Whether it was in the locker room or the middle of a football field, I knew that as the quarterback, the decisions I made affected the outcome of the game, the season, my career. So, I weighed all the possibilities and all the factors before making that play call. It is a huge responsibility; some calls were easier than others. But all calls were important.
I suppose there are some similarities to being the play caller and the Mayor of Ridgeland. But, I hope the mayor has had a lot fewer bruises and injuries than I! One thing I know for sure; the buck stops with the person who steps up and makes the calls, the person who accepts responsibility. Mayor Gene McGee is that person for the City of Ridgeland.
I've had the opportunity to come to Ridgeland for business and pleasure, and I continue to be impressed with the way the growth in businesses and residential areas are developed with thought and planning. One aspect of Ridgeland that I use when I'm here is the bike and running trail system. It is a very well designed system that incorporates natural settings that make it particularly enjoyable. I know that Gene is an avid biker who is legendary in his discipline and miles he clocks every year. Maybe I'll join him in some of his rides...or maybe I'll challenge him to a passing contest.
While I can't vote on May 2 to keep Gene McGee Mayor of Ridgeland, I have to believe the citizens know what a tremendous leader they have and that they value the leadership that he has shown in a 28-year career as Mayor. I certainly would vote to re-elect Gene Mayor of Ridgeland if I were eligible. As Police Chief Jimmy Houston said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Eric Dampier, a first-round draft pick in the NBA draft, enjoyed an outstanding career beginning in high school in Monticello, Mississippi. His college play at Mississippi State earned him a professional career of exceptional play on courts all over the country. When Eric retired, he could have chosen any location in the country, but he wanted to return to the state he always called home, and to a city that provided the quality of life that he wanted for his family.
Eric chose to the City of Ridgeland as the place to establish roots for his family. "In Mayor Gene McGee, I found the positive leadership that created a wonderful place for my family to thrive. And, the outstanding services and programs, which Ridgeland offers families, create an environment that provides enrichment and the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle."
"I encourage the residents of the City of Ridgeland in joining me in re-electing Gene McGee Mayor. On May 2, we can ensure that our wonderful city continues to move forward toward an even more exciting futureRidgeland is a great place to live, let's make sure it remains so for our children."
"The Home Builders Association is proud to endorse Gene McGee for reelection as Mayor of Ridgeland. Our builders find the city of Ridgeland with high standards and efficient city services provided by the mayor and his team. Mayor McGee does a great job ensuring quality developments are built in Ridgeland. We encourage our friends in Ridgeland to support Gene on May 2nd, and look forward to working with him in the next term." - Vicky Bratton, Executive Director
With elections for the City of Ridgeland approaching on May 2nd, I am writing this letter of support for my friend, former boss, and leader for our city, Mayor Gene McGee.
During the twelve years that I served as your Chief of Police, Mayor McGee served Ridgeland with grace, dignity, and honesty. Gene is a well-respected man who I saw lead by example, fortitude and hard work. He serves our citizens admirably and is effectively handling the inevitable growth in our area while maintaining the quality of life we all enjoy here.
Gene efficiently manages the taxpayer funds entrusted to him, and the city's financial position remains in superb shape, even as he provides top-notch police services, safe neighborhoods and a well-equipped and efficient police department. Cities all over this state seek guidance and look to Ridgeland for new ideas and innovative law enforcement techniques.
There are several qualities that Mayor McGee possesses that I would like to highlight for you:
1. Thanks to Mayor McGee's leadership, Ridgeland was ahead of the curve on important public safety issues like cameras for police officers. In fact, the Ridgeland Police Department installed cameras in cars in 2005-2006, long before it became a nationally important issue. These cameras recorded every action our officers had with citizens and allowed quick access to remedy complaints and disputes over police actions.
2. Mayor McGee assisted the police department in obtaining grant money that purchased a new radio system, computers in patrol cars, and the cameras.
3. Mayor McGee has never increased taxes on Ridgeland's citizens. Our growth and development as a city have come from utilizing conservative rules of leadership and living within our means.
In all he does, Mayor McGee exemplifies honesty, fairness, and thoughtfulness. There is no doubt Gene McGee is the most qualified person to be our mayor for another four years. I've always tried to follow the rule "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I urge you to follow this rule as well in this case and re-elect Mayor McGee as a mayor for all of us.
When considering the many reasons to re-elect Mayor Gene McGee, I believe that of great importance is his experience. Voters need only review the accomplishments and achievements during his tenure to realize that they result from his leadership, guidance, and experience.
Being Mayor of the City of Ridgeland is being CEO of a $60 million corporation. The complexities of successfully managing such an endeavor requires maturity, the ability to work with local, state and national leaders, and understanding of the importance of fiscal management that uniquely positions the city to qualify for grants and favorable financing.
Mayor McGee brought a business approach to the City of Ridgeland that included the creation of long-term strategic plans that are living documents that are monitored and modified to meet the changing needs of the city. They serve as blueprints on how the city plans and budgets resources to ensure a strong and viable infrastructure and timely schedules for roadway improvements and expansion. These plans are the result of Gene's experience and strategic thinking.
Not only does Mayor McGee have the vision for developing the City of Ridgeland into a well-planned, livable community, he also can accomplish that vision. His experience, as a successful businessman, alderman, and mayor, has allowed him to develop an in-depth understanding of how to take a project from concept to completion, and how to work collaboratively with all parties involved for the greater good of all residents and businesses. This is the knowledge that comes from experience.
"Mayor Gene McGee is a leader who has worked hard to grow Ridgeland into one of Mississippi's best places to live, work, and play. His vision and tireless efforts have built Ridgeland's quality of life, pro-business climate, and unique amenities.
Mayor Gene McGee's common sense, fiscally conservative approach has kept taxes low and ensured that taxpayer money is spent wisely. His conservative leadership has resulted in strong economic growth, increasing property values and keeping property taxes low for residents.
Gene McGee is a man of integrity and character, a true public servant. I've seen firsthand his commitment to Ridgeland as I have worked with him to represent Ridgeland and Madison County at the State Capitol. I'm glad we've 'got Gene.'"
Today, Madison County GOP Chairman John Taylor, State Senator Walter Michel, Madison County Chancery Clerk Ronny Lott and Ridgeland GOP leader David Dunbar released a joint statement endorsing Mayor Gene McGee for reelection.
"Gene McGee is a mayor who through his visionary plans has grown the City of Ridgeland into a model that many throughout the state and southeast have lauded. Throughout his tenure, he has been a fiscal conservative who has applied common sense business principles in planning and budgeting. He has never raised taxes on his citizens and has been relentless in ensuring that taxpayer money is spent wisely.
"His visionary planning for the City of Ridgeland has resulted in an unparalleled business development that not only increases property values but also produces tax revenues that keep property taxes low for residents. Ridgeland is truly a business- and family-friendly city in which businesses and families plant roots and grow.
"We know Gene McGee to be a man of impeccable integrity. He is a man of the highest character and a decent and honest person. The city of Ridgeland is truly blessed to have a man of these qualities who is a true public servant. It is for these and many more reasons that we support Gene McGee for re-election for Mayor of the City of Ridgeland." - John Taylor, Walter Michel, Ronny Lott, and David Dunbar
"It has been my sincere privilege to have lived and worked in the great city of Ridgeland for 20 years, and I contribute this joy of living in Ridgeland to the leadership of Mayor Gene McGee. Mayor McGee is the epitome of dedication, innovation, and above all leadership. He has always made it his priority to serve the citizens of Ridgeland with integrity and honesty; and has helped Ridgeland become a thriving city that exhibits the essence of healthy living, family, and community. I became more acquainted with Mayor McGee during my tenure on the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce board, and later as President, and he has always exhibited a warm and friendly demeanor, along with his leadership. I am proud to be a part of Mayor McGee's City and a Mayor I can call a friend.. With Mayor McGee's vision and service, Ridgeland will continue to develop and flourish while being one of the best places to call home in Mississippi, if he is re-elected as our MAYOR!!!
Mayor McGee has done an outstanding job leading our city. Under his leadership, the City of Ridgeland continues to grow and flourish. While working in the Madison County School District over the years, I have observed Mayor McGee becoming more and more invoved in our schools. He is always just a phone call away. He is a great support system for our schools. Overall, I have enjoyed living and working in the City of Ridgeland. Ridgeland, MS is a great place to live!
We have had the privilege of living in Ridgeland since 2009. Mayor Gene McGee was the mayor when we moved here and has continued to serve our community. We have seen his passion and commitment to make our city better every day. He makes it a point to be at events that support our schools, neighborhoods and city. As a teacher at Ann Smith, he shows his support for many things going on in our schools. We see him and his wife often at our high school football games and other events. He welcomes our kindergarten classes to come sing Carols in his office every Christmas. My daughter is a member of the Junior Diplomats, which is a program the mayor has set up to make it a point to prioritize high school student involvement through community service. I am extremely grateful to also feel safe in my community. Mayor McGee works with our Police Chief to ensure this. He makes it a point to be at my neighborhood Night Out Against Crime every year. He is very approachable and has made his commitment to represent our city abundantly clear. Mayor McGee is a progressive mayor and yet still honors core values. I believe under his leadership, we will see our city grow to its fullest potential.
"I am originally from another part of the metro area and have lived here for almost 10 yrs. I never imagined Ridgeland was this nice of a place to live, and we can't imagine ourselves living anywhere else now."
I am so proud of our mayor and this city. Our police have a reputation of good work. Our schools are doing a good job. Traffic is still moving. Walking, biking trails are available to all. Our future is bright.
"Mayor McGee is an excellent leader and I feel he and his wife have what is best for the residents of Ridgeland at the heart of all decisions made."
I've known Mayor McGee since the early 70's and can fully attest to his honesty and integrity. Otherwise, his service to the City of Ridgeland loudly speaks for itself.
"I am writing to endorse Gene McGee for reelection as mayor of Ridgeland. I am a physician and have lived in Ridgeland since beginning private practice in 1995. Gene has been the mayor of Ridgeland since 1989. He has always been a strong proponent of education and law enforcement. I know him personally and he is an honest and straight forward man. I know that he will continue to do everything in his power to continually improve all aspects of living in Ridgeland." - Dr. Michael Manning
"He has done a tremendous job. He has struck a perfect balance between many diverse and competing issues and objectives. The job is not easy and has never been easy, but he has worked hard and intelligently and has led the City to a very good place." - Ridgeland business owner Bobby Moorehead
Hi, my name is Sissy Lynn, and I'm the mother of two Ridgeland public school students: a seventh-grader at Olde Towne Middle and a fifth-grader at Highland Elementary. Since my son's first days at Ann Smith Elementary, I've been actively involved in Ridgeland's public schools, and I even had the privilege to be named Mississippi's Parent of the Year in 2015.
It's my honor today to tell you a little bit about Mayor McGee. Under his 27 years of leadership, the City of Ridgeland has been named Mississippi's Healthiest Hometown and a Google e-City and also has been designated as a Tree City USA and Bicycle-Friendly Community. Mayor McGee had the vision to create 15-plus miles of multiuse trails and an award-winning master plan that's admired by cities across Mississippi and outside our state, as well.
When it comes to Ridgeland public schools, we have no bigger supporter than Mayor McGee. It's only fitting that we're standing in front of Ridgeland High School, because this school is here today largely because of Mayor McGee's influence. I've heard him say many times before that opening Ridgeland High School has been one of his proudest moments. And you will find him here, during football season, every Friday night cheering on the Titans.
Over the years, I can't tell you how many times I've called or emailed Mayor McGee to ask him to attend an event at one of the schools or to speak to students, and I know that I can always count on him to be there no matter what, even if he has to rearrange his schedule.
But, to me, one of the most impressive things about Mayor McGee is the fact that he's always coming up with new ideas to enhance our schools. For example, three summers ago, Mayor McGee approached Highland about offering CYCLE Kids, a national program that uses bicycles to teach children about fitness and nutrition. With the mayor's help, we were able to secure a large grant to implement this program, which we launched last January. Highland is the first and only school in Mississippi to implement CYCLE Kids, and this amazing program would not be possible without the support of Mayor McGee and the City of Ridgeland.
Mayor McGee understands that having strong public schools translates into having a vibrant community, which in turn encourages economic development. He's created a quality of life in Ridgeland unlike that of any community in our state. I cannot think of anyone more qualified or deserving to lead our city for the next four years, and I'm excited to support him in his candidacy for re-election of mayor of Ridgeland.