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By NATHAN GREGORY
Former Ward 7 Alderman Janette Self qualified Wednesday to run for election as a Democrat in that same ward.
Self, who served from 2005-09, was defeated by current Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn when she ran for re-election four years ago. Vaughn has also qualified as a Democrat to run for a second term.
Self said she wants to pick up where she left off in 2009 and continue to push for infrastructure upgrades in her ward and citywide.
‚ÄúI feel that I left a job incomplete, and I feel that it‚Äôs still incomplete. I want to complete what I started when I served. For the city of Starkville and for the residents of Ward 7, we need to complete the infrastructure, the street repairs (and) the economic development,‚ÄĚ Self said. ‚Äú(Miss. Highway) 182 needs to be redeveloped and those were some of my goals. I had started some of them and I want to complete the job.‚ÄĚ
Reaching agreements and compromises with members of the board was a strength of hers that she would once again draw from if elected, she said.
‚ÄúI have a reputation of being able to build consensus and work well with others. I haven‚Äôt seen that in this present administration we have,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre so busy fighting each other (and) name-calling that to me they are neglecting the citizens. They are neglecting the work that needs to be done. I feel like Ward 7 has been left out and I want to see Ward 7 brought back to the table and the work continued ‚ÄĒ if not completed ‚ÄĒ that I started when I was in office.‚ÄĚ
Self said she was supportive of the city‚Äôs participation in the three-county consortium with Clay County and Lowndes County currently known as the Golden Triangle Regional Development Authority and said city leadership needs to be patient and open-minded in order for the group‚Äôs leaders to achieve their goals of bringing more industry to Starkville.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got to be of the mindset (that) if we‚Äôre going to invest in this we‚Äôre going to have to be ready to really go all out for it in order to attract industry (and) business ‚Ä¶ that will come in to help our tax base. We‚Äôre going to have to buy into it,‚ÄĚ she said.
Self said during her term she worked with city departments to clean up abandoned property in her ward and with colleagues to acquire Oddfellow Cemetery on Miss. Highway 182 so it could be cleaned and maintained. Other accomplishments were the rehabilitation of Reed Road and the widening of Cushman Streeet.
‚ÄúWe were able to secure that funding and complete that project, so if we can do that, there‚Äôs no limit to what we can do in Starkville,‚ÄĚ Self said.