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Posted: January 6, 2009 6:33 p.m.

Oxford appoints new member to planning commission

The Oxford City Council has appointed Patsy Burke to replace Forrest McCanless on the municipality's planning commission.

Councilmember Hoyt P. Oliver nominated Patsy Burke during the Oxford City Council meeting Monday night. Burke, who has been retired from Bellsouth since 1998 and who has lived in Oxford for 33 years, will represent the southern potion of Oxford on the commission.

The commission addresses zoning setbacks and reviews developmental permit applications for the municipality. The planning commission advises the mayor and Oxford City Council on zoning issues.

According to Planning Commission Secretary Erik Oliver, the council strives to place a representative from each area of Oxford on the commission.

"We will be really pleased to have someone from her neighborhood," Oliver said. "We have six members, each from different areas of town and looking at the names of everyone we have, we've got a widespread distribution."

Burke will begin her three-year term this month and will join Oliver, David Eady, Ron Manson, Jim Patrick and Vivian Harris.

"I am happy to do what I can to make a contribution to the community," Burke said. "I want to see Oxford retain its small town atmosphere and still grow in a way that will accommodate everyone's needs."

Planning Commission member Forrest McCanless stepped down from his position after serving since 2006. He had been filling a position left vacant by Emma Lou Harris.

Oxford resident Vivian Harris was reappointed to her position on the planning commission during Monday night's council meeting and will begin her first full three-year term on planning commission this month, as well. She completed a term for Charles Green from 2006-2008.

In other news from Oxford's Monday night city council meeting:

• The Honorable Judge Steven A. Hathorn swore in Mayor Jerry Roseberry and the members of the Oxford City Council during the municipality's annual organizational meeting Monday night.
The mayor and council also reappointed its staff for the year 2009. Among those reappointed was City Clerk/Treasurer Carol Poole, who will enter into her 19th year with Oxford. Police Chief Clark R. Miller will enter his second year heading the city's police force, and David Strickland will remain Oxford's city attorney.

• The mayor and council are eagerly anticipating construction on the municipality's new city hall building which is set to begin sometime this year. The building is being designed by Ben Carter of Carter Watkins Associates and architectural plans will be available for public viewing during a work session scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 20 in the community room.

• The two-story building will house the police department on the second floor and will contain a city-council room, a court room and a multi-function community room on the first floor.

Councilmember Jim Windham suggested the council discuss assembling a committee to be in charge of decorating the building with works by local artists and with subjects relating to Oxford. He also expressed his interest in putting together an area in the building specifically for display of Oxford's history and related items.

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