It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your mayor for the past two terms. It has been a very productive two terms with major and long-overdue capital projects in process. These successes require building community support and relationships.
As mayor, a critical role is to serve as the ambassador for our city with our federal and state legislatures and our public safety leaders. These partnerships are developed over time and with consistency in leadership, ensuring Newburyport receives our share of available funding and resources. Through these partnerships, we have generated over $50 million helping eased the financial burden of much needed projects — schools, senior/community center, jetty repair, bulkhead repair, roundabout and sustainability projects.
Our financial status is strong. With a solid AA bond rating, we have managed the new debt of our capital projects, negotiated better union contracts for our long-term financial future and balanced our operating budget without reserves for the past two years. We also created two new revenue streams through paid parking and the meals tax, giving us the resources to address our downtown infrastructure and rebuild sidewalks.
The waterfront is one of the greatest challenges, but we are finally actively working on concepts and funding with more of the community becoming engaged in this important decision on the NRA property. I am confident that we will find common ground, build the beautiful park that everyone agrees is long overdue, and finally connect our vibrant historic downtown to the waterfront.
I am so grateful to all of the volunteers who devote hours serving on boards, commissions and committees and have helped advance many initiatives in our city. It has also been wonderful to see the notable increase in volunteerism and community engagement.
Newburyport’s future depends on all of us — elected officials, city staff, board and commission members, volunteers and committed individuals — working together to create a vibrant and engaged community. We have accomplished much over the past four years. I look forward to completing the work we started and to build on our successes for another four years.
Years in Newburyport: 30
Family: Married to Joe Holaday for 29 years; sons Jared, 29, PJ, 25
Education: Master of Science, Boston University (1979), Master of Education, University of New Hampshire (1984) and Juris Doctor, Massachusetts School of Law (2002)
Current employment: Mayor of Newburyport
Past employment: Director of Grants, Middlesex Community College; adjunct faculty, Middlesex Community College, Northern Essex Community College and North Shore Community College; director of Residential Services, Turning Point Inc.; service coordinator, state Department of Developmental Services; speech and language pathologist, consultant in school, hospital, institutions and nonprofits
Political/public service experience: Newburyport city councilor at-large (2 terms), chair of Budget & Finance Committee, member of Public Safety, Joint Education and General Government Committees; State Democratic Committee; co-founder of Beacon Coalition; Greater Newburyport Community Council through Anna Jaques Hospital to support eHealth Collaborative; Resident Advisory Council of the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry; volunteer for numerous fundraisers to support local nonprofits including Opportunity Works, Friends of Peace Wet Paint Auction, Turning Point, Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, Newburyport Education Foundation, Girls Inc., Clothes for Hope and more
Top 3 priorities:
1 — On-time, on-budget completion of capital projects: Bresnahan and Nock/Molin school projects, water plant and wastewater treatment facilities, senior/community center, waterfront bulkhead project and roundabout; continue to add to the current 600 percent funding increase for sidewalk repairs
2 — Maintain city’s fiscal stability and accountability
3 — Find common ground across the diverse and passionate opinions and interests regarding the central waterfront that will result in the expansion of a magnificent park funded through limited development to connect our vibrant downtown to the waterfront.