Raymond "Ray" Patterson was a one-off character, who appeared in Trash of the Titans.
Elected as Springfield's sanitation commissioner 16 years in a row he had a good track record, and when Homer came to reclaim the apology letter Marge wrote in his name, he tried to be civil while returning it, but Homer started to behave irresponsibly and eventually decided to run against him. While he lost the election, Ray was one of the few people who realised that Homer was making promises that he could not deliver on, though in typical Springfield fashion, his warning fell on deaf ears. (Actually, Homer was initially able to make good on his promises, but at the cost of spending the sanitation department's yearly budget in one month.) After Homer was fired for encouraging other cities to dump their garbage in the abandoned mine (in order to solve the budget crisis), Patterson got his job back, but he refused to help clean up the town.
Compared to many of Spingfield's residents, Ray Patterson is considered to be one of the more 'sane' characters; hard working and committed to his job.
When Homer ran against him for his position, he was frustrated by Homer and the town's ignorance towards him. He turned up late for a debate with Homer, claiming that his brakes had been tampered with. The town became shocked, only to start laughing again when Homer joked about his lateness. Ray got a belated revenge on the rest of the town however, when he denied them the help they needed instead choosing to leave them "wallowing in the mess you have created", effectively telling the residents of Springfield "I told you so!".
Behind The Laughter Edit
In many ways, Ray Patterson is similar to the character Frank Grimes, a normal man who works hard at his job, but finds his efforts shown up by Homer.
Patterson's appearance on stage is heralded by the theme to Sanford and Son. This was because the scene of his appearing on stage was taken from Redd Foxx refusing to perform to a small audience.
The character is also named after Hanna-Barbera animator Ray Patterson who worked on the Tom & Jerry cartoon shorts.