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Oxford City Council: College's HR manager runs for seat

OXFORD - Oxford resident and Oxford College employee Sue Dale has announced that she intends to run for an open City Council seat in the November election.

"Since I've been in Oxford, I've come to care a lot about the community," said Dale, 52, who has lived in Oxford for three years. "I have a vested interest in the community because I live and work here."

She has worked as human resources manager at Oxford College since 2007 and also serves as a grant writer for the city of Oxford.

Dale intends to run for the Post 4 seat, currently held by Emma Lou Patterson, who doesn't plan to seek re-election.

"It's about time for me to let somebody else take over," said Patterson, who filled the seat of Jerry Roseberry when he resigned to run for mayor of Oxford in 2007.

Dale said although she is relatively new to Oxford, she feels that will serve to her advantage.

"I think it will bring me a fresh perspective," she said, adding that her more than 20 years in health care operation management also will help her with leadership and willingness to take risks. "I also have experience in long-term and short-term strategic planning, as well as budgeting."

Dale hasn't yet determined her specific goals for the city, other than to find out what residents want to see happen to the city. She also wants to encourage more residents to come to City Council meetings, so they can share their ideas and concerns.

"The council is the most visible representative of the city," she said.

Dale also is interested in sustainability and recycling and sidewalks to make the community a more walkable one, she said.

"I love living in Oxford," she said. "I love the historic, rich heritage that Oxford has, but I also love that the city tries to keep it very progressive. It's a great place to raise your children and live and work."

Her husband, Brian, is pastor of Allen Memorial United Methodist Church. Their son Michael, who helped develop the Web site for the city of Oxford, is a graduate of Oxford College, and their son David is a senior at Newton High School this year.

In her spare time, Dale participates in the choir at Allen Memorial UMC and serves as a member of the Community Accountability Board for Newton County, which helps first-time juvenile offenders.

Qualifying for the Nov. 3 municipal election will take place at Oxford City Hall, which is located at 110 West Clark St., from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Aug. 31 through Sept. 4. The qualifying fee is $75.

Other Oxford City Council seats up for election are Post 5, held by James Windham, and Post 6, held by Terry Smith.