Smith swears in two new employees

LIMA — Mayor Sharetta Smith has sworn into office two new employees. Andria Perkins was chosen as the Director of Housing and Neighborhoods. Jessica Begonia was selected as the Public Information Officer for the City of Lima. Smith weighed in at the press conference Wednesday morning.

“One of the awesome responsibilities that I had coming into office was the ability to look for a team to help me deliver the promises that I made to voters out on the campaign trail,” said Smith. “I am excited to announce to some and remind others that we now have two individuals joining the Mayor’s staff.”

Perkins will focus on improving neighborhoods throughout the city.

“We want a more equitable and prosperous community,” said Perkins. “We want to have safe and affordable housing and we want to create vibrant neighborhoods in the city of Lima.”

After initially being hired in the fall, Perkins weighed in on some recent changes since accepting the position.

“One of the things we have done is we have changed some of our programs,” said Perkins. “We are working on some of the things in our landbank. Now we are starting to work with developers so we will be putting parcels out there in a grouping so that it is easier for them to acquire some of our landbank parcels and develop them. We have created a community improvement corporation. They will be working with the city in order to develop more housing to get our vacancy rate more open. We have a home ownership event coming up on April 28 through the 30th because we want to increase our homeownership rate in the community.

Begonia will focus on communicating for the city of Lima.

”Mayor Smith is excellent about getting community feedback,” said Begonia. “Engaging with both our residents, business owners and community members to hear what their goals for the city of Lima are. She uses that communication to help direct policy for the city. I am so excited to be a part of that both engaging with community members.”

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.