May 4, 2009
Tim Pratt -
STARKVILLE -- With Starkville''s Ward 1 Alderman Sumner Davis opting not to run for re-election, five candidates have come forward to fill his seat.
Democrats Corey Bagwell, Mark Duncan and Juliette Weaver-Reese will square off Tuesday in the primary election. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Ben Carver and Independent Helen Eaves in the general election on June 2.
Mark Duncan lives on Greensboro Street and enjoys walking downtown with his wife, Bethany. It was during the couple''s walks downtown when Duncan noticed the need for improved sidewalks and infrastructure in the city.
"We discovered it''s not all that easy to get around for a lot of people," Duncan said.
So he joined the race for Ward 1 alderman and has vowed to push for better sidewalks, roads and drainage systems in the city. He also wants to see more bicycle lanes to cut down on vehicle traffic and preserve existing roads, and he wants to see public utility lines placed underground as part of an effort to beautify the city.
As part of his campaign, Duncan also says he wants to continue the downtown revitalization effort to attract more businesses. And he wants to see improvements along Highway 182, which has drawn the ire of many city residents for appearing overgrown, rundown and cluttered.
"Looking around town, I just felt like I needed to do something," Duncan said.
Duncan is a computer software engineer.
For more information on Duncan''s platform, visit http://duncanforstarkville.com
Juliette Weaver-Reese was born and raised in Starkville, lived in New Orleans for 20 years, but came back to the Golden Triangle after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. Now, she''s trying to give back to her hometown.
She wants to focus on creating safer neighborhoods and getting community members to work together. If homeowner''s associations work together and make each other aware of issues in the community, residents would be safer and more informed, she said.
Additionally, Weaver-Reese says she would focus on infrastructure improvements in the city, especially the drainage and flooding problems which plague Ward 1.
"I would love the opportunity to serve as alderman for Ward 1," Weaver-Reese said. "I have a heart for the job. I''m not looking for any recognition or fame. I just want to do what''s best for Ward 1."
Weaver-Reese owns Reese''s Rehabilitation Co. in Starkville.
For more information on Weaver-Reese, visit www.julietteforalderman.blogspot.com.
Repeated attempts to reach Bagwell were unsuccessful.