In response to a working relationship between the three colleges and the city, Smith suggests a micro loan program for upstart businesses paid for by funds no longer committed to the Central State Hospital Redevelopment Authority after its third year.
“I'd like to see aspiring people that want to be in business have the opportunity within a small group and have a few thousand to try and make a business work,” Smith said. “We have to look at new an innovative things to do.”
The challenger said the Shaw Building Communiversity is a great way to foster economic development as well.
Smith said using a free Smartphone app called 'SeeClickFix' would allow city residents to quickly report public work type problem areas.
“How we take in these requests for services is an important part of it,” he said.
If elected, Smith wants to make buildings and grounds more efficient for continued financial stability.
“I'd like to see a five percent decrease across the board in what we spend,” Smith said Tuesday.
• Richard “Boo” Mullins (District 5 incumbent)
The District 5 incumbent was born and raised in the community. Mullins has called the district home for 55 years.
“Everyone there knows me and the job I've done,” he said. “I'm going to try and continue to do the same thing.”
Responding to downtown development challenges, Mullins cited parking as a key issue.
“We've got to find some way to provide parking for our students and citizens downtown,” he said. “The college and the city have to work together to come up with a solution and bring funds to the table to save these problems.”
When asked about developing ways to help special needs and handicapped individuals in society, Mullins suggested programming funnels from federal and state levels.
“We don't have particular programming that I know of to assist programs coming from the state to handle situations like that,” Mullins said.