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Candidate Profiles: Oktibbeha County Supervisor District 4

candidate_profile

BART GREGORY
**WILL ATTEND Meet and Greet on July 8

How long have you lived in Starkville/Oktibbeha County?
I have lived in Oktibbeha County permanently for the past 7 years, but I’ve spent the majority of my time here for over 2 decades. I am a 1999 graduate of Mississippi State University, and I became employed by Bulldog Sports Network at Mississippi State University in 2000. I joined the staff of the Bulldog Club within Mississippi State Athletics in 2003 where I currently serve as Assistant Athletic Director for Annual Giving. Additionally, I have the privilege of broadcasting for ESPN’s SEC Network+ and the Mississippi State Radio Network.

What qualifications and experience do you feel you possess that would benefit the office you are seeking?
Through my fundraising experience for the MSU Bulldog Club, I’ve had the honor to meet many people who have an affinity to Starkville and Oktibbeha County from all over the country. I’ve visited countless college towns and observed how counties and universities co-exist in a meaningful and beneficial way for both entities. This perspective has motivated me to qualify as a candidate for public office and bridge the gap between the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors and Mississippi State University.

I have experience in the business world, and I believe that decisions at the Board table should be made with more of a business approach. I’ve spent my adult life working with the public, and I’m skilled at working in a team environment. While my constituents in District 4 are my top priority, working with the other four supervisors to create a vision and work towards that vision every day will be my goal.

What do you see as the most important aspects or considerations of the office you are seeking?
The Board of Supervisors is an extremely important governing body for our entire community – those within the city limits of Starkville and those in Oktibbeha County proper. I believe this role should be taken more seriously than 2 meetings a month. A business approach to policy, aggressively pursuing opportunities, and constantly striving for collaboration with Mississippi State University and other entities of our community will achieve much greater results than a laissez faire approach.

There are several important positions that are appointed by each District within the Board of Supervisors. These appointments shouldn’t be taken lightly and represent some of the most important decisions a supervisor can make. I plan to take these appointments seriously and identify constituents and citizens that can be change agents and leaders rather than seat fillers.

Finally, accessibility is a major aspect of the role of a member of the Board of Supervisors. Constituents sometimes have no one else to turn to other than their elected representative, and timely responses to inquiries, complaints, suggestions, or requests for assistant are paramount. I plan to promote accessibility to my constituents and make myself readily available.

In your view, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the Oktibbeha County/Starkville community?
Oktibbeha County’s greatest strength are her people. From Sturgis to Maben to Starkville and everywhere in between, Oktibbeha County is called home by a hard working, caring, and concerned population.

Mississippi State University is our community’s largest employer and economic engine. We’re so fortunate to have the flagship research institution of higher learning in the country, as well as an SEC athletic department that provides our county’s largest tourist attraction.

Oktibbeha County is located geographically in an ideal location. Being only 2 hours from many major metropolitans and just adjacent to the GTR Airport positions us to be a very attractive destination for relocating professionals and industry.

Much has been accomplished by the leaders of our community, but there’s much work to be done.

One of our County’s greatest weaknesses is our inability or unwillingness to create a vision that provides for growth but also protects our infrastructure and resources. We need to be working more closely with the City of Starkville and Mississippi State University – in the trenches – to identify our goals as a broader community, and work together to achieve them.

Our infrastructure is lacking, and I believe through proper planning, saving, and investment, we as a Board can create a roadmap to improve the basic infrastructure that our citizens utilize daily.

If elected, I intend to have a “boots on the ground” approach to representing my constituents, and aggressively pursue opportunities, rather than waiting on them to be presented.

What growth or improvements do you hope to see in Starkville/Oktibbeha County area in the next 5 years?
There is a record amount of private and public investment taking place in Starkville and Oktibbeha County. We’re well on our way to experiencing great results and returns on the growth of the community. However, we must plan for this growth. Planning doesn’t constitute barriers or difficulty in the development process if implemented well. What is does is better prepare us as a governmental entity to protect and preserve our assets, our infrastructure, and our finances as we experience this surge.

I believe that transparency in government is hugely important, so in 5 years, I hope to see a more engaged electorate attending Board of Supervisors meetings and communicating with its leaders.

Economic Development is a buzz word in many political campaigns, but to me, economic development means growing and expanding our economy, our tax base, and investment. In 5 years, I’d like to see job creation, primarily for the low-skilled worker, and an increase in industrial inventory, which will have resulted in immediate revenue to our school district.

Education is key to a thriving community, and I believe that the children of Oktibbeha County are our future – they’re our future leaders, our future workforce, and our future decision makers. In 5 years, I believe we’ll see the MSU Partnership School become a reality, and I hope that partnership between Mississippi State University and the Starkville Oktibbeha County School District will be a shining beacon of what can be achieved when communities put the future of their children first.

Where can constituents find more information about you and your campaign?
Constituents can learn more about me and my campaign at the following links:

Web: www.bartgregory.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bartgregoryforsupervisor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/vote4bart

 


 

 

DANIEL JACKSON
Q&A responses not submitted

 


 

 

BRICKLEE MILLER
** WILL ATTEND Meet & Greet on July 8

How long have you lived in Starkville/Oktibbeha County?
I have lived in Oktibbeha County for over 24 years and my husband Donnie Miller is a third-generation Oktibbeha County native.

What qualifications and experience do you feel you possess that would benefit the office you are seeking?
I have a proven track record in economic development and leadership skills having been the Director of the Mississippi Horse Park for 15 years. This multi-million dollar public facility was founded as a unique partnership between Mississippi State University, the City of Starkville and Oktibbeha County. Each year, we are successful at working toward economic development through regional cooperation.  My integral responsibilities also include budget analysis, personnel management, contract negotiations and expansion projects. I am a fiscal conservative, a firm believer in the need for accountability and transparency at all levels of our government. I have been an active member of the Oktibbeha County Republican Party for years and, along with my husband, have always taken a special interest in our county government.

What do you see as the most important aspects or considerations of the office you are seeking?
Economic Development and Infrastructure: We must continue to seek new enterprises to locate here while giving equal attention to existing business wishing to expand as we maintain and improve our infrastructure.

Education: Our county school system must attain maximum ratings, produce the highest quality students and be accountable.

Health Care and Public Safety: Oktibbeha County is a great place to work, play and raise our families because of our quality of life. We have to have leadership on the Board of Supervisors that seeks ways to improve and protect the lives of every citizen with quality health care and responsive public safety.

Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency: We must have a Board of Supervisors that demands efficiency and accountability with our tax dollars while being totally transparent in every policy and administrative decision it makes.

In your view, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the Oktibbeha County/Starkville community?
Our county is a great place to live, work, and raise a family but we cannot sit on our laurels. We must continue to develop an economic atmosphere that inspires existing businesses to expand and invites new enterprises to locate here.

What growth or improvements do you hope to see in Starkville/Oktibbeha County area in the next 5 years?
A thriving economy, an expanded tax base, a top rated school system which would all translate into a lower crime rate, lower taxes and a better quality of life for all our citizens.

Where can constituents find more information about you and your campaign?
Contact Bricklee:

E-mail: brickleemiller@gmail.com

Webpage: http://www.brickleemiller.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrickleeMillerForSupervisor

 


 

 

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.

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