By NATHAN GREGORY
Mississippi State University landscape architecture associate professor Jason Walker qualified Thursday to run as a Democrat for Ward 4â€™s alderman seat in this yearâ€™s municipal election.
Walker is a member of the Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission. He is the first candidate to qualify for the Ward 4 seat.
Current Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey announced in September that he will not seek a third term.
Walker, who has taught at MSU for seven years, has also served on the universityâ€™s environmental collaborative committee and campus planning committee. His service projects include a teaching and learning garden for Sudduth Elementary School, a green infrastructure plan for Starkville termed â€śStarkville 2028: Green Infrastructure and the Build Environment,â€ť a downtown revitalization plan for Lexington and a park design for Louisville.
Walker said he is seeking election because Starkville is â€śa special place for my family and me to live.â€ť
â€śAs â€¦ alderman, I understand that serving the citizens of Starkville is a public trust and I promise to always be a good steward of â€¦ hard-earned tax dollars,â€ť he said. â€śI look forward to meeting with the individuals and families of Ward 4 to hear â€¦ concerns. Working together, we can bring a common sense approach for governing to City Hall that strengthens our neighborhoods to make Starkville the best town in Mississippi.â€ť
Walker said his objectives if elected would be to keep taxes low by fostering local economic growth; protecting and enhancing homeowner property values; ensuring strong oversight of city regulations; making city government transparent; ensuring safe schools, streets, parks and public spaces; and prioritizing long-term capital improvement projects that ensure infrastructure needs are planned and paid for in a fiscally responsible manner.
Walker is married to the former Naomi Burton of Decatur. They have two sons, 8-year-old Kellen and 5-year-old Lucian.