, Newburyport, MA

Port in Progress

September 9, 2007

Synergy brought mayor, NRA head together

Writing a profile of Jack Bradshaw, the man who ran the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority during its busiest years, is impossible without looking at the impact Byron Matthews made on his life and work.

The men met in Matthews' family grocery store when Bradshaw first fulfilled his dream of making Newburyport his family home after college, a stint in the service and marriage.

The men meshed and when Matthews first ran for mayor in 1967, he tapped Bradshaw to help with the campaign. When he won, he picked Bradshaw for the short-lived, five-month job as his administrative assistant.

But when Matthews started to pick his people to place on the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, Ed Dodge got the first appointment in 1968 and Bradshaw was next in 1969. Matthews would later bring Bradshaw to work with him in state government after the late Gov. Edward King appointed Matthews as secretary of communities and development in 1979.

"I saw that he was a young guy who showed a real interest in the city," Matthews said. "He was a natural. We saw eye to eye on many things. He was a doer. He was goal-oriented and focused on getting things done. He's a team player."

"Jack learned from the Byron Matthews school of public service about the public process," said Dick Passeri, an NRA assistant director who worked for Bradshaw. "Byron's way was you kept on it, you kept on it, you kept on it. You weren't going to get the whole pear in one bite, but you just kept going until you got everything you needed. Byron and Jack had synergy."

Bradshaw said his tour of duty with the military taught him to be goal-oriented: "If the commanding officer gave me something to do, I knew I didn't want him to come back and find it hadn't been done. I saw men demoted and promoted on the basis of getting things accomplished."

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