DENNIS “DENNY” DANIELS
How long have you lived in Starkville/Oktibbeha County?
I’ve lived in Starkville for over 43 years. My family has been a part of this community since back in the 1800’s. Starkville is my home and always will be. I want nothing but the best for our community.
What qualifications and experience do you feel you possess that would benefit the office you are seeking?
I’ve spent a lifetime in service to the community. As a young boy, I was earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of American, an organization based on community service. The Boy Scouts helped teach me the importance of God, Community and selfless service to others.
I also worked by way through college as a Police Officer with the Starkville Police Department and as a Deputy with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department. My time as an Officer and a Deputy allowed me to better understand the diverse cultural makeup of our City and County and better understand the needs of the People.
I was also a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard for over 18 years, serving our City, State and Nation with deployments overseas to Bosnia and Iraq. I was medically retired from the Army after being wounded in Iraq while serving as a Platoon Leader and Company Commander. My time in the military taught me more about leadership and management of people and resources. My deployments really opened my eyes to the freedoms we have in our great country, one of which is the right to vote.
My educational background includes the Starkville Public Schools and Mississippi State University where I earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration. My studies at MSU offered a better understanding of the inner workings of local government.
By combining my background with my military retirement, I can offer my community an experienced Supervisor that will be able to work FULL TIME to meet the needs of the community!
What do you see as the most important aspects or considerations of the office you are seeking?
One of the most important aspects of being a County Supervisor is being available to those you serve and to be their voice to the Board. I feel that my flexible time will allow me to be available to anyone when they need to have their voice heard. If you call me, I’ll answer the phone. If I can’t answer the phone at the time and a message is left, I’ll return that call. If we can handle your concern over the phone, that’s great! If not, I’ll come see you and we’ll work together to help meet your concerns. That’s what a Supervisor should do, be there for the people they serve.
I also believe a Supervisor needs to also be available to meet the needs of the Community by attending local events, being available for meetings for Economic Development events, attending meetings on the State level to ensure Oktibbeha County’s needs are met on a Regional, State and National level, etc. A Supervisor needs to be able to represent our County on a moments notice.
In your view, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the Oktibbeha County/Starkville community?
Two of our strengths are our sense of Community and Mississippi State University.
Our residents are very proud of our community and are always looking for ways to make it better. Their strengths can be called upon anytime when the community is in need.
Mississippi State University is a leader in Education and Research and provides well educated graduates that are ready for the workforce. The University can be a tremendous strength when attempting to attract new business and industry.
I’m my experience, I’ve seen a weakness in our local leadership with the City, County and University not always paddling in the same direction. I would like to help better coordinate the efforts of each. I would like to see joint meetings with the Board of Supervisors, Board of Alderman and the University on a regular basis to better coordinate local efforts.
I also see our tax base as a big weakness. Oktibbeha has a assessed value of just over $300 million while our neighbor, Lowndes County, is assessed at over $1.3 Billion!!! That’s a HUGE gap in a tax base! A large part of that gap is because of Lowndes County’s vast number of industries. By attracting more industry to Oktibbeha County, we can build a better tax base and be able to afford better roads without the need for any tax increase on local residents.
What growth or improvements do you hope to see in Starkville/Oktibbeha County area in the next 5 years?
I see a tremendous opportunity for industrial development in the area. With the great work that the GTR Link is doing and the available land we have, I feel we have a great opportunity to meet some needs of our community. Oktibbeha has one of the highest unemployment rates. I believe we have a chance to attract business and industry that will fill these job needs and reduce our unemployment numbers while increasing our tax base.
Where can constituents find more information about you and your campaign?
I currently have a Facebook page for my campaign at: https://www.facebook.com/DennisDennyDaniels?fref=ts I’ll be updating it more as the election season progresses. I can also be reached via cell at 662-418-2071. If elected, I plan to have this number, along with my County cell number, available anytime.
I look forward to serving our great community!
Q&A responses not submitted
As part of our monthly Blue Ribbon Business Resources series, the Greater Starkville Development Partnership will provide our membership with an opportunity to meet and hear from local candidates during the next Power Breakfast scheduled for July 8 at 7:30 a.m. at Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville. Register your attendance for the Candidate Meet & Greet, where candidates who accepted our invitation will offer a 5-minute statement, and Partnership members and constituents will have the opportunity for informal conversations with candidates before and after the program. Doors open at 7:00am on Wednesday, July 8. Power Breakfast is free for GSDP member representatives, and non-members are welcome for a fee of $25 per person.