With current City of Sparks Mayor Geno Martini’s blessing, Sparks City Councilman Ron Smith recently announced that he will be running for that position in the 2018 election cycle and Smith says he is more than ready to do the job.
“When we had a population of 62,000 I could walk down the street and see people I knew. Sparks has a family-like environment and neighborhood feel, even now at 95,000 residents. As we continue to grow, we need to keep that family atmosphere,” Smith says.
According to a press release, Martini stated, “Ron Smith has put in the work and has the experience to lead our city for the next four years. Ron also has the overwhelming support of the rest of the city council.”
Smith moved to Sparks in 1974 and his wife is a 5th generation Sparks resident. His wife’s great-grandfather Seth Burgess also served as mayor of Sparks at one time and that is how Burgess Park got its name.
“I didn’t even know that until I ran for city council,” Smith says. He has four children and nine grandkids, and they all live in Sparks. He says that one of his grandkids is graduating college soon and with the economic growth that the city is experiencing, Sparks is a land of opportunity.
“This is the best time ever to get a good job in the City of Sparks. You can get a good home, make a decent wage…you can make a good living here,” he says. With large companies such as Tesla and Switch recruiting up-and-coming local talent, Sparks’ best graduating students have no reason to leave.
As a member of the city council for 11 years, Smith also serves on the board of the Truckee Meadows Flood Authority, the Regional Transportation Commission, the Tourism and Marketing Committee, acts as the director of the Nevada Veterans Memorial, and is a member of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority.
Smith says that he will hold a couple of fundraisers before the end of the year and then start a door-to-door campaign in January before filing for the position in March. If there are more than two people running, then a primary election will be held in June 2018 followed by the general election in November.
“I’ve to go get ahead of it,” Smith says about releasing his intention to run as mayor and start campaigning now. Along with being a member of the city council, Smith has acted as Mayor Pro-Temp for about five years.
“Geno and I have been talking about this for several years. In the last election cycle Geno said he wasn’t going to re-run but then his health improved and he wanted to serve another term,” Smith says. He gave Martini his wholehearted support but knew he was eventually going to run for city council.
“This has been my plan all along and everyone knows it,” he says. “The longer you live here the more Sparks grows on you. Sparks is the true leader in this region and I like to think I’ve had something to do with that. I truly love this area, it’s the best place ever. I’m looking forward to the campaign…I was just out there a year ago running for my city council spot. I’ve put in the work over the years and I’m ready, I can do the job,” Smith adds.