Meridian mayoral candidates: Democrat Jimmie Smith

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 4:25 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Democratic mayoral candidate Jimmie Smith said his ambition to run for mayor began when he noticed things he didn’t like around Meridian.

“I was compelled by looking around the city and seeing the decay that has occurred during the years of this administration,” Smith said.

Smith explained that there are numerous things the current administration could be doing, but is not. He highlighted the importance of a solid relationship with the city council.

“I think you have to build relationships, trust and be forthcoming. You have to share information that’s related to their jobs and your job,” Smith explained. “I think that relationship has to be built where everyone trusts one another and there are no hidden agendas.”

Smith said one of his primary goals would be industry. If elected, he said he would work on bringing in well-paying jobs that would benefit everyone. He believes his ability to talk with elected officials and the EMBDC would benefit Meridian.

“It’s not about one of us; it’s about all of us. I think it’s important that we cooperate with the county and the city council. I think everybody has to be on the same page pushing for industrial development coming to our community,” Smith said.

Smith would also fill a position that’s been vacant for a while.

“We haven’t had a city engineer in seven years and I think that’s a mistake. A city engineer helps you maintain and control your city,” he said.

Smith is no stranger to politics. He was the District 2 supervisor for Lauderdale County for 20 years. He challenged former mayor, John Robert Smith, in 2005 where he lost by only 104 votes.

Smith also has a unique perspective on crime and law enforcement. He was a Meridian police officer and detective for 10 years.

“Our police officers need to patrol the area,” said Smith. “They need to learn the community as a whole. That includes going up and down every street and making sure we are providing law and order for everybody and not just for some. For everybody.”

He believes his experience is one of the key reasons voters should cho0se him to lead Meridian.

“There’s a whole lot of work to do. It seems to me that we’re lacking in that area. I think that we as a city need to have a full time mayor and a full time engineer. To me, that’s simple,” Smith said.

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