Young businessman, first-time politician Smith joins Greensboro City Council

Jontavius Smith goes over the Greensboro City Council agenda prior to Monday’s meeting at City Hall.

 

By Dave Brown

dave@msgr.com

 

Avid golfer Jontavius Smith may be a newcomer to the Greensboro City Council, but the youthful entrepreneur brings experience to the table that should serve the community well.

Smith, a 2007 graduate of Greene County High School, not only lived in and help operate his mother’s foster home, he also took over the helm of the operation when Sandra Mapp got sick.

Later, in 2012, he had the reins of the business when they switched it to a personal care home.

“I pray that I can do things to help benefit the community and the city of Greensboro,” said Smith,

“My main concern is to help the youth in Greensboro. I plan to focus on connecting with the school system.”

Back in November on election night, Smith won a spot on the city council on his first attempt. When the results came in, a narrow 197-189 win over Dennis Ruff, Smith was overcome with emotion.

“It felt great. I felt blessed. After all that I had been through… it was an emotional moment,” he said.

“We had election signs stolen. Lots of false things were said about me. It was a campaign and I knew it was coming, but it was tough. That’s why I was so emotional.

“Now, I can focus on the youth in our community. Our goal is to connect with everybody and bring everybody back together.”

Smith is the only newcomer on the six person board. Smith won the spot formerly occupied by Vincent Lewis, who did not run for re-election. The five other incumbents, including Mayor Glenn Wright, all kept their spots.

Smith, who lives near the high school, said there aren’t enough after-school activities in the area.

Smith said there also needs to be more outreach to the youth in Greensboro.

“I’m no too familiar with them, but I like what I’m seeing with Atlas Ministries. And the College & Career Academy being involved with Athens Tech is a good thing, too,” he said.

“I have nieces and nephews at Lake Oconee Academy. I spend some time over at LOA. I want to see the city and the county work together to serve all the youth in Greene County. I want to bring everybody together as best we can.”

Smith is in the process of starting a foundation to help serve the youth in Greensboro. One of his goals is to establish a scholarship for the school system.

Bespectacled and rangy, perhaps as tall as 6-6, Smith loves to spend some of his spare time and hard-earned money on the golf course.

He is more-than-familiar with the courses at Reynolds, Cuscowilla and Harbor Club.

“I’m working on my game. I’ll go some of everywhere to play,” he said.

“I work hard, and when I’m not working or playing golf, I’m focusing on helping the community the best way I can.”

 

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