July 19, 2013 11:35:22 AM
Carl Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
Starkville's senior board member, Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins, was inducted into the Mississippi Municipal League Hall of Fame last week and honored for his 20 years of civic duty.
The self-described fiscal conservative and "voice of the people," reflected Thursday on his journey from the northern Oktibbeha County countryside where he grew up to arguing a winning case before the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Perkins was re-elected to his sixth term in May, defeating political newcomer Lerin Pruitt with almost 70 percent of the vote. May's Democratic Primary marked only the second time the long-serving alderman faced a ballot challenge. He first won election in 1993 after ousting a 16-year incumbent in a three-way race.
Aldermen chose Perkins on July 2 to serve as the city's mayor pro tempore, the second such time a board chose him to serve as Starkville's vice mayor.
"I am very thankful, appreciative, grateful and humbled for the Mississippi Municipal League bestowing me with such a prestigious honor and recognition. I give great appreciation to my family for the support given to me over the years I've served as alderman," he said. "I further thank the constituents of Ward 6 for allowing me to serve six terms as alderman. I certainly appreciate the members of the board of alderman I have worked with and the mayors who have given me their support.
"I've given my best over the years as a public servant, and I never take my job lightly. I will continue to give my best to provide the best representation for our city,.This job is not an easy one, and so I give very careful thought and consideration to all matters that come before the board so that I can make the best decision so that I can best promote the health, safety and welfare of our great city."
While he enjoys serving his Starkville constituents, Perkins has not ruled out pursuing higher office. Elections for chancery and circuit court judges are scheduled for 2014, while voters will choose justice court judges in 2015, according to the Mississippi Secretary of State's election calendar.
"I'm not going to rule it out, and I'm going to be very open: When any such election comes up, as to a qualifying time, I'm going to take a look at that," Perkins said. "Whatever position that may arise, I think I have the extensive experience, qualification, education and background to do a very thorough job for whatever position, if any, that I may decide to seek in the future. I have not decided to seek any position at this time."
A Starkville High School graduate, Perkins holds a law degree from Mississippi College and both a bachelor's and master's degree from Mississippi State University. He previously served as a staff attorney for the Mississippi House of Representatives and special assistant attorney general for the state. Perkins has practiced law for more than 25 years.
"On the day of my funeral, I want people to be able to say I gave the best of service - that's how I want to be remembered," he said.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch