To the editor:
I’ve known Donna Holaday for 20-plus years. She is extremely capable, warm and hard-working. Even before being elected mayor of Newburyport, she was heavily involved in the schools, local projects and working to improve our community. Donna’s vision, tenacity and work ethic have resulted in a tremendous amount of improvements in Newburyport over the past 4 years, from improving our schools in a huge way to bringing in grants and new revenue streams.
Twenty-four years ago my son attended the Bresnahan School and later was a student at the Nock Middle School (including his last year in high school). Every time I attended a parent-teacher conference or other event, or spent time in the classroom, I cringed at the condition of both schools. Leaking roofs and other physical issues created a very unhealthful atmosphere. I wondered why Newburyport couldn’t provide better educational facilities. Mayor Holaday and Port Pride helped secure funding for a new elementary school and major renovations at the middle school. She was instrumental in securing funding to expanded technology in our schools from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). The meals tax and paid parking, which many said would never pass, has brought in over $1 million to our city for critical sidewalk and other downtown improvements. After 30-plus years of trying, Newburyport will finally have a senior community center!
As a long-time Newburyporter, I have seen mayors come and go. Most were there for just one term, some served for a few terms. But no one in the past 30 years has been able to accomplish as much as our current mayor. Her ability to successfully balance the budget without drawing on the free cash account while still making huge improvements in our schools, parks and infrastructure is amazing.
I urge you to vote for Mayor Holaday on Nov. 5 so we can build on the momentum to improve Newburyport for all of its residents.