Newest Clarkson board member sees town’s growth potential

By on June 23, 2014
Clarkson Town Council member Jackie Smith posing at the Clarkson Town Hall. She will have to run in the fall of 2014 to complete the term and then again in 2015 for a new term.

Clarkson Town Council member Jackie Smith posing at the Clarkson Town Hall. She will have to run in the fall of 2014 to complete the term and then again in 2015 for a new term.

Jackie Smith was appointed to the Clarkson Town Board this past February and says she feels “privileged and honored to serve as an advocate for our community.”

Smith was chosen to fill the seat of Scott Tantillo who resigned.

Born and raised in Brockport, Smith is a 1989 graduate of Brockport High School and has a bachelor’s degree in business management and economics. She has worked for Wegmans Food markets for 23 years and began serving the Clarkson community in 2006 when she was appointed to the Recreation and Parks Advisory Council.

“From there I worked with the Town of Clarkson and Town of Sweden on the Sweden/Clarkson Wall of Honor. The Wall is located at the Sweden/Clarkson Recreation Center where we can honor men and women who live in our community and who are active military personnel,” Smith says.

In 2007, Smith started the Veterans Memorial Park Board which she chaired until 2011.

“During this time, a group of Clarkson residents came together to develop a vision for our Veterans Park on Ridge Road,” she explains. “We also worked on grant applications that would help us fund the park’s development. Later that year, I decided to run for the open Town Board seat and unfortunately did not win.”

Smith then obtained a seat on the Clarkson Zoning Board and served there for the past seven years.

“Working with the Zoning Board is a wonderful way to work side-by-side with individuals supporting our community.   This also provided the opportunity for me to learn about our town’s codes and a chance to meet many of our residents.   During that time, I was part of two major projects the Zoning Board worked on: creating the new Mixed Hamlet zoning and the new software database – WEBQA – which helps the Planning, Zoning and Building departments access data regarding properties within Clarkson,” Smith says.   “From all these experiences, I have learned to pull people together and get people involved in our community. I have enjoyed the time on all the boards I have served and I bring with me (that) experience, perspective and knowledge to the town board.”

She enjoys being a member of the Clarkson community, Smith says, and notes being a member of the town board will allow her to use her everyday experiences, education and common sense as a foundation for serving the entire community.

“I have a vested interest in all aspects of our community, from master planning/commercial and residential development issues to municipal services and budgetary priorities. As a member of the Town Board, I will continue to work hard to represent the families of Clarkson. I will continue to seek input from our residents on all issues to ensure that everyone’s needs are heard and will in all ways advocate for the best interests of the community. I will continue to give everything I have as a member of the Town Board in serving the residents of Clarkson by making our  community an even better place to live and raise our families,” says Smith.

She resides on Sherwood Drive with her husband, Kevin, and children Samantha, Ashley and Kevin, Jr. After growing up in Brockport and living in Hamlin, Smith moved to Clarkson in 2006.

“What I enjoy most about Clarkson is the sense of community and the people,” she says. “There are so many welcoming organizations with which to get involved, such as our Clarkson Historical Society (Smith was recently appointed treasurer) who openly embrace new volunteers such as myself. I enjoy the many resources our town has to offer, like the many parks throughout the town, to enjoy with our families.”
Smith says she feels the most important issue facing the town is being able to provide the level of service residents have come to expect while meeting the challenges of ever increasing costs.

“I am also a strong advocate for sensible growth in Clarkson,” Smith explains. “We have such great potential to grow our community in all segments, for young families with our parks, residential growth, and for our senior citizens, not to mention well thought-out commercial and retail opportunities to support our community, while following our town’s long-term comprehensive plan.” Smith adds it is also extremely important to stay within the budget “because I believe strongly in my fiscally conservative principles.”

Additionally, Smith says she has been active in the community as a Girl Scout leader; a softball, soccer and cheer coach; Booster member of Brockport High School baseball and football programs and the Brockport Eagles. She has served as a Brockport Central School District parent volunteer; a volunteer for Clarkson Good Neighbor Day; Monday Nites Music in the Park series in Clarkson and the Clarkson Rodeo.

Photo by Kristina Gabalski