Donna Holaday, Mayor
60 Pleasant St.
Newburyport, MA 01950
For Immediate Release
Friday, Feb. 5, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Mayor Donna Holaday Delivers State of the City Address in Newburyport
NEWBURYPORT — Mayor Donna Holaday delivered Newburyport’s State of the City Address at the new Senior Community Center on Wednesday evening, highlighting accomplishments from 2015 and outlining goals and initiatives for the coming year.
Mayor Holaday opened her speech by reminding residents of the horrific winter that hit New England at the beginning of 2015. She recognized the leadership and dedication of the city’s Public Services, Police, Fire, Health, and Building Departments, along with the countless other employees who were responsible for getting the community through one of the worst storms in its history.
In addition to the opening of the new Senior Community Center earlier this year, Mayor Holaday spoke of the completion of the Richie Eaton baseball field, the soccer field at Cherry Hill, and the initial work on the track at Fuller Field as some of the city’s accomplishments from last year.
“We have many challenges, but I believe we are moving in the right direction and we have much to celebrate,” Mayor Holaday said.
As part of the efforts to maintain the city’s treasured coastline, several projects were completed last year and many more are in the works. The north and south jetty projects were finished and new docks and fishing pier were constructed at Cashman. Additionally, a new harbormaster and transient boater facility has been rebid on the Central Waterfront, with plans of breaking ground this spring.
In order to supplement the much needed parking inventory downtown and reduce parking on the waterfront, Mayor Holaday stressed the importance of constructing a garage facility. She addressed the need to find the right balance of size, cost, and impact, as the structure would be a presence in downtown Newburyport for many years.
“This is a very complex process involving federal, state, city and private interests and we recognize the importance of information,” Mayor Holaday said. “We have initiated changes to improve our outreach and communication and we will ensure this continues throughout this project.”
Construction of Phase Two of the Clipper City Rail Trail will begin early this summer and the city passed a development plan for the Route One Gateway 40R Smart Growth District, which provides for control of potential development regulation.
Arguably the most significant accomplishment of 2015, is the fact that Newburyport achieved the highest possible municipal bond rating of AAA, which will allow the city to issue debt at lower interest rates, saving money on future borrowing costs.
Some of the highest priority projects in the works are the completion of the city’s Master Plan, zoning revisions, sidewalk and street repairs, and the disposition of the Brown School.
Last year, Newburyport hosted an area chief’s meeting with Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello, who discussed his department’s ANGEL Program and the resulting Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative, which work to help police departments develop programs in their communities to assist residents struggling with addiction get the treatment they need to recover.
“We have a beautiful city, but we are not immune from the opioid and heroin epidemic that has plagued Essex County, our state and beyond,” Mayor Holaday said.
Finally, Mayor Holaday announced that a new city Facebook page and Twitter account will be released over the next few weeks in order to disseminate information and engage constituents.
“Here is my ask,” Mayor Holaday said. “Seek out the facts, participate in meetings, give a few hours of your time to volunteer for a cause you care about, and pause for a moment to reread the post or email before you hit send. Communication is powerful and can make a real difference, be authentic but be kind. “