Larry Yockey also believes Douglasville can do a better job of paying its city workers, and he also wants to improve the city’s cultural and beautification efforts.
Smith, a former city police detective, is challenging Yockey for his Ward 1 seat on the Douglasville City Council.
Yockey, 69, is a one-term incumbent who also serves as mayor pro-tem. He won his seat by a 12-vote margin in 2009 after losing his first run for council in 2005 by an equally slim margin.
Smith, 30, a lifelong city resident, said he has seen numerous changes in the city since the 1980s but wants no change in one area.
“I want to keep the city’s core values,” said Smith, who now serves as a member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Police Department. “I just want to continue to make that a place to raise your family.”
He said the city should increase its pay to city employees, such as police officers, to retain a quality workforce and make it more competitive with other area agencies.
Yockey, a retired banker and president of the Arbor Station Homeowners Association, also said he wants to find a way to retain police officers – many of whom are leaving after two years to take higher-paying jobs in nearby areas.
He said he wants another term to complete such projects as recruiting a hotel to the downtown area to complement the new conference center.
Yockey also said he wants to convert some vacant lots into small “pocket parks,” and find a way to increase cultural offerings through establishing a location for a community theater.
“The city has some unfinished business,” he said. “I want to be there for that.”