Oxford is a thriving unique city with a small town family atmosphere
- Why am I running? After being away for nine years I returned to Oxford to make a positive impact on the town I love.
- I look forward to the opportunity to serve all Oxonians with open leadership by emphasizing true functional growth planning, increased tourism for small businesses, and bridging the broken gap between Oxford and Ole Miss.
Lack of follow through on plans that were made years ago has led to increased traffic. Businesses are moving outside of the city, while our main roads are being crowded with mutlifamily housing. Smart growth with long term planning, including a downtown parking garage and functional annexation plans, will be my first priority as Mayor.
Balancing the allure of Oxford and the preservation of the small town atmosphere can only be done through functional growth planning. The U.S. Census Bureau recently ranked Oxford as 1 of the 100 fastest growing areas in the entire nation. Every year, our population - and traffic - increase, but we lack long-term solutions to meet the challenge. Instead, more and more traffic is funneled into the same few roads which were planned well before this type of volume was envisioned.
Parking was a critical issue in the last election, and nothing has been done to resolve the problem. In fact, since that time, we have fired the friendly lady who walked the Square to monitor parking and replaced her with an expensive camera-laden vehicle…which still requires a human to drive. This has not even begun to justify its costs in ticket revenues. Is it right to spend this much to hunt out business owners, locals, and tourists who may have (or often may not have) violated a two-hour parking rule? Is this the message we want to send to our guests?
If elected Mayor, Todd will dedicate his life to working beside the Board of Aldermen and City Planners to correct these issues. These infrastructures issues continue to cause serious problems for Oxonians, and for everyone who visits or conduct business in Oxford. The Vision 2020 plan can be found on the city website, www.oxfordms.net and we encourage you to see for yourself if this taxpayer-funded plan has been implemented or if it has been avoided. A new plan which will be followed is important for our town. Start the work now, not later.
A Unified Community
Our current leadership is constantly at odds with the University. A strong relationship between the city, Ole Miss, and Lafayette County is key to responsible growth and expansion of infastructure. As Mayor, Todd will work immediately to bridge this important relationship.
"Town and gown" The last four years has been seen a total failure on the part of the City to collaborate, cooperate, and communicate with our partner in this area, Ole Miss. Healthy communication between all parties must be a priority, but it is simply lacking from our side. We will do better. It is the role of the Mayor to communicate openly and transparently with the University so everyone has a clear understanding of our mutual interests and plans. Service should be shared, and there is no reason great things cannot be accomplished when we work together.
Imagine the possibilities if the City and Ole Miss can work together! We will help not only in local infrastructure and tourism; we will excel as national leaders on local cooperation. However, to make this happen, we need a leader who is willing to lead but who is also willing to listen and to follow. There is a time for both, and I will work tirelessly to make this partnership thrive.
Balancing Oxford's Economy
Tourism is vital to the health of our local economy, but in the off season, businesses are forced to release up to half of their workforce. We have a beautiful city with much to offer year round, and as Mayor, Todd wants to balance our economy so businesses are not forced to layoff and rehire workers seasonally.
The key for a balanced economy in a seasonal town is to increase tourism throughout the year, not just on seven to ten weekends per year. This shift does not require a large number of tourists; 250-500 additional visitors will contribute significantly to our local economy. Such growth is not achieved by implementing routine festivals but by marketing Oxford on a national scale to visitors outside of our state.
The change must come in leadership. As mayor, Todd would allocate more resources to the OCVB and OCC that will help them do their job efficiently without being burdened with irrelevant tasks meted out by City Hall.
Sports entertainment subsidizes a large portion of visitors, but the University alone cannot be relied upon to be the sole provider of tourism in Oxford. Oxford's missed opportunities in this area can be resolved, but they require proper funding and zero micro-management from City Hall. Oxford's arts and literature heritage, small town atmosphere and unique personalities and restaurants can give visitors days of enjoyment. If Oxford is going to have a balanced local economy, solving occupancy woes will be key to achieving this goal.