City holds farewell reception for Wiseman

 At a farewell reception for Starkville's outgoing mayor, Mayor Parker Wiseman (right) rings a custom engraved cowbell presented to him by Interim CEO of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership Heath Barrett. (Photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)
Staff Writer

A farewell reception was held for two-term Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman on Tuesday, May 23, and countless city officials, family and friends spoke about the mayor and his past eight years in office.
The event took place in the courtroom in Starkville City Hall.

Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum spoke to the crowd about improvements made over the past eight years — a crowd which was so great that all the seats were filled, and people lined the walls to attend the ceremony and commemorate the outgoing mayor. Wiseman chose not to seek re-election for a third term.

Wiseman was presented with honors and gifts, along with a proclamation from the city of Starkville, a Key to the City, a customized cowbell from the Greater Starkville Development Partnership.

“Mayor Wiseman … has made the citizens feel welcome at all times and enhanced Starkville in a very enormous way," Vice-Mayor and Ward 6 Alderman Roy A' Perkins said before presenting Wiseman with the proclamation. "Mayor Wiseman, we salute you for a job well done."

The proclamation presented to the mayor honored his service and legacy, and recognized his contributions to the citizens of Starkville.

Ward 5 Alderman Scott Maynard presented Wiseman with a Key to the City of Starkville.

"The energy that (Wiseman) propelled into this job eight years ago had not been seen in a very long time," Maynard said. "He had a vision. He had a plan and he had a team that was willing to put that plan in place and watch Starkville grow."

A list compiled for the ceremony showed accomplishments that have happened during Wiseman's time as mayor. The list said since Wiseman took office, real property values in the city have increased by 30 percent, taxable retail sales have increased by 39 percent, tourism spending has grown by 56 percent, budget surpluses have been maintained along with a growing "rainy day fund", ultra-high speed internet connectivity has become a priority and Starkville has been named the "Healthiest Hometown in Mississippi."

After the ceremony, a reception took place on the second floor of City Hall — a building which was completed during Wiseman's term as mayor. Next month the Starkville Police Department is to open, which is another facility that is credited under Wiseman's term as mayor.