, Newburyport, MA

October 10, 2013

The importance of this election

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Let me start out by saying, as a longtime resident of Newburyport, I am voting for Donna Holaday for mayor! This election is very important and she is the candidate who has proven she is up to the task. Here is some of what I hear from city voters about how she does the demanding job of mayor of Newburyport:

“She has done an outstanding job as mayor; is committed to the city while being easy to approach.” “The city has a history of good mayor/bad mayor/good mayor — 4 years is a long time to have a bad mayor.” “She has tackled the big problems and projects of the city which is well run now — Newburyport’s finances are in good shape.” “Donna has her eye on many balls and knows where they all are.” “You can’t beat brains; she is very smart with an unmatched work ethic.” “She advocates successfully at the Statehouse for Newburyport”. “She works 24/7 on behalf of the residents of Newburyport. Continuity of leadership is very important.” I could go on, but you get the gist. The details are spelled out on her “” website under the “About Donna” tab. Check it out; it will blow you away.

Running for mayor is easy; doing the job is a whole different proposition. And this election is becoming a one-issue election.

In 1972 I owned a waterfront restaurant in Newburyport and the NRA property was an issue then, as it remains today. Dozens of buildings were taken by eminent domain and demolished in the 1960s with the plan to rehabilitate the historic district and redevelop the waterfront; since then every single proposal for development of the Water/Merrimac Street section of the NRA land has been met with “NO! NO! NO!” Isn’t 40 years long enough to fight change, keeping in mind the 4.2-acre parcel comprises .006525 square miles of our 10.6-square-mile city? Now that the NRA has completed the test borings on the land, a real conversation should begin and be inclusive of all stakeholders — the time has come for compromise for the good of the city. “NO! NO! NO!” is not a conversation and it is never was. The pattern for 40-plus years, over and over, has been proposal/lawsuit/proposal/lawsuit. Enough!

Donna’s true position is very clearly spelled out on her website mentioned above, under the tab “About Donna – Waterfront.” Educate yourself and make up your own mind rather than being swayed by illegal mailings and robocalls. Let’s find a way to balance access to the river, beauty and financial viability and re-elect a mayor who cares about our waterfront and is also watchful of our entire city.

Laurie F. Christiansen