Sharetta Smith: Ready to lead on Day One

Sharetta Smith - Guest Column

Photo courtesy of Sharetta Smith campaign

Photo courtesy of Sharetta Smith campaign


See past coverage of the Lima mayoral race at

For the first time in three decades, someone new will lead our city. There are four candidates. All of us are calling for change. In choosing our next mayor, citizens have to ask: Who’s the most equipped, most experienced, most educated, most engaged in trying to solve Lima’s big problems, and has the ability to actually bring change?

I have spent the last four years working with every department and running the operations of city government, administering our city’s budget, advocating for state and federal resources, building relationships and consensus to solve problems, and being responsive to the needs of residents, businesses, and other stakeholders who are invested in Lima.

My opponents have spent the last four months pointing out Lima’s challenges with no real solutions and attempting to convince voters not to vote for me because I work for the current administration. I’ve been on this four — that is four years of documented, verifiable, experience leading with integrity, compassion, and results. And we’ve made progress:

• Over $500K in improvements to our parks

• Invested $200K in youth programming

• $400K in neighborhoods

• $4M in community development

• $52M in planned investments in our downtown and 2,200-plus available jobs in the region.

Lima needs the kind of dynamic leadership that I bring to move us forward. My education includes a bachelor’s degree, a law degree, and a master’s degree in business administration. Lima’s next mayor will only have 29 days from the election to enter office. I am ready to lead on day one from a platform that includes:

• Coordinate with health partners to expand COVID testing and accelerate vaccination distribution.

• Rebuild police and community relations

• Develop a behavioral health response team to dispatch to nonviolent situations involving domestics, mental illness and addiction.

• Implement early prevention strategies that include improved education outcomes, targeted gang intervention, and a public health approach to reducing gun violence.

• Implement a violence reduction strategy targeted at violent, repeat offenders.

• Create a neighborhood Relief Fund to assist with maintenance and repair costs.

• Create an Affordable Housing Fund to increase homeownership and close the construction gap for developers.

• Leverage 700-plus back tax properties and 800-plus vacant lots for work force, supportive, and market rate housing development at all income levels.

• Implement a blight removal strategy that repurposes vacant lots into attractive green spaces.

• Review all regulations and codes to encourage land use that enhances neighborhoods and do not unnecessarily add to the cost of housing construction.

• Establishing an education partnership with Lima City Schools and the Chamber of Commerce (s) to jointly develop cradle-to-career pathways from poverty to opportunity.

• Aggressively assisting businesses in navigating government processes.

• Strengthening partnerships with our county and state leaders.

• Actively listening to neighborhood residents.

• Keeping partisan politics out of city hall.

• Actively working to increase diversity and inclusion.

Photo courtesy of Sharetta Smith campaign courtesy of Sharetta Smith campaign

Sharetta Smith

Guest Column


See past coverage of the Lima mayoral race at

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