As he took the oath of office last Wednesday, the Parrish High School and University of North Alabama alumnus not only broke his own personal milestone — but two other historical precedents as well.
At 39, Ramsey is not only Parrish’s youngest mayor to date, he’s also the first African-American to hold the office in the town’s history. Although Ramsey acknowledges the groundbreaking moment that took place as he was sworn-in, he wants to be known as more than just a historical footnote.
“It’s my intent to be a great mayor for the town of Parrish. I’m not a politician as most people would characterize a person in my position — I consider myself as a servant to the community,” Ramsey said. “I want everyone to be treated the same, whereas in the past I don’t believe all of the members of our community was treated equally. No matter what a person’s background, economic, social status or ethnic makeup is, I want our citizens to all receive the same level of respect and to be proud to be a member of the Parrish community.”
Since taking the District 5 council seat in 2004, Ramsey has helped coordinate a large number of progressive movements in Parrish that have brought improvements to the town’s infrastructure, economic prospects, appearance and community athletic facilities. His goals for continued improvement include more social programs for senior citizens, the completion of the town’s library and learning center and providing further financial stability for the community.
“I would like to see our senior center improved so its use will benefit the entire community and get our town’s debts paid off,” Ramsey said. “One key goal of mine is for our community to get cleaned up. Our town has a great group of police officers who are trained in policies and procedures to make people clean up their yards on a fair basis — my aim is to get our police department involved in these matters. Obviously, we don’t want to put people in a crunch — economically, many people are still hurting, but we can give those individuals the time to do so. We want our town to look better — if people come to Parrish and see all of the abandoned buildings and messy lots, no one will want to be a part of it. However, if those people see a town with clean-cut yards and well-kept streets, they’ll be more inclined to stay and live here.”
Other projects Ramsey intends to undertake during his administration is the completion of Parrish Municipal Park, repairing Main Street, legalizing the sale of alcohol and planning a community festival and garden.
A firm proponent of youth athletics and Parrish’s schools, Ramsey also said he will work hard to make sure the high school stays open and that the community’s athletics continue to flourish.
“Our schools are the backbone of our community — our academics are improving and with our library nearing completion, the young people of Parrish will only strengthen their ability to unlock their future,” he said. “I’m also going to concentrate on making the quality of our recreational sports better. As a football, basketball and baseball coach in our park and recreation department, I know the value of what athletics can bring to our young people. They learn the basics of teamwork, how to take direction and the pride of fulfilling the personal achievements — that’s why it’s imperative we offer them the best recreational sports we can.”