Nicky Smith looks back on 16 years as Albany Mayor

Posted December 12, 2018 at 10:52 am

Nicky Smith Pic-Color.psd

John N. “Nicky” Smith has been at the helm of city government in Albany for the past 16 years, but will be leaving that position at the end of the month, after having served four full terms as Mayor of Albany.

Smith was first elected in 2002, took office in January of 2003 and was elected three more times prior to deciding to retire at the end of this term and not seek re-election.

At 63, mayor Smith said upon his retiring, “Sixteen years is a long time, plus, I have some health issues I need to take care of.”

The mayor is the son of the late John B. Smith, Jr., who worked at the Albany Post Office, and Betty Lou Sloan Smith, who was a retired school teacher. He is also a life-long resident of Albany, married to the former Becky McWhorter, and they have one daughter, Leslie, and a granddaughter, eight-year-old Jersie.

Smith served two years in the military, being stationed in Germany and also worked for some 25 years in law enforcement, mostly as a Commercial Vehicle officer.

He noted that a couple of primary projects he would still like to see take place is improvements to the Duvall Valley water system (better pressure) and seeing a water line run along the 127 bypass, as well as more sidewalks, including from the northern section of the city to the park and school area.

The mayor said he really had no regrets or dislikes about the job, saying he liked helping people and would miss most working with people, not only the public, but employees and office staff.

Smith was also mayor when the position went from part-time to full-time in 2010 and over the years he has worked alongside several different council members and other county elected officials, including county judges, the late Charlene King, as well as Donnie McWhorter, Lyle Huff and current judge Richard Armstrong.

When asked what advise he would give to his successor he said, “Listen to people and their concerns…and learn how to say ‘no’ sometimes.”

Following retirement, Smith said the primary thing he would probably do is spend time with his family.

He also thanked the citizens of Albany for giving him the privilege to serve the city, noting Albany had some great, dedicated city employees and council members.

He also thanked past and current state elected officials and members of the Area Development District for their cooperation in projects over the years.

The mayor’s list of accomplishments seen over his 16 year tenure as mayor includes:

* Applied for and received over $28 million in grants and loans for the following:

— Improved downtown area with new lights, sidewalks, and new sidewalk to hospital area.

— New fire station with new equipment.

— Upgraded raw water intake and relocation of same.

— Upgrade and expansion of Waste Water Plant.

— New fire trucks, police cars, police vests, paving grants, new fire hydrants, new and upgraded water line infrastructure in the city and county, new construction equipment, backhoe and trucks, over 100 miles of new and replaced water and sewer lines.

* Obtained retirement for employees and pay increases.

* No increase in city property tax rates.

* Attracted several new businesses to the community.

In closing, the mayor wants to send Merry Christmas wishes to everyone and hopes everyone has a happy and prosperous 2019.