John Robert Smith Not Seeking Reelection

Meridian's four-term mayor announced Tuesday he will not seek a fifth term in this year's elections.

John Robert Smith, a Republican, has been in Meridian politics for twenty years. He served a term as Ward 5 councilman before running for mayor.

Smith made his announcement at Union Station, because he said he views it as his first big accomplishment as mayor.

Smith said he felt a sense of peace after the Meridian City Council voted to proceed with the Threefoot Building project.

Smith also said he would not be endorsing any of the candidates in the race.

"I trust the people of Meridian," said Smith.

Smith said he's proud of the accomplishments the city has made during his tenure and he would not change anything he's done.

Smith also stated that discontent among some citizens over Meridian's most recent annexation did not factor in his decision, nor did very close primary and general election wins in 2005.

When asked about his future plans, the mayor said he's exploring his options, but plans to stay in Meridian unless a door opens elsewhere.

Smith is also a pharmacist and co-owns Point Rexall Pharmacy in Meridian.

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  • by Carson Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2009 at 10:58 AM
    I would like to see Cheri get elected. Percy is not what Meridian needs. He will certainly be a puppet on a string for the old school money crowd.
  • by Pat Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2009 at 06:58 AM
    The people of Meridian elected Mayor Smith in this position. As citizens, we should have respect for elected officials because they have the courage to take on the great responsibility. There are some good as well as bad decisions made. Those who criticize need to become more involved if they can do better. Being mayor for 16 years says a lot about Mr. Smith. Good luck in your future and thank you for what you have done for Meridian.
  • by Glenn Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2009 at 06:50 AM
    Please let Mr. Robert stay in meridian, so he can help pay taxes.
  • by Anonymous Location: MERIDIAN on Feb 11, 2009 at 06:13 AM
  • by Phillip Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2009 at 05:38 AM
    Honorable Mayor John Robert Smith,He served well our city . Not only did he serve well but he was and is today my good and faithful friend . He and I became very close friends as we stood with one another in very difficult times in our lives... We often met in his office and prayed for our families and those of our city ... My life is better since he became my friend Phillip Chisolm
  • by Ricky Location: Meridian on Feb 11, 2009 at 04:28 AM
    One comment was about the growth of meridian. Well how many other cities have left meridfian in their dust during this same period. Tupelo, Hattiesburg etc. Maybe now he is gone some new leadership can kick start the area economy. Now if some of the other local politicians are relieved of their jobs to let new blood into office we can see some growth and help for the common folks in meridian. We need new employers from outside meridian that are willing to pay decent wages in order to help the people and the economy.
  • by PERCY SUPPORTER Location: MERIDIAN on Feb 10, 2009 at 09:23 PM
    In my opinion, Mayor Smith should receive the grade of C on his time as mayor. He has brought some new businesses to town but industrial development has fallen behind. Citizens of this town need good paying jobs with benefits instead of restaurant and retail jobs that pay a minimum and offer no benefits. More money should have been spent on education and less obsessing on pet projects like Threefoot. Also the mayor's office should have been more welcoming to opinions and needs of all segments of Meridian, not just the old guard who have been pulling strings behind the scene for years. Percy Bland is the candidate for Mayor who can build on what we have to offer in Meridian and make this a city where everyone's voice will be heard downtown. He also has the business savy to market Meridian to employers who will pay good wages with benefits and who will make long-term commitments to our city. Vote Percy for a better new Meridian.
  • by Donna Location: Meridian on Feb 10, 2009 at 07:02 PM
    To each his own. Everyone has an opinion. I think Mr. Smith has done a tremendous job. Mr. Smith I wish you the best of luck. You can't make everyone happy. Hats off for a job well done!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2009 at 06:13 PM
    How many people hear inner voices? At least he wasn't getting direction from his cat.
  • by Dave on Feb 10, 2009 at 05:53 PM
    I did not vote for Mayor Smith last time, but there's no way we would have had a casino here. The state has not allowed gambling outside of boats on the Gulf and the Mississippi River. We could not have a casino unless the Mississippi Legislature changed the law....which they are not and have not been inclined to do. Neshoba County got the casino because the Choctaw are not bound by the same gaming rules as the rest of the state. Stick to the truth, folks.
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