Former chief executive Smurthwaite became chairman and sole owner of the club on Friday following a boardroom reshuffle which saw Paul Wildes leave.
Smurthwaite, 52, who came out of retirement to take over the club alongside Wildes in November, plans to follow the lead of one of his predecessors in the role.
"There's no debt now and there won't be during my time at Port Vale," Smurthwaite told a fans' forum at Vale Park on Monday night.
"Whether that's five years or 20 years I don't know, but I want to rekindle the Bill Bell days.
"The more people who come in, the more people who buy merchandise and the more people who buy pies then the more can be spent on the field. It's that simple. We won't live beyond our means.
"It's not a job I can't do and I have a good team behind me."
- Sports & Recreation