July 27, 2009 Rotogram


Bob Anderson, Starkville Community Theatre treasurer, updates us on our nationally recognized thespians today.


Greg Byrne, Mississippi State University’s athletics director will discuss highlights of the past year and share his plans and dreams for the university’s athletic programs.


Invocation and Pledge: Chester McKee
Attendance: There were 121 members (40 exempt, 2 honorary) present and 74 (12 exempt, 8 honorary) absent.
Guests and visitors: Members’ guests were Bob Duchaine of Krish Bhansali, and Ken Ramsey of Bobby Crosland. Guests of the Club were Paul Sims, Starkville Daily News, and Tim Pratt and Tanner Imes, Starkville Dispatch.
Makeups reported: Maridith Geuder and Amy Tuck in Aberdeen.
Condolences: President Martha expressed the Club’s concerns for members’ recent family losses: Dinah Jordan’s father, Eddie Keith’s mother, and Joe Tom Mosley’s wife, Margaret.

Proposed new member: The board has approved the classification committee’s recommendation of Kenneth Ramsey as a member with the classification of dentistry.  Bobby Crosland is his sponsor.


President Martha, encouraging us to recruit new members, reviewed the steps in proposing a candidate. If a guest is interested and a member believes he or she will be a good Rotarian, the member should sponsor the individual for membership, according to the following procedure:

  • The sponsoring member explains the requirements of club membership, including membership dues and attendance expectations. He or she then completes a membership proposal form and gives it to the club secretary, who forwards it to the chair or vice chair of the Classifications Committee. The secretary gives the prospective member a packet of information about Rotary and the local club.
  • The committee chair or vice chair determines the appropriate classification for the proposed member, determines whether the number of members in that classification would or would not be exceeded by the new member, and returns the application to the club secretary and president with a recommendation for action.
  • If the recommendation of the Classifications Committee is positive, the president calls a Board Meeting, usually after a regular Monday club meeting, to take action on the application.
  • If the board action is positive, the president or secretary notifies the club bulletin editor to publish the name and proposed classification.
  • If no written objections are received within seven days of publication, the person will be considered elected to membership upon payment of dues.
  • The president welcomes the individual to membership and notifies the person’s sponsor.
  • The new member is formally inducted at a regular meeting of the club.
  • The secretary notifies the club treasurer when the new member attends his or her first club meeting.


In his first report to the Club, Starkville’s new mayor, Parker Wiseman, called for cooperation and a new city vision.
“We have a wonderful opportunity if we can channel the excitement now present,” said the Starkville High alumnus.
Likening the city to an extended family, he noted that those who work together despite differences avoid toxic factionalism.
Inviting citizen participation he said, “If you disagree with the administration, complain, but please don’t throw down the gauntlet of division.”
Wiseman’s professional assessment was that great cities plan and execute. They must choose to be methodical, not chaotic.
One of the first tasks of the new administration is to develop a new comprehensive plan since the city is in the final year of its current 5-year plan. The mayor said that the current document had notable gaps because sections appeared to be “cut and pasted” from other cities’ plans.
A priority in city planning is the municipal  government complex. The current city hall/justice facility is an armory donated to the city in 1968 and never intended for as long-term solution. Among other challenges are the facts that  the police department operates out of 5 locations and the municipal judge must share an office.
As the Golden Triangle’s largest municipality, the city’s plans must give business prospects and developers an idea of where economic and land use trends are headed for the next 20 years.
The recent estimate of population jumped Starkville ahead of Columbus which was 20 percent larger in 1990. However, there is concern that the community’s massive college student presence will be undercounted in the 2010 census.
Noting his youth and that 4 aldermen are under the age of 30, Wiseman said, “Don’t miss the fact of the board’s varied skill set.”
On the board are a local government training specialist, an accountant, a builder, an information technology specialist, a planner, an industrial manager and a lawyer.
“Their diverse perspectives have enormous potential for the city legislative process,” said Wiseman.
The recent political season showed growing involvement of special interest groups in the city. Much of this activity is fueled by a generation of young community leaders focused on everything from non-automotive transportation to recycling to other charitable works.
“I have never seen the citizenry of this community as active and engaged as right now,” he said. “These groups are a force to be reckoned with. This is exactly the way you want to see people in the democratic process moving things along.”
In closing, President Martha presented Wiseman with his honorary Rotary membership as Starkville’s chief executive.


Echoing many Rotarians in his introduction, Dave Breaux noted that he had watched the new mayor grow up over the past two decades.  However, he had the added perspective of one of MSU grad’s professors. Wiseman’s professional credentials include:

  • Mississippi State University: BA, Political Science; Student Association president
  • University of North Carolina: Master of Public Administration; Graduate Student Body president
  • University of Mississippi: Juris Doctorate; Law School Student Body president; Moot Court board; Mississippi Law Journal office manager
  • Married UM classmate Lindsey Smith of Jackson

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