To the editor:
I have lived in Newburyport for the past 20 years. I’ve never really been involved in local government and politics, but I’ve always kept up with the latest news through friends and the newspaper. I’m proud to say that I vote in every election and as a taxpayer, I’m very concerned about the November election. I have been very happy with Mayor Donna Holaday during the past four years. After meeting the mayor a couple of times, I know she is a hard worker and loves her job. I don’t always agree with the mayor, but I know she represents all of the residents and that’s what a mayor is supposed to do. Every year under her leadership, the city’s budget has been balanced and the city even received an award a couple of years ago for its strong fiscal management.
During Mayor Holaday’s time in office, she’s accomplished a lot of great things. There’s been an increase of over 200 percent in the Parks Department and over 600 percent in sidewalk street repair without raising our taxes. Mayor Holaday worked really hard and found creative ways to raise money for our city (meals tax and paid parking) without raising our property taxes. A new elementary school will be completed this September and our long-awaited senior/community center will follow soon thereafter. The middle school is being totally renovated as well. These three projects had almost 50 percent of their costs paid for by the state — thanks in a very large part to the mayor working hard to get this funding.
I’m a sculptor and a photographer. I joined the Newburyport Art Association during one of its low points, 20 years ago, when there were only 50 members. Today with over 800 members, it is now one of the best art galleries to visit in the area. The Cultural District, spearheaded by the mayor, will be a nice addition for the arts community.