Most of us have witnessed do-nothing politicians. I suppose the word, ‘inertia’ would be an accurate description. Hard to get moving and harder still to get rid of them.
Then, along comes a politician that is a dynamo of action – and more often than not – while history would be kind to them – they were hated while they were in office – Washington, Lincoln, Truman, Reagan, Gorbachev, etc. The more they did – the more the anger.
Well, Mayor Holaday is a doer – not a schmoozer. It’s all about getting things done. You may not agree with the thing that is getting done but so be it.
And that is why I am voting for Mayor Holaday. She’s a workaholic – while other politicians are spending more time at the gym than they do in their job; she is getting out there and working long hours. (I live across the street from her – her car pulls in most nights LATE.)
Do you wonder how we ended up with a new school building and a senior/community center? Do you wonder how Newburyport is funding this in spite of the fact Beacon Hill considers us an affluent community?
While other politicians would take a trip for a relaxing vacation after winning their first election, newly-elected Mayor Holaday took a trip alright – one to Boston and one to Washington. She went looking to make connections and to seek funding. While Meghan Kinsey is proud about the Port Pride effort – there would have been no campaign for the schools if it wasn’t for the hard work that opened the door for the state to pay 50% of the new school buildings. Can you imagine if we had to pay for all of the expenses? The tax burden would have driven many of us right out of town!
But she believes in ‘doing something’.
She made it possible to go beyond the ‘talk’ of other mayors when it came to the senior center. She made it happen.
She, outside of the limelight, has been narrowing down the garage site to Titcomb Street and working with MVRTA to help coordinate, plan and pay for it.
She took our underfunded and badly maintained parks – unified it under a real life Park Commission and multiplied the funding to make it work.
She has hired a grant writer so we can obtain millions in grants that other mayors would have no idea whom to even approach further taking the pressure off of the taxpayer. (Mayors in the past have been good at ‘shrugging the shoulders’ and saying, “nothing can be done”.)
She took over 147 trust funds that generations of Newburyporters had bequeathed to the city and created a Trust Commission to get the interest to the designated park, scholarship or city resource to whom it was originally meant to be used. (With no fanfare to her credit which is a shame.)
But she is also a daring politician.
She has risked her political future to aggressively pursue paid parking – now we have monies to fix up the Downtown and has opened the door for real sidewalk maintenance and repair and infrastructure improvements. While our local politicians now have funds to fight over – they need to realize who made it possible!
Now her ‘get things done’ has also gotten her into trouble. Hoping to take the stuck waterfront issue somewhere she has mistakenly associated herself with local industrialists with old-fashioned ideas and hearkened to a bunch of old dark siders. And her haste to “get things done” has caused her to ruffle innumerable feathers of local citizens who at least would like to know what she is up to at any given moment.
As for historic preservation, the Mayor allowed the anti-historic preservationists to intimidate her – her solution is to run a slate of candidates to replace the opposition – it may or may not work – either way she is all about ‘getting things done’. She has pushed hard to get the cultural district up and running and took our miserable local historic walking guide and turned it into the important Clipper Heritage Trail. Her Planning Director has helped in any way possible to assist local historic preservation efforts. (Unfortunately, except when it gets in her way of ‘getting things done’)
It is up to historic preservationists to persuade her that getting things done right will include heavy emphasis on heritage tourism and the protection of the historic district.
Getting the Mayor re-elected doesn’t mean our work is done – it’s just beginning!*
* It’s as difficult as keeping a nuclear reactor from going critical.