New Jackson Mayor Has Big Plans

The new mayor of Jackson has a very new vision for the city. 

31-year-old Jason Smith defeated incumbent Marty Griffin, but does the fresh face have the support he needs to succeed? 

  • "It really hasn't sunk in yet for me," Smith said. The Michigan Center grad said it's surreal, and he thought the final polling numbers would have been much closer. But he's ready to hit the ground running with the budget being priority No. 1.

  • "We have to start treating city hall like a business," Smith said. "We want to make sure that we're in a good position financially and finding ways to keep all of our services intact and keep all of our staff intact."

  • Specifically, Smith wants to find a way to restore leaf pick-up, and he's also promised to add 3,000 jobs to the area by recruiting businesses.

  • "This is a new Jackson, this is our Jackson, and we're all in it together. So, Jackson's open for business," Smith said.

  • But many are skeptical. The 31-year-old media production business owner is new to politics and feels he needs to earn the trust of some current city officials. Others, like the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, are comfortable with the change in leadership, despite his learning curve.

  • "The chamber can help bring businesses to the table, and he's willing to sit down with us and listen and make in-roads to progress," President of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Mindy Bradish-Orta said. "I think he's committed. He has energy and passion, and we're all willing to give him a shot."

  • He just hopes everyone else - including city council - feels the same way.

  • "I'm ready to work with them, if they're ready to work with me, and regardless of who we all supported in the campaigns - that's done," Smith said. "Now it's time to get to work and work hard."

  • Smith already started meeting wtih city council members Wednesday. He wants to have an open door policy as mayor and welcomes input from the public. Click on image to watch the FOX 47 video report.