Jacob Smith, a candidate for the Corinth alderman-at-large seat, has responded to questions from Corinth Today. Smith is running against incumbent Mike Hopkins. The election is Oct. 9.
Below are Smith’s responses:
What will be your primary goals if elected to the Corinth Board of Aldermen and how will you work to accomplish those objectives?
- Roads – Far before I decided to run for alderman I heard time and time again that the roads in Corinth were awful and I agree. We need to make road maintenance a priority and find ways to pay for that road maintenance by reducing spending in other areas. There is always some kind of unnecessary spending that can be reduced and our city government is no different. As your alderman I will work to find these savings and prioritize the roads in our great city.
- Crime – We need to reduce the amount of violent crime that we experience in our city. There is no reason for it. Aldermen cannot directly affect the crime rate but they can affect it indirectly through passing or repealing of ordinances, making sure that the city police are well trained and equipped, and beautification of high crime rate areas. All over the country it has been shown that crime rates are reduced when high crime rate areas are cleaned up. As your alderman I will propose that we incentivize owners of property in these areas to clean up their property. I will work with the street department to make sure that any city-owned property is well maintained. I will propose that we start community gardens in these areas to raise the local community spirit and pride. When people love where they live they tend not to commit violent crimes.
- Taxes – As your alderman I will work to reduce the cost of our city government and drive a surplus of funds. When we do this we will be able to reduce the tax burden on the citizens of our city. More money in the pockets of the citizens will drive up the local economy.
- Jobs – We need to develop the city into a place that attracts good long-term, well-paying jobs. As I go door to door and talk to the citizens of our city I have found over and over that we have many people that want to work but can only find temporary low paying jobs. We have plenty of workers we just need good jobs for them to work at. As your alderman I will work to bring in these needed jobs.
What skills and experience do you have that would make you an effective alderman?
I am an Engineer and I have spent the last 15 years perfecting my experience and growing into my profession. Along the way I have learned to be a good problem solver, and have gained the ability to look at a job, task, or process and find a better more efficient way to do that job, task, or process. As your alderman I will bring this skill to our city government and find better more efficient ways that our city government can function and serve us, the citizens of Corinth.
What are the community’s biggest challenges and advantages? How do we better overcome the challenges and more effectively utilize the city’s strengths?
- Our children – our children are receiving a world class education due to the city school system. It is one of the best in the state.
- Our location – We are at the crossroads of two major arteries that feed traffic through the north east of Mississippi by trucks, and Trains. We should take advantage of this and provide incentive for businesses to locate here. In the next couple of years, we are going to see a boom of aerospace and automotive jobs in the southeast. Corinth is a prime location for these jobs If we are not careful we are going to miss some of the biggest job opportunities this area has ever seen.
- Jobs – Our children are receiving a world-class education. Where are they going to work? We have several large industries that are the backbone of the jobs market in this community but we are producing more educated young adults than they can hire. This investment that we have made in their education as a community through our taxes is going to be lost to Corinth and benefit another town. They are going to leave to find work elsewhere. We need to grow our jobs market so they can find jobs here in their hometown.
- Crime – We have to reduce our violent crime rate. I have heard people say that it is not that bad or it does not affect me. Well the crime rate affects everyone and any year that we have one single murder is a tragic year. Having a high crime rate makes it difficult to attract new business. If we want Corinth to prosper and to have a positive future, we have to fix this. It can be done and it’s not all on the police. We as a community can fix this through beautification and jobs.
What is your occupation and education background?
I am a process engineer at Keytronic EMS.
I studied biology at Middle Tennessee State University.
I went back to school to get my degree in computer-aided design and drafting from Tennessee Tech to move into engineering.
I am a certified lean six sigma professional.
I Coach/Mentor the Corinth Warrior robotics team.
I am the President of the Robotics booster club and the vice president of the Corinth Cross Country Booster Club.