Donnalee Lozeau, a third generation lifelong resident of Nashua, began her public service at the age of 24 being elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1984. She served 8 terms (16 years) as a citizen legislator representing Nashua’s Ward 5. During her sixteen years in the legislature, she became a leader on criminal justice, juvenile justice, housing, and healthcare, while also tackling key issues such as kindergarten and school funding. As Deputy Speaker of the House in 1998, Donnalee was named to New Hampshire Magazine’s list of Ten Most Powerful Women.
Donnalee Lozeau worked for many years for Southern New Hampshire Services, the Community Action Agency for Hillsborough County, as Director of Program and Community Development overseeing the development of elderly housing, expanded child care and Head Start programs, and established the Economic Opportunity Center to encourage financial self sufficiency and assist with employment opportunities.
Mayor Lozeau was first elected the 55th Mayor of Nashua in November 2007 and reelected in November 2011. Upon taking office in 2008 Mayor Lozeau launched a new initiative, “100Days/100Ways,” a campaign to celebrate her first 100 days in office and to create the opportunity for residents to become more involved in the community. Mayor Lozeau continues to encourage citizens of Nashua to be involved in the workings of government. In addition to the numerous volunteer opportunities on official boards and commissions established by ordinance, Mayor Lozeau calls on citizens to take part in problem solving and community development opportunities. Some of those groups have included the Holman Stadium Committee, the Greeley Park Amplified Use Committee, Arts Steering Committee and the Skateboard Relocation Committee.
Mayor Lozeau serves as Nashua’s chief executive. And as big city mayors all across the country work to meet the challenges of the economy, education, taxes and crime, she has worked with the Board of Aldermen, Board of Education, Board of Public Works along with other elected boards and commissions, to balance six budgets, keep property taxes in check, earned Fitch’s AAA bond rating, and helped solidify Nashua’s reputation as being one of the safest/best cities in the country.
Mayor Lozeau believes in open and accessible government. During her tenure the City of Nashua has received the highest Sunshine rating in the state for transparency on its website content. Since becoming mayor she has overseen the implementation of numerous changes allowing for more citizen input and observation. The Government and Education channels have moved to a modern, state of the art facility and stream their broadcasts which include public meetings of the Board of Aldermen, Board of Education, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment and other governing boards, live over the internet. The city has a new local access television station which has joined the Government and Education station at the Riverside Street location. Monthly financial statements and all public employee contracts and the merit plan are posted on the city’s website. Citizens can report issues such as potholes, graffiti and other matters needing attention online and follow the progress of the measures taken to address their concerns via the “Citizen Portal” feature. In addition to what is seen by the public, an initiative to replace the aged technology used by the city to track its own finances and personnel is well underway.
Mayor Lozeau has made energy efficiency a priority in her administration. She has spearheaded many initiatives within the city including the purchase of alternative fuel fleet vehicles; an audit and evaluation of city buildings, retrofitting HVAC systems and materials with new, highly efficient replacements; and collaborating with her elected colleagues and with local businesses to bring Compressed Natural Gas to Nashua for use by city vehicles and local businesses. Aside from her leading these initiatives at the local level, Mayor Lozeau serves on the New Hampshire Energy & Climate Collaborative and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s state board and its Energy Subcommittee.
In November 2010, Mayor Lozeau led negotiations with Pennichuck Corporation to a successful agreement for a stock purchase of the company and all its holdings. Mayor Lozeau inherited the eight year battle with the company and the city in eminent domain proceedings at the PUC and Supreme Court. Having never supported eminent domain as the best process for the city to acquire its water resource she put together a team to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement. With Board of Alderman review and approval the final transfer of ownership transpired on January 25, 2012.
Donnalee has recently received recognition by a number of local organizations. The mayor received the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce’s Eminence Award for Volunteer of the Year in 2004 and the United Way of Greater Nashua’s Max I. Silber Community Service Award in 2006. She was given the Nashua Senior Activity Center First Annual Donald M. Decker Community Service Award in 2010. One year later, the Salvation Army named her Citizen of the Year, while the Elks honored her with their Distinguished Citizenship Award, and then in 2012 the New Hampshire AARP recognized her for her sustained commitment, outreach and ongoing support to the Senior Community of Greater Nashua. She has been recognized nationally by the Natural Gas Vehicles for America with an Achievement Award for her efforts to bring Compressed Natural Gas fleet vehicles and a fueling station to Nashua. Recently the Nashua Telegraph included her in their 2012 Next 20 list. Rivier University conferred upon the mayor a Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters at their first commencement as a university in May 2013.
A lifelong resident of Nashua, NH, Mayor Lozeau attended public schools and Rivier College (now Rivier University), raised and educated her three children in Nashua and along with her husband of 30 years, David, owned and operated several local businesses. She serves on numerous local boards including Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Nashua Community College Advisory Board; Great American Downtown; Greater Nashua Workforce Housing Coalition; Mary’s House; and the PLUS Company. Governor Maggie Hassan has appointed her to serve on the Transportation Transition Team, and the Judicial Selection Commission.
Mayor Lozeau is honored to serve the City of Nashua and is grateful for the residents, employees and business owners that give of their time and talent to keep Nashua the wonderful place it is.