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April 25, 2014

Mayor appoints Eckholdt to the NRA

NEWBURYPORT — Mayor Donna Holaday has appointed Leslie Eckholdt to serve as a member of the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, subject to the approval of the City Council.

Holaday sent the appointment request to the council, which meets Monday.

The five-seat NRA currently has only two members, and it has been unable to meet because it lacks a quorum. A meeting scheduled for Wednesday of this week was canceled.

Eckholdt ran for City Council from Ward 3 last fall, losing to incumbent Robert Cronin.

In a recent letter to Mayor Donna Holaday expressing her interest in serving on the NRA, Eckholdt wrote, “When I ran for council, I heard an overwhelming number of voters express their desire to see the NRA property become a public park with unencumbered views of the waterfront.

“Voters want to see this property transferred to public ownership from the NRA. Voters may accept a visitors’ center and public bathrooms if they do not interfere with important sight lines and views.

“I agree with these goals and would like to accomplish them.”

Eckholdt is retired from the financial services industry, which included tenures with Metropolitan and Colonial Life insurance companies

She is a graduate of Brown University and earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota

The nomination of Eckholdt, whose term would be for five years, to the NRA is the first Holaday has made since the panel lost three members in recent weeks.

James Shanley and Patty Dorfman resigned and John Morris stated that he did not want to serve another term.

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