By Jeff Gallatin
Councilman at Large Tim Smith is ready to practice what he’s preached for more than 30 years as a businessman.
Smith formally kicked off his re-election campaign to fulfill the rest of the seat’s four-year term Wednesday at Arturo’s restaurant before family, friends and supporters. He was appointed to the at large seat by council after Mark Mahoney resigned the post earlier this year for health reasons. Smith has operated Joe D’s Printing since the early 1980s after his brother-in-law, Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure, got Smith to come to North Olmsted from Michigan to help run the business.
This is Smith’s second formal run for public office. He made his initial run four years ago when he sought the mayor’s office, finishing fourth in the primary. He also unsuccessfully sought the Ward 3 council seat previously when Nicole Dailey Jones resigned to became director of communications for Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald in the new county government. Now, Jones has returned to city government as council president, and is serving as Smith’s campaign treasurer. Smith also served on the most recent North Olmsted Charter Review Commission and has been active in a wide range of community and sports-related activities since coming to North Olmsted.
Smith said all the experience he’s picked up running a business in North Olmsted as well as being active in community affairs will benefit him on council.
“You can’t run a small business and not be a people person,” he said. “You’ve got to like dealing with different people and their needs all the time. They all need something that’s related to them and their situations. You certainly deal with people and their needs as a member of council. And as an at large member, you can get issues from all over the city.”
Smith said the financial practices he’s had to use as a businessman will also aid him on council.
“You have to know what you can and can’t do, and work with a budget,” he said. “You have to know what your needs are and how much you can spend within a budget.”
Smith said working with a business client can be similar to the city working with other governmental bodies, developers and citizens.
“You have to work with a lot of different people to get a project done and to make sure it’s a good fit for different people involved,” he said.
Smith, who is now chairman of council’s Building, Zoning and Development Committee, said economic development will remain key to the city’s progress.
“It’s important to bring in new business and make sure people know this is a good place to locate,” he said. “And people will want to live here if the city is doing well.”
Smith is involved in a three-way race for the at large seat, which normally would not be up for election for two more years, along with the other two at large positions. However, since Mahoney resigned before this November’s elections, the seat was put on this year’s ballot for its final two years. Smith is facing Duane Limpert, son of longtime Councilman and city Director Duane Limpert, and grandson of Dewey Limpert; and Sid King, who has been active in city Republican activities. Both of his opponents also sought the at large seat appointment after Mahoney resigned.
Smith said both his opponents have solid credentials, but believes his stand up as well.
“No question that people know who the Limperts are, and that they’ve been active in the city a long time,” Smith said. “I think there are some people who might think his father is running again. I just want to make sure people know who I am and that I can do the job. And Sid has been to a lot of council meetings and been around.”
Smith said his fellow council members, the city administration and citizens have all been helpful as well.
“Everybody has been very helpful in getting me up to speed on information and concerns in the city,” he said. “I’m ready to put it all to good use.”