Feb. 11, 2021
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
Will become mayor without write-in competition
BRILLION – Mike Smith’s bid for mayor of Brillion started with an aspiration to put action behind his desire to help the community.
“I think I mostly just got tired of talking about what I would do, the changes that I would make or the decisions that I would make without actually acting on them,” Smith told the newspaper in an interview last week.
Smith, an Illinois native, has lived in Brillion since 2014. In all likelihood, he will become mayor of the City of Brillion on April 6. The deadline to declare papers of candidacy for the spring election has passed. If someone chose to seek the position between now and the election, they would need to earn enough write-in votes on the ballot to become mayor.
“My only desire for this is to make sure that the community is taken care of, the roads are taken care of, the bridges are taken care of, the police force is here, the library is here, the Community Center is here, all those things, so that my kids don’t ever have the desire to leave the same way that my wife and I did,” Smith said.
The first meeting that Smith attended was a Redevelopment Authority Commission (RDA) meeting.
“I started paying a little more attention to what different things were going on at that point,” Smith said.
Smith was employed with Fastenal and the company was looking for a new building in the city.
Since then, he has paid attention to the city’s government. When Brillion Mayor Mel Edinger and half of the city council members expressed desire to look into the potential cost savings of disbanding the Brillion Police Department and switching to county police services last summer, Smith chose to run for mayor.
“I think the police issue we had this summer was probably the straw breaking the camel’s back situation for me. I felt as though there are other options that we could pursue to correcting our budget, rather than getting [rid of] the police department,” Smith said.
Getting to Brillion
Smith is busy.
He is married with four children: Justin, 9, Lauren, 6, Elijah, 3, Benjamin, 1, and a fifth on the way that could come “any hour.”
He grew up in Illinois in Perry, a town in Pike County with less than 500 people on the western side of the state.
Smith worked for Fastenal and chose to move to the area over other options like Wyoming or Iowa.
“From that point, we obviously fell in love with the little city here and stuck around, and have no intention of going back to Illinois,” Smith said.
Please see the complete story in the Feb. 11, 2021 print edition of the Brillion News, with quotes from Smith on his plan for the city.