, Newburyport, MA

September 13, 2013

Why I'm voting for Sullivan

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Say what you do. Do what you say.

Twenty-two years on Buck Street and I’m still waiting for a new sidewalk. Every time a candidate knocks on my door for their vote, I say I’ll vote for them if they fix our sidewalks. I’ve been in other communities, without the historic allure of the Port City, and they have updated walkways. We have historic legacy and a gorgeous waterfront, but our kids can’t walk to school. The point is this: There have been seven promises made at my door, it’s seven mayors later, and nothing has been done. Let’s get real here. Let’s work on our foundation.

Dick Sullivan Jr. brings rare experience to the role of mayor of Newburyport. He was born and raised here. With a family record that includes three generations of public service, Dick Sullivan Jr. has a rare education you can’t get anywhere else. His grandfather was City Marshal James E. Sullivan. His father, Richard E. Sullivan, was mayor of Newburyport from 1978 to 1986 and a three-term city councilor. Growing up, Dick Jr., was raised in a home where public service was a given and dinner discussions were very often in regard to the operations of the city. In 1972, the family even worked nights and weekends together on the historic preservation of the Inn Street Mall. There were visits to the Sullivan family Congress Street home by then-Sens. Kennedy and Kerry.

Dick Sullivan Jr. knows how to make things happen. He knows the people of Newburyport, the streets we live on and the coffee shops we visit — whether Dunkin’s at Richdale or Starbucks, Café di Siena or State Street Mobil. He’s the people’s person. With two daughters through Newburyport High and multiple nieces and nephews, Sullivan attends more school events and meetings than you can possibly imagine. At 57, Dick Sullivan is a lifelong resident of Newburyport. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a Newburyport firefighter for 32 years. He served four years on the School Committee and two years on City Council. His top issues and priorities are good for the City:

Keep the waterfront open — and he means Open. No buildings other than a decent visitor’s center with nice bathrooms. NRA lots for future expansion of the waterfront park. After 20-plus years of budget cuts in the schools, improve educational opportunities for our children. Deal with issues of streets and sidewalks and provide better public services.

Who is Dick Sullivan Jr. running against? Himself. Who is he running for? The city of Newburyport and all the people who live here — from Yeats to Yuppies. Dick Sullivan Jr. has my vote because I don’t have to ask him about sidewalks. It’s already on his list of priorities.

Jeanne Wallace