August 1, 2019 10:46:54 AM
Endorsement by Caledonia Mayor
This letter is in response to several writings both in print and on social media to those persons critical of Representative Jeff Smith's part in the discussions and lack of a consensus resulting in the CVB failing to reach a final agreement on the 2 percent county-wide restaurant tax last year. What has not been told is the other side of the story and that being the disparity in the distribution of funds for festivals in the county, namely Caledonia, Artesia and Crawford. As mayor of Caledonia, I called Representative Smith and discussed with him our displeasure with the county festivals being left out of the new agreement and how I thought it was unfair since county residents also pay the 2 percent tax. Jeff agreed that he would not support an agreement until all sides could come to an agreement and that county residents also were not left out of any arrangement. It was also requested that all festivals be budgeted a yearly line item amount to eliminate each festival having to "bow and kiss the ring" of the CVB board in hopes that each festival would receive such amount for a festival as deemed appropriate by the CVB board.
Representative Smith did in fact demonstrate true Leadership in hearing all sides to this issue and standing his ground until a fair agreement could be reached. In the two years that I have been Mayor of Caledonia, Jeff Smith has been Caledonia's best friend in Jackson, helping secure over $170,000 in grants and funding for projects in our town as a direct result of his position as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means committee. I hope you will agree with me that there is no substitute for Senior Leadership in Jackson!
It is my privilege and honor to publicly endorse Representative Jeff Smith for re-election to Representative of District 39 and encourage all my family and friends to vote for Jeff Smith on August 6th.
Mitchell "Mitch" Wiggins
Mayor of Caledonia
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