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|Retired School Administrator Smith Eyeing Abingdon Mayoral Post
|A long-time educator in Abingdon who remains active in the community wants its top job.
Don Smith currently serves as chairman of the Abingdon Rotary/Blue Ribbon Committee and is a trustee for Indian Point Township. Smith says he's taking the plunge and running for mayor in April. Also seeking the job are incumbent Steve Darmer and challenger Roger Stegall.
Smith is a veteran educator, having spent 40 years as a middle school and high school teacher and principal and 30 years as an administrator. Like the other candidates, Smith says he's been encouraged by people to run for mayor. He says if the city, which has seen a population decline, wants to attract new residents and businesses, officials must realize first that city government is in place to make peoples' lives better.
Smith tells WGIL one way to make Abingdon more attractive to prospective residents and businesses is to spruce it up a bit.
"I see Route 41 as the new Main Street. I know there's a lot of people that have a nostalgic tie to the old Main Street, but if you've gone through the buildings they're pretty well shot. We can take them down and make it into a park-like atmosphere and open it up for anyone that's interested in development down there (and) make incentives for them to come in."
Smith says he's interested in putting together a survey for residents to take to find out what their needs are, then develop a priority list based on information in the survey. He says his strengths include listening, keeping an open mind to new ideas and writing grants that could provide revenue for projects in the city.
Smith also pledges to promote economic growth, create an atmosphere of cooperation within city governance, ensure continued high quality city services and keep citizens informed and involved in the decision-making process. He also says, as the mayor, he would be willing to keep office hours twice a week at city hall to give residents the chance to talk about their problems and concerns.
|02 16 09 by Newsroom
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