Meet Donna

As your Mayor for the last 8 years, I have worked tirelessly to be a visionary, a leader, a manager and a community advocate. I have listened to the many voices in Newburyport following their advice to not only address the often obvious short-term challenges, but to endeavor to be bold and tackle head-on the long term needs to protect our community for the next generation.

Today, Newburyport is as vibrant as ever, brimming with pride in our history, community resources, cultural achievements and a revitalized economic standing in Massachusetts.

Today,  Newburyport is only one of twenty four communities in Massachusetts to be recognized internationally for the quality and excellence of the City’s budget process. My financial team and I implemented financial policies and a comprehensive capital improvement program. Our efforts have resulted in Newburyport’s bond rating being upgraded by Standard and Poor’s to AAA – the highest possible rating and the first time in the history of Newburyport!

Together we have made this happen.

Please join my campaign to continue to move Newburyport forward.

“Leaders often have to make difficult decisions in order to get things done. Donna Holaday has never shied away from those decisions, and she has always done so with the best interest of the people of Newburyport in mind. She tackled long-term community needs like modernizing the schools and building a new senior center. She … Continue reading Seth Moulton, U.S. Congressman for the 6th Congressional District

Seth Moulton, U.S. Congressman for the 6th Congressional District

“We all complained about trailers as classrooms at the Bresnahan, a senior center that was debated for 30 years, athletic fields that never got built, a school budget that couldn’t support languages in middle school, and a host of other problems. Donna got it done.”  

Ed Cameron, City Councilor at-large

“Donna has made our city better and better every year. She is not afraid to set off to solve the big problems without losing sight of the small ones. Having lived here 45 years, I cannot think of anyone lately who could begin to accomplish what she has in her eight year tenure. Crucial times … Continue reading Laurie Christiansen, Newburyport Resident

Laurie Christiansen, Newburyport Resident

“Mayor Holaday’s management, legal and negotiation savvy, has not only accomplished what no other leader could, but she has done it all with dignity, grace and an open-door policy.Whether young or old, new to Newburyport or a continued “lifer”, a person or a pet, it is quite obvious that Newburyport now is a better place … Continue reading Camille Garro & Dennis Lamalfa, Newburyport Residents for 5 years.

Camille Garro & Dennis Lamalfa, Newburyport Residents for 5 years.

“I support Mayor Holaday because of the intelligence, experience and incredible work ethic she brings to the job.”Working with her has been a pleasure. Again and again she has demonstrated the capacity to lead, build consensus, and compromise when necessary. The city needs her continued leadership.”

Charlie Tontar, City Councilor


Building Community Pride

New Bresnahan Pre-K-3 Elementary SchoolBres Ribbon cut

Renovated Nock/Molin SchoolsNewNock1

Long Awaited Senior Community Center

Achieving Financial Excellence

  • Negotiated a $5.5 million settlement for the faulty Plum Island Water and Sewer project
  • Secured $6.5 million in federal and state earmarks for Intermodal Transit Facility & Parking Garage
  • Established new revenue streams: Paid Parking & Meals Tax
  • Funded $6.5 million for sidewalk and road repairs
  • Increased parks budget by over 450%

Read Mayor Holaday’s Letter to the Editor on Financial Excellence here.

If you have questions about your taxes please look at this PDF:  Understanding Your City Finances and Taxes.


  • Engaging Communities Affordable Housing  YWCA, 2010
  • Designated Green Community, 2010 (with subsequent yearly grant awards)
  • Yankee Clipper Council Certificate of Recognition by Boy Scouts of America, 2011
  • Environmental Business Council of New England Award for Outstanding Environmental & Energy Accomplishments, 2012
  • Preservation Leadership Award  for the Powder House Restoration, 2012
  • Irishman of the Year Link House Inc., 2013
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts Leading By Example for Outstanding Environmental & Energy Achievements, 2014
  • Essex Heritage Award, 2014
  • Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA Growth Award, 2015
  • Certificate of Appreciation Homes for Our Troops, 2015
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield Municipal Innovation Award, 2015 {In honor of efforts made on behalf of the employee and taxpayers of the City of Newburyport to improve members’ health benefits and take steps to address rising costs through innovative practices}  
  • Distinguished Budget Presentation Award – Government Finance Officers Assoc., 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Coast Guard City, 2011, re-designated, 2017
  • Essex National Heritage Pioneer in Partnership Award in Cultural Heritage