It’s an important vote Nov. 3

Published 6:00 am Sunday, November 1, 2015

On Tuesday, voters in Lafayette County will vote on the possibility of three new supervisors as well as the House District 12 and Senate District 9 positions and other races. There may never have been a more important election regarding the future of Oxford and Lafayette County.

Lafayette County is the fastest-growing county in the state. It is in the top 40 nationally regarding growth. It is an important time for residents in the county to vote for the best people in Districts 1, 3 and 5. Forget the candidates’ party affiliations, vote for the individual who will best represent our county and its constituents for the next four years. Our supervisors now operate on a $45 million budget and the best candidates need to be voted into office.

The main topic of conversation at the debate earlier this week regarding our county was zoning. All of the supervisor candidates had varying views regarding zoning, but all of them realized it is something that has to be addressed.

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A special thanks to incumbent supervisor Mike Roberts and supervisor candidates Rickey Babb, Zack Carey, Kevin Frye, Dale Timothy Gordon, Brian Hyneman and David Rikard for taking the time to attend the debate.

With little room left for development in the city, the land outside the city limits within two to three miles will be the next target for developers. Most people who live in the county don’t want to be told what they can and can’t develop on their land. Only when a junkyard or some other unwelcome neighbor wants to locate next to them do they have an issue. The Lafayette County Planning Commission can only operate by the guidelines already in place and can’t deny any potential building if it meets the present codes in place.

The Oxford EAGLE, SuperTalk 93.7 and the Oxford Conference Center sponsored Wednesday night’s debate. More than 150 people attended the event to hear what the candidates had to say. There were teachers, employees of North Mississippi Regional Center, retired residents and supporters of each candidate in attendance.

EAGLE Editor Stephanie Rebman moderated the debate and forum, asking each candidate an array of questions. Candidates were cordial to each other and had a chance to showcase their platform and their concerns.

Most of the people in attendance came to see the candidates in the House District 12 and Senate District 9 races and hear information regarding Imitative 42 and 42A. Brad Mayo, Republican incumbent in House District 12, debated Democratic candidate Jay Hughes. In the Senate District 9 race, incumbent Republican Gray Tollison debated Democrat Cristen Hemmins.

Other topics discussed included PERS and increasing Medicaid benefits for state residents, but the majority of the debate centered on education and Initiatives 42 and 42A..

The goal of Initiative 42 is to fully fund public education in Mississippi. Fully funding education through the Mississippi Adequate Education Funding has only been accomplished twice in the last 11 years.

Republicans and Democrats have clouded the issues regarding the initiatives and education funding. I’m voting for Initiative 42 because I believe Mississippi needs to be in the forefront regarding education.

Yes, there are major issues covering a wide variety of subjects at hand for us locally and across the state. If you want to have a say in the future of Oxford and Lafayette County, take a few minutes out of your schedule and vote on Tuesday.

Tim Phillips is publisher of the Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at