10 to Watch 2020: Landis Mayor Meredith Smith
By Liz Moomey
LANDIS — Change was coming for Landis.
After the incumbent mayor and two aldermen decided not to seek reelection, voters picked Meredith Smith, a newcomer to politics, to lead Landis back to stability in November. Smith became the first woman to be elected the town’s mayor.
Smith looks to 2020 to bring revitalization in Landis. She imagines a town that has more events, including a Food Truck Thursday, and businesses opening in downtown.
“I hope to bring peace to our town that has been in such turmoil,” Smith said.
Smith was joined by three other new members of the town board — Mayor Pro Tem Ashley Stewart and Alderwoman Katie Sells as well as Darrell Overcash, who was appointed after the sudden death of Alderman Bobby Brown in December. Alderman Tony Corriher remains on the board. Together, they passed a resolution to start multiple citizen advisory committees. Early this year, they will accept applications to the Census Committee, Environmental Committee, Communication Committee and the Downtown Revitalization and Beautification Committee, with appointments to begin in February. Smith said she expects another committee to be formed, possibly to bring the town up to code for those with disabilities.
Smith said her first tasks will be to go through proper protocol to hire a police chief and improve the town’s stormwater system.
Regarding an ongoing investigation into embezzlement by the former town manager and finance officer, Smith said she will be patient and urges others to do the same.
Smith said she promises to be transparent when the board is able, saying citizens deserve to know.
But Smith and other board members aren’t the only newcomers to the town. The prior board in 2019 picked Roger Hosey to serve as the town manager. He was previously the interim finance officer and, before that, the deputy police chief.
Meanwhile, Kenny Isenhour retired as the town’s police chief at the end of 2019. And the town has posted the opening.
Smith said she feels that change is good for the town.
Smith said citizens of Landis should know they have “people in their corner” on the board and not people who are serving as aldermen for their own personal agendas.
Who would play you in a movie? Julia Roberts
What would you want for your last meal? A pork chop from Stag & Doe
What is your personal hope or challenge for 2020? To bring the hometown feel back to Landis. “Our employees need this as do our citizens.”
Who will you be watching in 2020? Local and state elections. The upcoming election will be big for small towns and their leadership.
What is your reaction to being named one of the “10 to Watch”? Excited, blessed and can’t wait for 2020 with my family, friends and the wonderful citizens of Landis.
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