Thorman announcies candidacy

Published 11:36 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hello, my name is Mark Thorman. In making the formal announcement of my candidacy for Mayor in the upcoming Democratic Primary, I weighed the risk of being called a politician over my desire to serve this city. The desire to serve won and I’ll take the risk because I have a vision for this city.

I want to provide the office of mayor with bold leadership dedicated to putting Picayune first everyday. This great city is crossing a threshold of great economic opportunity. All you have to do is drive through town to see we’re on a pace of unprecedented growth in retail businesses, population and housing. It is awesome.

Along with this economic growth comes serious responsibilities to manage well the city’s resources. I feel I have the experience, the knowledge and the commitment necessary to help lead this city honestly, fairly and openly, without conflicts of interest or partisan discord.

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My career started in 1972 when I joined the United States Navy. I rose to the rank of Chief Air Traffic Controller, hence my nickname is “Chief.” I specialized in facility management while serving 23 years as a tower operator, supervisor and instructor in air traffic control, training systems Supervisor and air traffic control facility manager. For 12 years I was airport manager at Naval Air Station Meridian. I retired in 1993.

In 1973, I married the former Pamala Burroughs of Kansas City, Mo. We have one son and daughter-in-law, Joseph and Mary Beth and we have two fine grandsons, Jeremy and Ray. My parents are Jack and the late Georgiana Thorman, of Picayune. In 1997, we lost our youngest son, Jason, while he served in the U.S. Navy.

I am a 1969 graduate of Picayune Memorial High School. I attended Pearl River Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1987, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Aeronautics from Emory-Riddle Aeronautical University. I earned my Master of Science Degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas in 1993.

Settling down back here in Picayune in 1994, I became a Naval Science instructor in the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at PMHS. It is the most rewarding experience of my professional life. Yes, I will continue my duties at the ROTC unit if I am elected.

I don’t just talk about being an advocate for the young people in this city. I am their advocate and have been for the past 15 years and the young people know that as a fact. Their future in this city is one of the cornerstones of my campaign to be mayor.

My civic involvement includes membership in the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as numerous community oriented projects. I am a mason in the Dalleville, Mississippi Masonic Lodge and a member of Goodyear Baptist Church.

My city government experience comes from four years on the city council, from 1997 until 2001, representing Precinct Two. I learned a lot about governing this city. I also learned about partisan politics and redistricting. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I served as the Picayune Police Department’s military liaison to aid communication between local officials and the state and federal emergency response teams.

Being here during those hours, days and weeks means I understand that Iam a Katrina Survivor, along with many of you. I remain in awe of the work done by this city’s personnel. The clean-up crews, the gas and water crews, the dauntless firefighters and EMTs, the police officers patrolling darkened streets and countless others, stayed an uncertain course with courage and compassion. The world changed and so we are also changing. We have some work to do.

I feel there is an opportunity in this election to do things in city government differently. I think this city has been in a vacuum, a void of leadership and direction since the storm. I want to do something about it.

I have a vision of local government working the way it is intended to work, in the best interest of those who pay for it to work. The citizens of this city deserve the best their elected officials can give.

I have a vision of a city dedicated to the quality of life of its people everyday. My message in this campaign is simple: I will work to make those in charge of running this city responsible to those who pay their salaries. I will be fiscally responsible and I will work to address the needs of this city professionally, honestly, openly and fairly.

In closing, let me tell you that together, we find the gas and water leaks, pave neighborhood streets, find where the recovery money went and stop the partisan discord.

I will answer your questions. I will tell you where we are going and how we’re going to get there. I’m asking for your vote in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, May 5, to take us one step closer to making our city the best it can be by putting Picayune first, everyday.