| By Jason C. Mattox
When Sardis residents go to the polls during the June 7 general election, they could choose a former mayor to again lead the town.
Ernest L. "Lit" Scruggs, who defeated Jerry Rogers for the Mayor’s office in 1997, will again run as an independent in the upcoming election where he will face Democrat and two-term Ward Four Alderman Alvis L. "Rusty" Dye for the city’s top office.
Scruggs failed to win re-election in 2001 against Richard Darby who is not seeking another term in office.
The former mayor is a graduate of Sardis High School, Northwest Mississippi Community College and Mississippi State University. In addition to traditional education, Scruggs received training in the Basic and Advanced Armor School and the National Defense University while serving in the United States Army.
His professional career includes 42 years of military service, horticulturist for Ballentine Farms, owner of Scruggs Gulf Service Station, owner of ELS Fruit and Vegetable Farm and teacher for seven years at North Panola High School.
"I feel like my professional experience and education make me the best choice for the people of Sardis," he said. "I have been getting a great response from people during my campaign."
During his term as mayor, the City of Sardis purchased a new garbage truck, a new dump truck and a new fire truck. He also credits his administration with the paving of roads through Rose Hill Cemetery and beginning the dredging phase of the Sardis Lake Marina Project.
"In my first term of office, we got plans together for the new city shop that is now in operation," he said. "Myself and the board of aldermen also worked hard to secure part of the funds used in the library expansion."
Scruggs said one of the biggest goals of his second stint as mayor will be restoring a sense of community pride.
"I feel like we had a cleaner town and people really took pride in the way the town looked," he said. "I want to see that pride returned to the people of Sardis."
One way the candidate plans to do that is by restoring the community-wide clean-up days.
"We waged war on litter in the past," he said. "If I am re-elected, that war will begin again.
"Our residents used to turn out in droves for the community clean-up days, and I think they will do so again," Scruggs added.
The former mayor says his other goals include:
||continuing improvements to Rose Hill Cemetery;
||replacing the city’s antiquated water lines;
||seeking funds needed for street repairs;
||promoting industry and encouraging new businesses to locate to Sardis; and
||continuation of the Sardis Lake Marina Project to ensure that it becomes one of the top tourist destinations in the state.
"There are a lot of things that need to be done," Scruggs said. "But I am more than ready to get in there and go to work."