January 7, 2013 9:28:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Two of the seven members of the Starkville Board of Aldermen have announced that they will not seek another term in the 2013 municipal elections.
Ward 5 Aldermen Jeremiah Dumas announced his intentions Friday, relinquishing his post after one term, while two-term Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey, made his decision public in September.
In an email to The Dispatch, Dumas said representing Ward 5 was one of the most gratifying things he has ever done, but that he felt it was time to allow others to step forward.
"The complete enjoyment of family, friends and a career are calling and I hope to be able to once again show them their due attention," he said. "There have been challenges; some we have conquered, some have failed and some are still working toward implementation, but I firmly believe that our efforts have set Starkville on a trajectory that will pay dividends through time."
Dumas continues to serve as the director for Mississippi State University's Environmental Collaborative Office.
Corey also cited a desire to focus on his career as the main factor in his decision not to seek a third term. As for his time on the board, Corey said he was proud of helping pass such measures as the smoking and sidewalk ordinances, but hopes his successor continues a progressive push. The city's smoking ordinance was the first of its kind in the state.
"In the future the city should continue to work on improving its public works infrastructure, applying for grants to build a multi-use path through town, and consider annexation again," Corey said, adding that he had all intentions of staying in Starkville.
Corey is a computer support specialist for the Bagley College of Engineering at MSU.
During their tenures, both men found progressive ways to leave their mark on the city.
If a technological improvement was made during Corey's terms, he was most likely involved. Most notably, he was a major proponent of developing the technology committee, but he also lent his talents to the design and function of the city website and assisted the Starkville Electric Department with implementing an online pay portal.
Dumas's efforts were often focused on sustainability issues. In 2006, prior to being elected, Dumas helped found the Starkville Community Market. As an alderman, he has been an advocate for public transit and other environmentally friendly causes.
The city's current sidewalk ordinance was written and proposed by Dumas, and has become one of the city's most debated moves. The ordinance requires almost all property owners who are building or renovating in the city to include sidewalks, with few exceptions. Though it has met some resistance, the ordinance without question moves Starkville in a more pedestrian-friendly direction.
Both Corey and Dumas thanked their constituents for their support, and wished the best for the city. Corey said he hoped the aldermen and those new faces who run this year, will keep a focus on Starkville as a whole.
"I think many people enter public office with good intentions," Corey said. "However, it's important to be able to step back and gain a new perspective. Too often we end up with leaders who spend more time focused on their own reelection rather than doing what's best for the community at large."
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