Smith wants to be First Ward Councilperson

Angie Talken
Chillicothe News

Michael Smith wants to be the new First Ward Councilperson. 

The Chillicothe native has served the city as a member of the Chillicothe Police Department, as the city's Third Ward Councilmen said he wants to serve on the council again, to address citizen concerns and to be the voice for city employees. 

"I chose to run for First Ward Councilman because I want to continue to be someone that understands our city employees. I enjoyed learning and educating while serving as the Third Ward Councilman," he said. "I believe that providing a voice for our city employees is important because they are the people that are out every day to keep Chillicothe remaining beautiful and safe."

Should he be elected, Smith says he plans to work with other council members and city officials to keep the city moving forward in a positive direction. He also wants to be the voice for city employees to the council.

"If I am elected the next First Ward Councilman, I want to help Chillicothe continue growing in a positive direction for the future. I will be someone the employees and citizens can approach with their concerns. If we continue to not have comparable pay rates of the departments within the city comparable to other municipalities, the chance for turnover rate increases," he said. "With a higher turnover rate, that means more money to train new employees. When some of the departments within our city must train a new employee, that means the purchasing of new equipment. Equipment that they may already have but, not all equipment is interchangeable from person to person. If the city paid for any specialized training for an employee, and that employee leaves seeking higher pay, the City loses out on the money paid for that training as well."

While serving as Third Ward Councilmen and since he left that position in September due to residency requirements, Smith has heard from constituents who have voiced concerns about the state of streets throughout the city.  

"I believe that the constituents view the city streets as the biggest problem facing the city, and I agree with them. I have talked with several people who have brought up the potholes on the streets or the need for new streets," he said. "The street assessment was a huge step in the right direction to help the city know what approach was needed to take when doing street projects. Now that the street assessment has been completed, they can begin with the processes needed to get work started. I have listened to the importance that the citizens have expressed about our streets. I also understand and see the hard work that our Street Department does. The Street Department currently only has nine employees and have had as many as 11 employees in the past. The Street Department employees do a great job with what they have, when not being pulled away to do other projects. If they have been doing a great job already with nine people, getting them more help can only improve productivity. "

Service to the community as a whole is part of who he is, Smith said. he served in law enforcement for 10 years, four and a half with the Chillicothe Police Department where he was a detective upon his resignation. 

Since 2018 he has served as Defensive Line Coach for the Chillicothe Hornets.

"I believe, providing these students with great coaching to help them grow into talented young men and learn from the game of football.," he said. 

Smith, a 2007 graduate of Chillicothe High School, has a wife and two children.