Outstanding Public Official Interview with Mayor Vernon Jackson

Mayor Vernon Jackson

The Center for Government and Community Development works closely with many public officials throughout the state of Mississippi. From Coldwater, MS, Vernon Jackson is one of those public officials. Mr. Jackson is the Mayor of Coldwater and is one of the exceptional colleagues we have the pleasure of working with. We interviewed Mr. Jackson to highlight his success within his municipality. As mayor, he serves as the head of the city and represents the government and community as a whole. Mr. Jackson is an outstanding public official in the state of Mississippi.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be Mayor of Coldwater, MS?

Jackson: I attended public school in Coldwater, Mississippi and Waterloo, Iowa. I attended Northwest Junior College, Delta State University, and the University of Mississippi, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree, Master of Education, and Specialist Degree in Educational Administration.  I am married and have four children and five grand-children. I am an Army Vietnam Veteran, serving in the military July 1966-July 1968.  I decided to seek the office of the Mayor in 2013 because I wanted to continue my service to the Town of Coldwater.

Q: What does a normal day usually entail (in respect to your duties as Mayor)?

Jackson: My day normally entails communicating with each department head, responding to and returning calls from citizens, government agencies, and corresponding with contracted entities who provide services for the Town.

Q: What is your favorite part about being Mayor?

Jackson: My favorite part about being Mayor is meeting and interacting with people and developing new relationships, thereby, enhancing a more positive community spirit in the Town.

Q: What advice would you give other local government officials in the state of Mississippi?

Jackson: I would advise other government officials to always strive to be the best servant-leaders that they can be, give more to the job than what they hope to receive from the job, and lead by example.

Q: Other than serving as Mayor, in what other ways do you serve your community or state?

Jackson: I am serving in my church on the finance committee, deacon ministry, building committee, and cemetery committee.  I am a member of the Coldwater Optimist Club, Tate County Economic Foundation, and champion for Arkabutla Lake Field Office, Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District.

Q: When did you first become aware of the Center for Government and Community Development?

Jackson: I became aware of the Center for Government and Community Development after attending the Mississippi Municipal League Conference as an alderman in the early 2000s.  I became more knowledgeable of the work of the Center after meeting Dr. Jason R. Barrett, who provided a water and sewer rate study for the Town of Coldwater.

Q: How is/has the Center for Government and Community Development (been) important to you?

Jackson: The Center for Government and Community Development has provided a valuable water and sewer rate study for the Town of Coldwater. This study was very helpful in providing the Board with comparative data for making rate increases in the Town. As a third party, the study provided helpful information to the citizens concerning the need for a rate increase.  The Center has also provided training and information to the Town Clerk, thereby improving his effectiveness.

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coldwater, mayor, vernon jackson