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Smith is seeking a Prineville City Council position to help move projects forward and support city departments

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - Scott Smith will run for a Prineville City Council positionNot even a year has passed and retired city street superintendent Scott Smith wants to once again get involved with municipal work.

He does not intend to un-retire and rejoin the city of Prineville staff but rather help shepherd projects and other city efforts at the elected official level. He is one of four candidates for Prineville City Council and one of two candidates seeking the office for the first time.

"I miss being involved with the city already and it has only been eight months," he said.

Smith started his career with the city in 1987. A part-time position opened, and Smith began his career in the street department. He remained part time for about a year and was then hired to work full time. During tough financial times in the 1990s, Smith ended up working a couple summers with the City of Prineville Railway crew.

About 20 of his 34-year career with the city was spent in a supervisory role, and he retired at a time when he was leading multiple street projects — efforts he would like to again help lead. The projects include extension of Combs Flat Road to Peters Road, improvement of the North Main Street/ Peters Road intersection and upgrades to Northeast Third Street.

"I want to, at a real high level, stay involved and help see those things through," he said.

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - From left Brad Albert, NWPMA President, Scott Smith, and Eric Klann. Smith was named Keith Kay Memorial Pavement Manager of the Year in 2021.But the street projects aren't his only interest as he launches his hat into the city council candidacy. He also wants to help preserve a welcoming environment for those who want to do work with the city.

"I want to somehow feel like I can give back and help keep the city council and city government going down the path that we are not big government — we are user-friendly," he explained, noting that many entities have enjoyed positive experiences with Prineville. "If the wrong people get elected, we lose that, and I think that would be really sad."

Smith went on to say that he wants to support and help multiple city departments who he has seen work very hard and show dedication to helping the public. He recalls during his city career that he helped different departments from the golf course to the city railway. He made specific mention of city law enforcement and a desire to support new police chief Larry Seymour.

"I feel like I have something to give back because I know how hard a lot of those departments work to set goals and achieve those goals. I want to be that support behind the scenes."

Looking forward, Smith would also like to play a role, if elected, in determining how property tax revenue from the Facebook and Apple data centers will get utilized as the Enterprise Zone tax abatements expire.

"Coming up with a good, solid plan of what the city does with that influx of property taxes is going to be a big challenge," he said.

Smith joins Shane Howard as one of two candidates seeking a city council office for the first time. They are both running alongside incumbents Janet Hutchison and Patricia Jungmann. The top three vote-getters in the November general election will win seats on the council.

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