January 3, 2013 10:22:02 AM
Dan Moreland, chairman of the Starkville Parks Commission Board, has qualified to run for mayor of Starkville in 2013, the Republican announced Wednesday.
Moreland, who has served on the Parks Commission as chairman for 10 years and has been a business owner for more than 40 years, said he thinks he has the political and economical wherewithal to move Starkville in the right direction.
"We are lacking in leadership and experience with this administration," Moreland said. "I think I have both of those things. I have been in business for 40 years, had a payroll up to 300 people...I feel like I can contribute to Starkville and help it reach its potential."
In a statement, Moreland said his decision to run was based largely on what he sees as a failure by the current administration to make Starkville business friendly. Over-regulation, he said, has driven businesses away, especially small businesses.
"There are too many regulations that don't make sense," he said. "Too many ordinances are outdated and just plain hurt business, but we still get a new ordinance every week it seems like. We can't grow with all these regulations."
He pointed to the recent sidewalk ordinance as an example of an ordinance that hurts business.
"You have to have a sidewalk everywhere?" Moreland asked. "There are places we need sidewalks and places we don't. I have no problem with sidewalks in places we need them, but to require a business to put a sidewalk in regardless of circumstances, that doesn't make sense at all."
Moreland added that simple building codes required by the city are unnecessarily extensive as well.
"We have construction companies that won't bid on projects in the city limits because of all of the codes," he said.
According to Moreland, Mississippi State University is a economic gold mine that the city has let flounder rather than flourish, and that a more dynamic relationship should be sought with the university.
"With the university here, we have a tremendous opportunity to grow business, big and small," Moreland said. "We can't do it with constant regulation, though. Starkville must take more advantage of the huge resource MSU is."