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Race for City Hall: Democrat Jimmie Smith

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 3:35 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - We conclude our highlight of the three meridian mayoral candidates with Jimmie Smith.

Democrat Jimmie Smith said he’s continuing to run his campaign the same way he did at the beginning. He said he wants Meridian to look clean and vibrant.

“We have policies and procedures we should be following. I know we are not following them because I see overgrowth in areas that the city ought to be making sure these people are taken care of,” Smith said. “I think that we have to make sure we put pride back into the community and make sure that our streets and alley ways are clean and safe. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be tough.”

When it comes to the Meridian Police Department, Smith said he would look at relocating some of the crime cameras. He also wants to boost morale in the department and attract more officers.

“I think that we have to do some training. I think we have some good policeman. We might have a few bad ones, but I don’t know. I have not been down there and I have not seen those folks,” Smith explained. “I know all of them are not bad. I’ve heard my opponent say that everybody needs to go or that we have a bunch of crooked cops down there. I just don’t believe the majority of the police department is crooked. I think we have a pretty good force, especially with the situation that we’re in with being down to less than 50 percent.”

On the issue of paving roads and using bonds to do so, Smith said it’s the tried and true way of making things happen. He said adding paving to the budget won’t work. He says there’s not enough money.

“I know that the city has tried to do this before but it just didn’t work,” Smith said. “Regular people normally have to purchase a house through borrowing money and that’s what it is. It’s a large purchase. It’s something that you have to look at from that standpoint. Everybody would love to pay for that house with pocket money. There’s not many people that can do that. From a practical sense you have to borrow money.”

Smith said he would do everything possible to attract industry and boost the local economy.

“I believe that economic development and industrial stuff is important because we need to find jobs that’s going to provide a wage that a person can feed a family and live in a house somewhere,” Smith said. “I think we need to support the EMBDC whole heartedly, then if they’re not doing stuff then maybe we need to back up. Today, we as a community, need to back the EMBDC. That’s the city and the county.”

The election is Tuesday, June 8.

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