If you remember four years ago, former Mayor Richard Howorth elected not to go for another term as Mayor, so the position was up for grabs. Former Alderman 1 Pat Patterson ran for Mayor against E.K. "Ken" McCullough.
This also was the first time I was able to vote and help choose who would lead the City of Oxford - not one but two people as since I live in Ward 1, I also had to pick who would be the new Ward 1 leader as well since Patterson was leaving his post to run for Mayor. The "at-large" position was also being challenged as well which is a city-wide Ward leader that would otherwise not run in Wards 1-6 around town.
But the focus was on the Mayor election. McCullough ran a number of attack ads against Patterson making the false claims (and they are proven false) that he would raise taxes if Patterson was elected - which has NOT been done in the last four years which many would argue was the toughest four year stretch the United States has seen since the Great Depression.
What happened after those false ads? Patterson won by a ratio of 5:2 (5 votes for Patterson for every 2 votes for McCullough) along the voting lines. While this is a Republican voting County nationally - Patterson is a Democrat and McCullough a Republican - City-wide elections tend to go with experience and the know-how to do things in this city. That is what the citizens voted for four years ago.
Now to today. Todd Wade, going on the Independant ticket, is a former Ole Miss football player and played in the NFL for a short time. I have heard nothing but negative talk during his campaign especially the last mail-ad he just sent throughout the city of Oxford. In it, he pointed out that the City Budget (or "spending") has increased by more than doubled since 2001. Why yes, of course it will rise, things cost more than it did in 2001. Not only that but the population at the time was roughly 10,000 and Wal-Mart was near where Malco Studios is today. Today in 2013, the population is around 20,000 - DOUBLED what it was back in 2001. It helped that certain areas were annexed into the city in the last 12 years helping that population number grow.
This also gave the impression that taxes were raised to reach that budget - also false, because with more taxpayers - you know, paying taxes - in the city, it allows for more revenue. The only taxes I've seen raised on me in the 20 years I've lived here is the Food & Hotel 2% tax the city puts on that most cities in the nation has implemented.
What really got me about the mail-ad was that the reason the new Oxford High School was not going to get the Performing Arts Center was because Mayor Patterson did not have enough city money for it. LINKING that to the Mayor is amusing at best.
The reason OHS is not going to receive a performing arts center is none of the City of Oxford's Board of Alderman or any of the Mayor's doing. Oxford High School is getting a new high school courtesy of a $30 Million Dollar Bond that was brought up by the OXFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD and led by a Superintendent that is now dead just months after the Bond passed by the citizens that reside in the Oxford School District - NOT any Alderman or the Mayor. The City of Oxford on all accounts didn't do anything about it (and are not supposed to, as the Oxford School District has its own government system). Months later after that, OSD figured out that $30 Million was not going to be enough for everything they wanted just for the new High School so that is how the Performing Arts Center is not going to be built but hopefully later on down the line.
Wade during his entire time campaigning has not listed one accomplishment or government experience that would indicate to me that he is qualified for the job of running the City of Oxford. His lying about the two facts listed above only makes me not want to vote a person into office that lies about facts in this city or anything within this city in attempt to reach the office space.
When it comes to facts about Oxford High School, it mainly relates to sports, but as that Bond issue had some relevance to sport facilities and when they will come to the new OHS and the fact I graduated from OHS in 2007, I have read just about everything there was with that Bond issue - before and after it was passed. That included the Theater program taking a hit when the cost was more than expected.
Based on what I've seen on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media outlet, Mayor Patterson will get another 4-year term by a LANDSLIDE. If this is remotely close, I'll be surprised because nearly every person that works with OHS and the majority of my friends on Facebook are with Patterson. Patterson has the experience, the fiscal future, and the mind to lead Oxford another four years. I and many others will not stand it if a proven liar becomes our next Mayor. That will distance the relationship the citizens of Oxford has with this town. I certainly won't help the cause - and a fair warning, I attend City Hall meetings, I'm one of the 5 that regularly do - and I'm filming it for the town to watch.