Meridian Star

Local News

May 5, 2013

What the candidates for Mayor have to say...



    Office seeking: Mayor of Meridian

    Party: Democrat

    Name: Percy Bland III

    Occupation: State Farm Agent

    Education: B.S. Chemistry, Xavier University of Louisiana; Masters of Public Health, University of Southern Mississippi.

    A little about myself: My wife Deidre and I are the proud parents of two great kids who attend MPSD. I am a State Farm Agent here in Meridian and I enjoy competing in all sports and spending time with my family.

    Why I am seeking office: I am seeking office because the citizens of Meridian deserve new leadership in the mayor’s office to resolve issues on crime, conflicts of interest, and equal opportunity to city contracts. We need a Mayor that understands that Meridian's people are our greatest resource.

    The position of mayor is not ceremonial. The mayor takes an active role and is the CEO of the city. In the past four years the city of Meridian has been plagued with problems in leadership: three police chiefs, two CAO's, unemployment nearing 15 percent, a staggering crime rate, and countless abandoned houses left standing.

    We have lost our public transit system, the Threefoot Building revitalization, and a number of city employees and businesses. I know with new leadership we can head down a new path. A path of truth and integrity focused on revitalization, innovation, and growth.

    Everything we need including our highways, airport runways, railroads, and labor force are in place. The key to success is our ability to unlock the full potential of these resources and make Meridian truly a premier city.

    The people, atmosphere, and economic possibilities of this city are why I wanted to raise my children in Meridian. As a small business owner myself, I understand the challenges facing small business, and I know what it takes to become efficient and achieve success through people.

    Only those cities with unity and the strongest, most efficient basic services such as public safety, public works, public schools, and quality recreation will realize economic growth, lower rates in crime, and better services offered to taxpayer

    The most pressing issue facing Meridian and what I will do to address it: The most pressing issue in Meridian is our crime rate. I plan to reduce crime by giving our police the tools and manpower needed to provide all of Meridian's citizens with adequate protection. We will focus on true community policing by implementing citizen outreach, case follow up, and public safety town hall meetings, while ensuring that the funds available for public safety are better allocated and expended. We will fight the crime epidemic together and restore the community's trust that has been lost after so many robberies, break ins, and shootings that have taken place on our city streets.

    Why I feel I am most qualified to fill this position: I have a plan to ensure safer streets, better schools and a stronger economy. My experience in business and public service have taught me that government can do more, from seniors to students, families to jobs to public safety. I’ve spent my career bringing people together and I’ll work to unify our city. I will ensure that the Office of Mayor is run with transparency, integrity, and our city services reach the taxpayers.

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