Starkville Dispatch: Lynn Spruill to Run for Mayor in Starkville in 2017
December 19, 2016
A former Starkville chief administrative officer is running for mayor in 2017.
Lynn Spruill, 64, will officially announce her candidacy at 12:15 p.m. today at Fire Station Park on East Lampkin Street. She will run as a Democrat.
The owner and general manager at Spruill Property Management emerges as the second candidate vying to succeed two-term Democrat Parker Wiseman, who announced in November he would not run for re-election. Local attorney Johnny Moore has also announced he will run, though he has not declared a party affiliation.
Qualifying for city elections begins Jan. 3.
"I certainly would not have done this if Parker had decided to run again because I've been one of his supporters," Spruill told The Dispatch. "But I have been part of some of the growth and progress in Starkville, and I want to see those things continue.
"I want to see this city be everything it can be, and I want to help with that," she later added.
If elected, Spruill would return to city government four years after her controversial departure.
In July 2013, a board of aldermen with four new members voted to remove Spruill from the CAO position, where she had served for eight years spanning the Dan Camp administration and Wiseman's first term. Wiseman vetoed the board decision, but aldermen overturned it in early August. Aldermen never offered an official reason for Spruill's firing.
Now, with six aldermen announcing their re-election bids, five of whom voted to fire Spruill, she said she welcomes the prospect of serving alongside them, working together on common goals and showing mutual respect even in their differences.
"Ever since I got fired, I didn't feel that board action was particularly transparent," Spruill said. "I have a great appreciation for government, not politics -- and I think that is an important distinction. I believe in fair and equitable government that is open and above board, and I believe we all have a responsibility, as citizens, to be engaged and know what is going on in government.
"(As far as working with the board) we all want what is best for Starkville, and I believe we can be reasonable and come together," she added. "...There may be difficulties now, but I believe we can overcome them."
A retired Delta Airlines pilot, Spruill reached the rank of captain during her 20-year commercial flying career. She served in the U.S. Navy from 1975-81, where she became the first female in the branch's history to qualify as a carrier pilot.
Spruill served as mayor of Addison, Texas, from 1988-93. Before that, she served on Addison's town council and planning and zoning commission.
She earned a law degree in 1999 from Georgia State University and is a member in good standing on both the Mississippi and Georgia bar associations. She also holds a bachelor's degree in business from Mississippi State University and a master's of public administration from Georgia State.
She serves on the Greater Starkville Development Partnership board of directors and worked for the last four years as a contributing columnist for The Dispatch. That column will be discontinued in light of her candidacy for mayor.
Her platform, she said, would center on jobs, economic development and increasing quality of life in the city. She said quality education stands at the center of her vision and specifically mentioned the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District's plan to partner with MSU for a demonstration school for grades 6-7 as a "remarkable opportunity" city leadership should work hard to facilitate.
Spruill said she also looks forward to returning to the daily grind of city operations.
"As CAO, I enjoyed working with department heads and citizens watching good things happen -- watching potholes and water line leaks get fixed and watching the trash get picked up. These things affect people's daily lives, and they're important."