Before Councilman Herb Smith was selected on the Gary Common Council, City residents would most likely fall victim to nightmarish experiences when it came to their vehicles towed. However, as a result of legislation Smith introduced. Now, the first 24 hours of storage is free, city residents are now able to retrieve their vehicles seven days per week and holidays, and Gary tow fees are the lowest in Lake County. What’s more, Smith changed the existing city ordinance so that Gary’s towing fees now go to a dedicated fund Gary Police can use for repair of vehicles and for the purchase of parts and supplies.
Moreover, after being approached by City residents to enable the use of golf carts in certain neighborhoods, Herb Smith proposed and passed an ordinance allowing golf cart use on specific Gary streets. This ordinance is particularly popular among residents living near the City’s lakefront and near the famed Gleason Golf Course in the Glen Park and University Park Sections of the City.
In addition, Smith proposed an ordinance prohibiting child sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a daycare and the establishment of daycares within 1,000 feet of the resident of a known child sex offender. Currently, the ordinance is pending in committee in preparation for a final vote on the Council. However, not wanting to leave anything to chance, since the ordinance is pending in committee, Smith is working with State Representative Vernon Smith to pass a state law that would accomplish the same outcome. That legislation in the Indiana General Assembly is now known as Indiana House Bill 1507.
As Smith announced his bid to win a first elected term to the Gary City Council, he pledged to continue working to improve Quality of Life, to enhance public safety and to increase City revenue for the benefit of each of Gary’s 6 Council Districts. Smith indicated that if retained, he will work collaboratively with other Gary stakeholders to achieve targeted goals and to support projects designed to break the cycles of poverty, high unemployment, crime, and recidivism.
Herb Smith was first selected through a precinct election and subsequently hampered by a personal health challenge during his inaugural term. With his illness resolved and behind him, Smith said he is invigorated and committed to taking an empowering and proactive approach to building sustainability in each Gary neighborhood.
When asked about the large number of persons in the Council at Large race. Smith said he was encouraged by the number of citizens willing to serve but cautioned that Gary is at a pivotal point and can benefit from his 30 years of business experience and proven track record of success inside and outside of politics.
Smith, who is married and the Founder and CEO of one of Northwest Indiana’s leading tech start-up company says, Gary’s Neighborhoods can be transformed into sustainable communities.
Having grown up in the City, Smith says the resilience and survival skills of those who have weathered disadvantages can be transferred into personal, familial and economic sustainability when adequately recognized, developed and utilized. Smith says he hopes voters will retain his leadership on the City Council to help ensure residents receive the support they deserve from their elected leaders. (Retain Herb Smith Councilman at Large May 7th)