Photo courtesy of Mac Smith.

Willard “Mac” Smith is an engineer. He’s never before run for office. But he sees issues with taxing, policing and homelessness, and he wants to fix them. 

“My business is not grandstanding but solving problems, digging up facts, doing the math. That’s my focus. I want to solve problems,” he says. 

How to spend $10 million 

Smith would put the money toward three projects. He says he would spend some money fixing streets and alleys throughout the district, especially those damaged by garbage trucks. 

The city council candidate would also purchase street lights for lower-income areas, in an effort to decrease crime there. Lastly, he would improve the quality of parks in the district. 

Thoughts on the city’s efficacy in responding to the pandemic and winter storm

Smith says the winter storm came on suddenly, but city services were mostly uninterrupted. Once temperatures started to rise, the issue became making sure there were enough plumbers and craftsmen to make repairs, but the city played little role in that. 

When it comes to handling the pandemic, Smith says the mayor did a good job of informing people about COVID-19. 

The city also helped make Fair Park a vaccination center, at first with the intent of ensuring underserved people received vaccines. However, there were obstacles in delivering those vaccines, because registration required some technological know-how and equipment, and the site was open during the workday, so many people would need to take time off work. 

Something the city council has done right

Smith says most of what the city does is done well, and the public only hears about what is done poorly. 

“You look at what they’ve done wrong, but I don’t know if they’ve hit any big home runs, but at least the city is working,” he says. “Public services are being delivered, and that sort of thing.”


Smith says the city needs to hire about 100 or 150 new officers and place more officers in high-crime areas. In addition, he says a large swath of the department is about to reach retirement age, so the city council needs to examine how to finance the pension fund. 

The City Council also needs to improve their rhetoric about police officers and express the sentiment that officers aren’t “as bad as they’re represented to be,” he says. People are hesitant to become officers because of the negative press. 

Smith says he would probably increase the police budget to hire more officers. 

Hidden gems in District 13

Bachman Lake Park and other parks, as well as the overall condition of the district, including a low crime rate and well-kept properties 

What he’s reading

The last thing he read was “Running for Office as an Online Candidate,” by Shane Daly. Right now, he’s reading “Climatic Changes: Their Nature and Causes,” by Ellsworth Huntington. 

Who’s inspired him 

His grandfather, who wanted his children to have a better life than what he did.