By Terri Ferguson Smith / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
The field of candidates for Ward Two City Councilman has grown to five candidates.
Kenneth Dustin Markham is seeking the office currently held by Mary Perry. Markham announced his intentions on Tuesday inside City Hall.
"I believe that Meridian’s ability to maximize its full potential relies solely on those things that make up the foundation of this city: the ability for the voices of our citizens to be heard; the need for our citizens to know that the city is working diligently in solving those large issues that are important to them such as crime and how we spend the city’s finances; if the city is adequately adhering to its financial responsibility; are we providing our citizens with the quality of life that they are so deserving of," Markham said.
Markham said he wants to encourage a collaborative effort between the Meridian Police Department, City of Meridian officials, and citizens.
"We must organize and be willing to come forward with new, progressive and fresh ideas that will allow us to decrease crime," Markham said. "Crime is a problem everywhere, but with such efforts in maintaining active communication with the police and CrimeStoppers, establishing new and improved neighborhood watch programs, and equipping our officers with the best available technology, we will make our neighborhoods safer and our futures brighter."
Markham also wants to improve youth programs.
"We must constantly challenge our children while encouraging them. We must guide them and continue to support our schools and community recreational centers. Youth development is key to city development. City development is key to our city’s success."
Decreasing crime, revitalizing the city’s youth, and recognizing the accountability to our citizen’s are three of our most important issues."
Markham said the large number of vacant houses and abandoned buildings in distressed and dangerous condition throughout the city need to be torn down.
"An expeditious removal of these vacant buildings will not only contribute to the aesthetic value of the community and city, but also open the door and welcome new builders and residents to that particular community," he said. "The city has a need for better drainage systems in some of our communities. Steady and heavy rains allow some streets to be virtually impassable with citizens left searching for alternate routes to their destination."
Garbage collection services is also in need of improvement, he said. He also pledged to modernize bill paying so citizens can pay water bills online.
An attorney, Markham is a graduate of Meridian High School, Meridian Community College, Jackson State University, and he earned his Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan in September 2010.
In addition to Perry and Markham, candidates running for Ward Two City Council are: Nathaniel L. Pringle, Jr., Martin M. Jack, and Terry L. Stennis. All are running as Democrats.