London's Living Treasures Banquet 2019 - Page 14

"I wasn't doing that well and decided to get out of it. I thought 'I might as well run for mayor again,' because I wasn't doing anything else," Smith re- membered. He was elected once more as mayor in 1996, serving for 13 more years. "The judge-executive was elected — Denis Karr — the same time I was. We decided that we would work together to try and get jobs in Laurel County. We were able to get a lot of things done and we be- came real close friends. Some- times we'll still meet at lunch," said Smith. Together, Smith and Karr brought around 100 jobs to Laurel County within four years. The pair also pur- chased College Park for over $3 million. Meanwhile, about 60 acres on West 80 were pur- chased for the Optimist Club. Moreover, Smith sought to promote and expand the po- lice force and helped grow the west and north ends of Lon- don, bringing in restaurants such as Shiloh's. "Some people called me the 'Sidewalk Mayor' because I built a lot of sidewalks," said Smith. "That was one of the 14 things I was wanting to do. I thought it made the city look better and encouraged people to walk." Smith also began the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, where local businessmen, pastors and lay- person met the fourth Friday of each month to pray for the city and county. In addition, he served on a committee to bring the Rick Gage Crusade to London/Laurel County. The crusade was 20 years ago and over 500 individuals were in- doctrinated into Christianity. With all that being said, serving as mayor was far from easy. With the ordinances le- galizing alcohol in 2000, Smith saw himself fighting a difficult battle. "Families moved here be- cause this was a good place to raise a family. We were against alcohol," said Smith. "Of course it got voted in, but I was against it. I'm still against it. I had seen what it's done to people." In spite of disagreements, Smith avoids holding any grudges. "Never did hold a grudge against nobody," said Smith. "I thought it was always better to get along with people since London’s Living Treasures Banquet 2019