, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 31, 2013

Unemployment, prevailing wage among Mirra's top priorities

Editor’s note: The following is one of a series of articles on some of the public officials who represent this area. In these profiles, local leaders look back on 2013, and discuss their plans for 2014.

WEST NEWBURY — State Rep. Lenny Mirra, R-West Newbury, journeyed to Beacon Hill a year ago to join what might be called an endangered species: the Republican Party in Massachusetts.

The prosperous businessman was the only GOP freshman state representative of 16; he joined a body that has 130 Democrats and 30 Republicans in the House.

Despite being part of the minority party, he recalls he was pleasantly surprised in his early weeks.

“There was very little bickering,” said Mirra during a recent interview. “Democrats were helpful, and we all work together. It’s not like what you hear about Washington; at the Statehouse, members of both parties cooperate.”

Mirra, who runs a local family-owned construction company, was assigned to the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business and the Joint Committee of Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.

“I don’t chair a committee because Democratic leaders give out those assignments,” said Mirra, who had little political experience when he ran a year ago. “But I was pleased with what I got.

“Because of my background in business and in construction, I can use my experience on matters regarding building and utilities.”

One of his activities in his freshman year has been to determine how the state can save money on construction projects, especially schools.

“We all want to pay less, but it’s complicated,” he said. “We’re studying regulations and practices that make it expensive to build anything here.”

He said that most state contracts call for a “prevailing wage.” That might be quite high in Boston but it should be less in Essex County, he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Special Features