police and fire on a daily basis.”
Fiorentini said that even if a good candidate does not come forward before Zaniboni leaves, DPW Director Mike Stankovich is still here to oversee Zaniboni’s duties as he has in the past.
“It’s critical to have someone like Brian who is out on the street inspecting the work and making sure it’s done right,” the mayor said.
Zaniboni, 67, said he isn’t planning on abandoning the city.
“I told the mayor I want to help him select a candidate who can pick up where I’m leaving off,” he said. “I will not leave the mayor or the city flat footed and I told the mayor that I’d give him as much time as needed to fit the needs of the city.”
Zaniboni was hired in October 2017 as Haverhill’s highway superintendent and reports directly to DPW Director Michael Stankovich.
Zaniboni oversees road repairs and paving from spring to fall and snow plowing and salting/sanding operations during winter.
“I’m currently working with Beta Engineering, which is in charge of our paving management system, to optimize our plow and salting routes,” he said. “We’re always tweaking the routes to make them more efficient.”
Benevento, 62, of North Hampton, New Hampshire, has been with the city since 2003 and said he plans to retire in January.
“It’s time,” he said.
As the city’s “comptroller,” Benevento is in charge of the city’s books and for filing year-end reports with the state. He also speaks regularly with representatives from the credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s.
“We talk to them all the time about maintaining our grade level, which currently is AA,” he said, noting it’s just one grade below the highest AAA rating. “Every time we borrow money we have to answer questions about being able to pay it back and how well is the city planning for its future. Having a good bond rating helps you get a lower interest rate as the people who are loaning you money know you’re a well run community.”
Benevento also assists the mayor in crafting the city’s annual budget.
“I’m worried about this position as he’s the CEO of the city,” Fiorentini said about Benevento. “I’ve hired the Collins Center (for Public Management) to help me choose a new finance director as they tell me there are many openings but few candidates.”
Since February, the mayor has hired a new fire chief, a new police chief, and has appointed a new deputy police chief.
“What’s critical is to get someone who can put a budget together,” Fiorentini said. “I can do most of it myself but I need a finance director.”