St. Paul Park City Council candidate profile: Darrin Smith
First-time candidate for St. Paul City Council and lifelong resident Darrin Smith said he wants to bring the basics back to the council roundtable.
After noticing what he said was a decline in the maintenance of several city properties, Smith said he decided to run for office.
“We need to get back to basics and find out what’s working and what’s not,” he said. “We need to have common sense to get things done.”
Smith added the recent road reconstruction adds value to the city but wanted to see more residential properties taken care of to “create a community that looks better and makes people want to live here."
As a former military police officer during Operation Desert Storm, Smith praised the efforts of the St. Paul Park Police Department, but said the department should be more relatable to the residents.
“It’s a great department but having a closer relationship with the citizens could help bring back that small town feel.”
The last few years, Smith said the council has improved the city’s financial outlook and said keeping taxes low is a trend he said he wants to continue if elected.
“We should be working with residents instead of talking at them,” he said. “I’ve learned that if you listen to the customer, find out what the problem is and work along with them, you generally find a low-cost solution that makes everyone happy.”
Smith said finding a solution to the recent problems experienced during this year’s Heritage Days could be a better collaboration with the police department.
“There definitely needs to be a joint discussion between the city and police to find a solution that makes their job easier,” he said.
Smith said he recognizes that St. Paul Park is not a commercial hub but said there is an opportunity to bring in “little businesses” that add jobs.
“I want to bring back the basics and keep the small town charm that St. Paul Park has,” he said, adding raising home values and keeping taxes down is imperative.