Contested Race Develops For Second Smithfield Town Council Seat

A contested race for a second Smithfield town council seat has developed. The new contested race is for District 1, which covers the East Smithfield community.

Today (Thursday), Kevin Peacock, of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, filed to challenge one term incumbent Councilman Marlon Lee who filed for re-election last Friday.

Peacock, a 1982 graduate of Smithfield Selma High School, said he believes Councilman Lee is doing a good job for the district but believes more needs to be done.

Peacock says he has been an advocate for the primarily African American district for 14 years and has worked over the years for the betterment of the community. Peacock says East Smithfield is being neglected by the Town of Smithfield, something that if elected, he plans to change.

“I want to get a closer look at what’s going on,” Peacock said Thursday. “The town says they can’t do certain things in East Smithfield, they don’t have enough money to do certain things, but other areas are getting the money.”

Peacock said recent efforts by the Town of Smithfield to demolish substandard housing is a concern. He believes if the Town would apply for a Community Development Block Grant to pay to renovate substandard houses instead of tearing them down, it would keep more properties on the tax roll, while helping the poorest residents.

“The demolition of houses for people unable to afford to repair them is unfair,” Peacock said.

He said streets in East Smithfield need repaving while other areas of Smithfield with streets in good condition continue to get resurfaced. Peacock said he has been trying to get the Public Works Department to repave a section of West Street for 7 years without success. “There has been no work done on it.”

Peacock said he has issues with the Smithfield Police Department alleging they routinely stop minorities in East Smithfield. He said he tried to file a complaint about the police department with town officials but they refused to listen.

Peacock, who is self-employed, said by gaining a seat on the town board he can be in a better position to see what is going on in town government and better address problems in East Smithfield.

District 2

Incumbent Smithfield Town Councilman Perry Harris is seeking another 4 year term to represent South Smithfield but is being challenged by former parks and recreation director Tim Johnson.

District 3

Incumbent Town Councilman Travis Scott filed Friday for a second term in District 3 representing the North Smithfield area. So far he is unopposed.

District 4

Dr. David Barbour has filed for a seat representing West Smithfield. Current one term councilman Roger Wood will not say publicly if he is seeking another term.

The filing period for the 2017 municipal elections continues through Friday, July 21st.