This year’s election marks a major milestone for Newburyport. It is the first in which the elected mayor will serve a four-year term, twice as long as mayors have served in the past.
That makes it crucial to have a leader with a proven track record and demonstrated experience. We feel that Mayor Donna Holaday is the right candidate to manage the city during this transition to a new phase in the mayor’s tenure.
Holaday has been a capable and energetic mayor during her first two terms in office. Much has been accomplished, and the list of new projects is ambitious.
Her performance during the mayoral debate earlier this month reinforced the notion that she has a solid command of the issues facing the city, can defend her record well and presents herself as an articulate leader.
Holaday has attracted more than her fair share of detractors over her four years in office. She can be quick with a sharp rebuke, can get a little too involved in the small details, and sometimes snaps to judgments before stepping back and considering. This is where her opponents and critics have largely found fault with her.
But she is a doer. She is in constant motion, bulldozing her way to accomplishing well-defined goals. She tackled the implementing of a downtown paid parking plan, she made sure that the tax hikes to support the school and senior center projects passed, she pushed through the revamping of the sewer plant, parks improvements and more money for sidewalk repairs.
She’s also done the little things that demonstrate her personal pride in her city — for example, having Newburyport named a Coast Guard City and putting together the Clipper City historic tour that highlights Newburyport’s fascinating history to residents and visitors.