Smyrna mayor talks about challenging year and goals for 2021
Smyrna Mayor Robert C. Johnson talked with the Sun-Times about his reflections on 2020 and his New Year's resolutions for the town.
First I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the Town of Smyrna employees for their tireless efforts to provide quality service to the citizens of Smyrna during a very trying year.
Thanks to our management team and our public works department for their extraordinary efforts from the tornados, hurricanes and just responding to the citizens’ needs. Thanks to our police department and the leadership of Police Chief Torrie James during the times of protests and civil unrest across our nation.
Thanks to our fire department and ambulance company for their services they provide for everyone.
Finally, thanks to the members of Town Council for their volunteer services to the citizens.
What are three of your New Year’s resolutions for the town?
1. Making it through the coronavirus and continuing to support everyone in our town government working together as a unit so we can provide services for residents and businesses, and help businesses survive and thrive. The town was responsive in 2020 and will remain dynamic going into 2021.
To help work through the pandemic, Council rolled back utility rates to 2019 levels for six months to help residents and businesses, and we offered $3,500 to small businesses. Council, staff and community volunteers worked with food banks at the Power Center and with the First Presbyterian Church with the Smyrna-Clayton Ministerium to help feed people in need, and Councilwoman Valerie Forbes was able to arrange four food distribution events with Michael Scuse and the Department of Agriculture through the USDA Farmers to Families program. Council fought diligently for COVID testing in Smyrna at several locations in addition to the state service center and the pharmacies that were offering it.
2. People realize politics is politics, but we must be able to put our political differences aside and work together as one. Republican or Democrat, no matter what race or religion, we need to work together to maintain peace on this planet. The news media needs to report things in the proper way and always tell the truth so we don’t go from one outrage to the next – keep people informed about what’s going on, but keep things in perspective.
3. For everyone to maintain their health, keep their families safe and keep following the safety guidelines during this pandemic. Wear your mask. The life you save may be your own.
I hope that everyone has a Happy New Year!
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