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Mayor Pat Talks Oxford's Growth, Future and More

The Vassallo Interviews — Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor who interviews Oxford’s and our region’s leading personalities.
Steve said: “Just being in the Mayor’s office gives one assurances that Oxford is the right place. Pat Patterson is Oxford’s biggest cheerleader and rightfully so! He has devoted a lifetime of energy and dedication to this city. To call him a great leader would be an understatement. We are all in good hands…here’s why.”
patHottyToddy.com – Mayor, please tell our readers a little about your background.
Mayor Pat Patterson – I am a native of Oxford. My family (the Kimmons) go back six generations. I graduated from Oxford High School and then Ole Miss. I have been in business here for many years and remain so.
HottyToddy.com – At what point in your life did you feel a calling to enter politics?
Mayor Pat Patterson – Mayor John Leslie appointed me to the Tourism Council where I served for eight years starting in the 1980s. I have also served on the Chamber and EDF boards which was the springboard for my interest or gateway into politics.
HottyToddy.com – You have a reputation as being a highly successful businessman. How has this expertise aided you in the Mayor’s office?
Mayor Pat Patterson – It definitely gives you a ‘leg up’ with a business background. Understanding financial statements, amortization schedules, etc. and growing up in a small business environment provides you with the skills and experience needed for this office.
HottyToddy.com – You must be very proud of Oxford with all of the national accolades that continue to be received. Is this making your job easier or more demanding?
Mayor Pat Patterson – More demanding, without a doubt. We want to grow and develop while maintaining the charm of Oxford. It’s this charm that makes everyone want to be here.
HottyToddy.com – The city is experiencing unprecedented growth. It does seem that everyone wants to be here. How is the city planning for this tidal wave?
Mayor Pat Patterson – We have recently brought a new planner onto our staff. In 2037, the City will be 200 years old and our new strategic plan, “Seeing Oxford at 200”, is being prepared for now. We have budgeted $160,000 for this initiative and will be issuing an RFP (Request for Proposal) within the next few months.
HottyToddy.com – Looking ahead for the remainder of this year and into 2015, are there major changes or additions to the City that will impact the residents?
Mayor Pat Patterson – We are focusing on roads and partnering with the county and university in an effort to continuously upgrade the infrastructure. Our new fire station (next to the Post Office) is near completion. The John Leslie tennis courts across from the Police Dept. are also a new addition.
HottyToddy.com – What do you believe are the primary reasons fueling the city’s growth?
Mayor Pat Patterson – This is not only unique to Oxford, but small university towns are attracting baby boomers. We offer a safe, clean, small environment that is most appealing. We have a strong partnership with both Ole Miss and Lafayette County. Not many communities can make the statement that you can walk anywhere day or night and feel safe doing so.
HottyToddy.com – Tell us about your family.
Mayor Pat Patterson – Our family roots are entrenched here after six generations. I have a brother who coaches in Senatobia and a niece in the Lafayette County School System.
HottyToddy.com – Do you have any statewide ambitions?
Mayor Pat Patterson – (LOL) Not that I’m aware.
HottyToddy.com – Has there ever been a Governor from Oxford?
Mayor Pat Patterson – Lee Russell was Governor in the 1920s and Bill Waller was from Lafayette County. (Governor Russell was elected in 1919. He introduced a bill in the Mississippi Legislature that called for abolishing the Greek system at our universities!)
HottyToddy.com – Because Oxford is one of the shining lights of Mississippi, if not the brightest, it would appear that our Mayor and the Oxford “success story” could impact the state in a very positive way. Your thoughts.
Mayor Pat Patterson – I think we definitely can and are doing so. Because of who we are, there is much more scrutiny. I try to be very careful in how I represent us.
HottyToddy.com – What is your primary goal left to be accomplished while you serve as Mayor?
Mayor Pat Patterson – Keeping up the infrastructure as we continue to grow. The roads, water, sewer, fire protection and police protection are all equally important.
HottyToddy.com – Are there cities in other states that have been role models for Oxford or has our development as a great place to live taken its own course?
Mayor Pat Patterson – That’s a hard question. However, we are looking at other cities all the time. To name a few, Athens, Ga., Fayetteville, Ark. and Ocean Springs and Brookhaven, Miss. are communities that we’ve looked at.
HottyToddy.com – Tell us about the lighter side of the Mayor. What do you enjoy most when you are not addressing the needs of the city or dealing with business issues.
Mayor Pat Patterson – I enjoy reading about business, history and theology. I like gardens and gardening. I love serving people. Note the two sayings on the wall here… “Unto whom much is given, much shall be expected” and remember “Office is service, not position.”
Talking with the Mayor is truly inspiring. I would be remiss not to include another quote he shared with me attributed to Bum Phillips….”I don’t know if Oxford is in a class by itself, but it doesn’t take long to call the roll.”
As to Oxford, it may not take long to call the roll presently, but that day is changing right before our eyes because of the leadership we are fortunate to have.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio aPhoto by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communicationsnnouncer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.
Vasallo is a certified economic and community developer and is also a realtor with Premier Properties of Oxford. Steve graduated from Ole Miss and his lifelong dream has been to live in Oxford full-time. “I am now living my dream daily as is my wife Rosie, who works with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce,” Steve said.

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