Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson said affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues the city faces, and city leaders are trying to find solutions.
“There is a huge need for affordable housing in some shape or form,” Patterson said. “It’s a difficult issue that we have several different groups working on. We have a lot of eyes on the problem.”
Patterson said affordable housing is a big issue for small town government. “Habitat for Humanity has been building houses, and we’re really working on it,” he said.
There are many issues Oxford is working to address, Patterson said, including road construction and infrastructure. Patterson said he’s also keeping an eye on city growth, working with the University of Mississippi, and working with county government.
Patterson, a lifelong Oxford resident, is a sixth-generation Oxford resident. His family was here long before the Civil War. Both his mother’s and his father’s families are from Oxford, and he attended the University of Mississippi, majoring in biology and chemistry.
When he was younger, Patterson wanted to be a game warden because of his love for nature. During college, he enrolled in many business courses and opened a packing store at the end of Fraternity Row at the age of 22. Patterson also owned University Sporting Goods on the Square for 30 years.
“I have a good partner to help me balance businesses so I can work full time as the mayor,” he said.
This is Patterson’s second term as mayor. He previously served two terms on the Oxford Board of Alderman. He won reelection for mayor in 2013.
Patterson said he loves working in a small town because of the people in the community, and he enjoys his working relationship with the university and students who attend it.
“Oxford is small, safe, beautiful, and historic,” he said. “It’s been my dream job.”
Patterson said he appreciates the unique nature of a town like Oxford and enjoys Saturdays in the fall when he can open the windows and enjoy the atmosphere – when the Rebels aren’t playing, of course.
He said his favorite part about Oxford is the history of the town and the life college students bring to it. “The Ole Miss students make Oxford vibrant and a beautiful place to live,” he said.
Patterson said he arrives early to his office on the Square every morning and begins his day by responding to emails. He meets with people all morning and afternoon, depending on how busy his day is.
Patterson said he loves connecting with the students at the University of Mississippi. His advice for college students and their four years at school is his favorite Abraham Lincoln quote: “I shall study and prepare, and perhaps my chance shall come.”
Personally, however, Patterson said he likes to live by the verse hanging on his office door: “Unto whom much is given, much is expected.”