Pride questionnaire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 17, 2009

 Pride: ‘New day’ needed

By Billy Davis
Panolian: Your campaign motto is “A New Day for a Better Tomorrow.” Why does District 2 need a “new day?”

Pride: I feel District 2 needs a “new day” because of the things that have gone on in the past – that District 2 has been continually decreasing instead of making progress.

Over the past 10 years, if the voters look at what progress has been made, you’ll see there is nothing positive in District 2 to show where the taxpayers’ money is being used. We don’t have anything. Half the town is boarded up in Crenshaw. A lot of the taxpayers are moving out of the county because of the school system. Some of them are sending their kids to Tate County, which causes Panola County to lose tax dollars. The (North Panola) school system is under conservatorship.  

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Panolian: Name an idea you have, or a plan or a proposal, to make a “better tomorrow” in District 2.

Pride: The first thing is to improve the quality of education. If we get that started, then the next thing is to work with the county to improve our healthcare here. This is a good location for a trauma center. If we can get that, it can create a lot of jobs in Panola County… I also want to improve the roads – get better roads that won’t tear up our cars while going back and forth to work.

Panolian: You mentioned improving the quality of education at North Panola, which your opponent has also mentioned. But the Board of Supervisors has no direct role in the public schools.

Pride: We don’t have a direct role, but we do have a role in the tax dollars that are appropriated for the public schools. I want to see our school system here in Panola County… to have the same national average scores at North Panola that they have at South Panola.

Panolian: Then what can you, as a supervisor, do individually to improve North Panola?

Pride: I think I can work with the leadership of the North Panola school system. I can sit down with them and help come up with a plan to make sure we have good quality people who make good business decisions that move the school system forward.  

We’ve got to have people who are interested in quality education, not just somebody serving on the board who’s just there for a name. We need people who are concerned about quality education on that end of the county.  

Panolian: Your opponent finished the November 3 election with 43 percent of the vote. Doesn’t that signal to you that District 2 is happy with the incumbent?

Pride: That doesn’t signal that to me. She’s got the same team that’s been following her and her husband for quite some time. You’ve got 3,800 voters here in District 2. She only got 614 of that 3,800. So we’ve got 3,200 who have not voiced their opinion. Only 1,300, out of 3,800, voted in the previous election.

Panolian: What message are you trying to get out to those 3,800 voters in District 2?

Pride: My message is for each one of the voters to evaluate each of us as a candidate. Look at my background of experience – of building a business, recruiting a business here, and making a successful business here in this county.

Look at how I’m already contributing to the county on a volunteer basis. I serve on the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors. I serve on the state’s Better Business Bureau Board of Directors, where we rate businesses all over the state of Mississippi on their performance. I’m working with Panola Partnership to help recruit more industries into the county. I formed a foundation, the Panola County Community Foundation, that works as a charity program to help other non-profits.  

Panolian: What separates you from your opponent?

Pride: I’ve proven that I have leadership because I have a successful business, which I’ve had for 25 years. I employ 28 people. I’m already working out here to help recruit industries into this county. I’m constantly working on different boards to help move Panola County forward.
My opponent hasn’t done anything but just fill in for 14 months. I have a track record of building and working to help Panola County grow in all aspects. If anybody checks my record, they’ll know I haven’t been sitting here. I’ve been out there working.