1997 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Perry

House Concurrent Resolution 143

(As Adopted by House and Senate)


WHEREAS, John Leslie is retiring this year following a truly exemplary record of almost a quarter of a century of dedicated service to the City of Oxford where he has served as Mayor since 1973 and where he was Chairman of the Planning Commission and Chairman of the Oxford-Lafayette County Hospital Board; and

WHEREAS, Mayor Leslie was born and reared in Durham, North Carolina, attended North Carolina University and graduated from Ole Miss with a Degree in Pharmacy; and

WHEREAS, he courageously served in the United States Navy during World War II seeing duty in the Mediterranean and participating in the initial landing in southern France and Okinawa; and

WHEREAS, in 1951, he purchased the old Avent Drug Store and operated Leslie Drugs on the north side of the square until 1989; and

WHEREAS, John Leslie served as the President of Mississippi Pharmaceutical Association in 1968 and received the "Bowl of Hygeia" given each year by the A. H. Robbins Drug Company for the pharmacist who has contributed the most to his community; and

WHEREAS, he was appointed by President Carter to a fifteen-member committee as "Advisor to the National Community Development Board" on which he served as vice chairman; and

WHEREAS, during his service as Mayor of the City of Oxford, John Leslie made significant strides in the betterment of life for his people; he made numerous street improvements including improvements to Washington Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, New Molly Barr Road, Price Street, Belk Drive and McElroy Drive; he removed parking meters and negotiated the swap of Old City Hall on Jackson Avenue for the Old Federal Building and Post Office on the Square, which is now used as City Hall; he gave the land on which the county built the new Lafayette County Library, contributed $100,000 from Federal Revenue Sharing toward its construction and later led the city to contribute $458,000 toward remodeling and expanding the library; he built the police station and municipal center, the City Industrial Park, the Senior Citizens Center, two parking lots for downtown use and, with federal funds, built a public swimming pool and recreation complex; he worked with soil conservation groups, United States Soil Conservation and the congressional delegation to obtain a multi-million dollar drainage ditch for Burney Branch; he joined the county in leasing the Oxford-Lafayette County Hospital to Baptist Hospital and they have spent over $38 million on additions; and, with the passage of the Prepared Food and Beverage Tax, the City of Oxford, under Mayor Leslie's leadership, has been able to aid the University of Mississippi in building the Ole Miss Baseball Stadium and the new Tennis Complex, in making repairs to Rowan Oak and in bringing to the campus the St. Petersburg Symphony, the Faulkner Conference, Conference on The Book, Elvis, S.E.C. Baseball Tournament and others; and

WHEREAS, in 1994, Mayor Leslie was recognized for his outstanding accomplishments by being selected as "Citizen of the Year" Oxford-Lafayette County; and

WHEREAS, married to Elizabeth Harvey from Tylertown, Mississippi, John Leslie is the father of three children, all graduates of Ole Miss, two of whom are dentists, and six grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Leslie, who has been a Rotarian for over 30 years and is a lifelong Baptist, has the lasting respect and admiration of the people of Oxford for his fairness and forthright approach in dealing with problems, willingness to make hard decisions and unwavering loyalty and devotion to the people whom he served; and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to recognize and commend outstanding service and dedication to the State of Mississippi and its people:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and express our deepest appreciation to John Leslie for his tireless efforts, many enduring accomplishments and unparalleled contributions to the City of Oxford and to the people of the State of Mississippi.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be provided to John Leslie and to the Capitol Press Corps.