But Holaday supporters note that this was state money that paid for the project, and eventually it will be a useful improvement.
Sullivan, 56, a retired Newburyport firefighter now finishing his first term as a city councilor, ran on a platform calling for more openness in City Hall and for a closer watch on rising tax bills.
Another key issue in the race was the fate of the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority’s waterfront property. Many candidates running in this election identified it as an important litmus test with voters, the majority of whom appeared to oppose the NRA’s plans to build commercial/residential buildings on a portion of its land and create an expanded park on the rest.
Sullivan campaigned against any commercial development on the central waterfront land, and said if the NRA board did not comply he would disband it. Holaday’s position on the NRA plan was to lessen the size of the development by getting rid of the residential condos and underground parking.
Sullivan also urged more openness in local government and called for the mayor to provide details about the troubled water system on Plum Island. City officials acknowledge there is a problem there, but they say they want to keep details confidential in case the project results in litigation.
Sullivan also called for more attention to sidewalks and streets, and stated that the $440,000 recently spent to update the Green Street parking lot could have been better spent on local walkways and roads.
Sullivan, who had served on the School Committee a decade ago, called for improvements in the schools including the reintroduction of foreign language.
Holaday showed strength in Ward 2, where she resides. The vote was 597-353; in the preliminary election in September, she had actually lost that ward by a significant margin to then-challenger Greg Earls.