Mayor Scott Smith was elected in May 2008. This was his first elected office. He graduated from Mesa’s Westwood High School and earned a degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University, as well as a Master of Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University. Since then, Mayor Smith has been a CPA consultant, homebuilder and university instructor.
Mayor Smith and his wife Kim have been married for over 30 years, raising their three children here in Mesa. They now enjoy the job of being doting grandparents to three grandchildren.
Mayor Smith hit the ground running and in his first two months tackled the proposed bond package and reduced its size by half. Six months later, November 2008, voters passed the package by a 2 to 1 margin. It was the first property tax passed by Mesa voters in over 40 years.
Next, he sealed the deal for Arizona’s largest hotel and convention center with Gaylord Entertainment Co. for the Mesa Gateway Area. Mesa voters agreed to authorize economic incentives by a 4 to 1 margin in March 2009.
By this time Mayor Smith was making a name for Mesa and he was invited to participate on national panels and elected to national committees including the Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program, National League of Cities and United States Conference of Mayors, the leading organization of 1,200 large cities.
He has also appeared as a guest on national broadcasts such as CNBC and CSPAN along with national publications.
As Mayor, Smith is interested in taking a regional approach to decision making. “Lines on a map shouldn’t decide policy or project boundaries,” Smith said. “Decisions must be made on what is best for the region because what is best for the region is ultimately best for each city and its residents.” His regional focus is unique and has made him a visible leader in the Valley.
At the city level, Mayor Smith is spending his term in office forming and strengthening a partnership with Mesa residents to “Build a Better Mesa” which includes capitalizing on Mesa’s wealth of opportunities. Mayor Smith has outlined six critical areas on which to focus his vision.
Families can live in safer, more active neighborhoods. We can “Build a Better Mesa” by increasing local access to quality education, as well as affording families local venues for shopping and recreation.
Future generations can stay in the city and realize their career goals. “Building a Better Mesa” means working to expand its economic base so all of its citizens can enjoy high paying jobs without leaving the city.
Build pride in our community. In order to “Build a Better Mesa,” we need to make Mesa a place where families, businesses and investors want to live and work.
Be a leader in regional issues. “Building a Better Mesa” does not mean that we only look within our own borders for change. We must work with our neighbors as a region on common issues such as transportation and infrastructure planning and development.
Re-establish trust in city government. As a government, we cannot “Build a Better Mesa” without the guidance of our citizens. We must prove to them that the City is wise with its finances, transparent in its dealings and respectful to its residents.
Promote economic development city-wide. We can no longer rely on growth as our sole economic development tool. In order to “Build a Better Mesa” we also need to look at renewing and revitalizing our mature communities. Only by attracting businesses to all parts of Mesa can we truly realize the maximum benefit development brings for all of our citizens.
Currently, Mayor Smith serves on many boards and committees including the US Conference of Mayors Executive Committee, National League of Cities Transportation Infrastructure Committee, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Board, Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Council Executive Committee, Transportation Policy Committee and Economic Development Committee, League of Arizona Cities and Towns Executive Board and the A.T. Still University Council.