May 4, 2013 9:20:43 PM
I am pleased to write a letter of support for Parker Wiseman for mayor in Tuesday's Democratic primary. Under his leadership our city has overcome challenges that have plagued us for decades and is starting to thrive like I have never seen it before.
I admire his determination to bring the city, county, university, and business community together. Four years ago he promised that if we could ever all start pushing together to make this community better, great things would happen. He was right. Thanks to the new culture of collaboration he built, Starkville is going to have mass transit next fall and we are well on our way to having a first-class hotel conference center in our community.
With his team approach, everyone wins. Over the last four years more than 100 new small businesses have opened, sales tax revenue in the city is up over 9%, and tourism spending is up over 30%.
The best is yet to come. Parker's leadership was instrumental in uniting the Golden Triangle region in a first of its kind regional economic development partnership. I have no doubt that the large scale industrial and retail opportunities coming to Starkville through the Golden Triangle Link are like nothing we have ever seen before.
Parker's skills as a manager are readily apparent as well. When he took office the city's reserve funds were so depleted that the city had a negative outlook on its credit rating. The city's reserve funds have more than doubled under his watch, and Starkville has the lowest city tax rate of any city in Mississippi with more than 15,000 people.
We are lucky to have a leader like Parker Wiseman at the helm, and I plan on doing my part to make sure he has four more years to continue to move Starkville forward.