New Year's Resolutions: Ward 5 Alderman Patrick Miller

By: 
LOGAN KIRKLAND
Staff Writer

The Starkville Daily News will sit down with each member of the Starkville Board of Aldermen, discussing previous and future accomplishments for the city as the new year begins. Our series began with Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver, and will end with Mayor Lynn Spruill.

MOST PLEASED WITH THIS PAST YEAR

Ward 5 Alderman Patrick Miller said this past year, he has enjoyed the Board of Alderman’s work sessions. The work sessions were implemented by Mayor Lynn Spruill to allow a more relaxed forum for discussion.

Miller said these meetings have provided an opportunity for the board to become more transparent with the public and provide the board with a less formal environment to discuss topics with department heads, go over the agenda and to receive presentations.

“I think (the work sessions) have been very beneficial for what we’ve been trying to do,” Miller said. “That’s something I’ve been very impressed with.”

In terms of what the board has accomplished, Miller said approving the changes to the city’s alcohol ordinance was vital for the long term growth and economic development of the city.

“I think in years to come, because of that ordinance, restaurants are going to be more able to come in, you’re going to see a much more engaging downtown,” Miller said.

GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR

For the new year, Miller said he would like to continue hosting town hall meetings for his ward. Last year Miller held one and received feedback on how to better serve residents.

Miller said he would like to meet with different neighborhoods and residents to help address what the issues are, and what are some items he could bring to the table.

“What are maybe some things I don’t see every day that I might be missing,” Miller said. “I look forward to having more of those this year periodically.”

As the capital improvement plan begins to take shape, Miller said it will be beneficial to many areas in his ward, specifically for infrastructure.

In relation to infrastructure needs, Miller said he would like to connect neighborhoods, whose sidewalks are not connecting to the Main Street area to make it more walkable.

“I’ve got several projects in the works to try and accommodate walkability and really connecting our downtown with our citizens,” Miller said.

Another goal Miller said he will be looking to achieve is to maintain proper city services and making sure the board shares a great working relationship with all of the city’s department heads.

He said these relationships “create a sense of place” by providing good infrastructure and city services.

“We talk about a lot of big things, these big concepts of things we are going to do in the city,” Miller said. “But we’ve got to make sure we get the little things right too.”

BIGGEST ISSUE FOR 2018

Going into 2018, Miller said one of the biggest issues the city will be faced with is the rewrite of the city code.

He said at the next board meeting, Community Development Director for the city of Starkville Buddy Sanders, should be providing a presentation to show what changes would be made and what could be accomplished if rewritten.

“I by no means want it to be year four and we are still talking about a code rewrite,” Miller said. “That’s something I want to see implemented.”

Miller said it is obvious Starkville is growing and will continue to grow, and the code rewrite will be able to define which way the city will move.

“We’ve just got to manage the way that it grows,” Miller said. “That code rewrite is going to help us manage the way that the city of Starkville grows.”

Miller said hopefully this year, the board will implement an architectural review commission, which would help determine the way Starkville will grow.

He said this could mean bringing in a third party to review what route would be best for the city in terms of ordinances and development.

Throughout this year, Miller said residents can expect more discussion among the board about the possibility of a mix-use agreement between the city and the Starkville-Oktibbeha County Consolidated School District to provide use of its recreational facilities.

“I think a mix-use agreement with the school district and being able to work with them with facilities would be very beneficial both for the city and the school district,” Miller said.

PERSONAL RESOLUTION

For Miller’s personal New Year’s resolution, he said he would like to shed a couple of pounds by eating healthier and getting a gym membership.

Tomorrow the Starkville Daily News will take a look at Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Alderman Roy A’. Perkins’ New Year’s resolutions.

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