SMITHFIELD – Smithfield Town Councilman Emery Ashley has announced he will not seek reelection. Ashley was first elected to an at-large seat in 2011. He won reelection in 2015. Councilman Ashley told JoCoReport he will not seek a third term.
“I first ran in 2011 after following the Council and studying the budgets for approximately 10 years. At that time the Town was not in good shape financially and we had an interim Town Manager,” Ashley said. “It was a difficult time. However, everyone – Department heads, employees, Town Council, and the Town Manager – worked together and the Town is in great financial shape today. We are in good posture for great things ahead.”
Ashley served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017.
Ashley said he recently made the decision not to seek another term. “There is no negative reason. I think my time has run its course. I have put in a lot of time and feel like I have made a positive contribution. I hope so. The Council puts in far more time than people realize.”
When asked what were some of the more important accomplishments he believed he had made in the last 8 years on the Council, Councilman Ashley said, “I do not think there are any individual accomplishments. I hope I have been a good team player.”
He added there were several personal beliefs for service on the Town Council: ” One – We must remain vigilant and diligent. Two – All seven Council members must be individual thinkers and understand that it is okay for us to disagree as long as we do so respectively. To me the essence of democracy is bringing together different views from different perspectives and discussing even debating the issues. Hopefully the end result are decisions for greatest good. Three – The first thing we must do for economic development is to provide the desired services in the most economically efficient manner.”
“We are a good Town, with a lot of good people. A lot of good people have gone before us, and we have a lot of good history. We need to embrace the good and shy away from the negativity. In theHistory of Smithfield 1777-1961, author Ben A. Baker, Jr. concluded, “This is Smithfield, ‘The Friendly Town.'” I agree,” said Mr. Ashley.
In Smithfield, seats held by Councilmen Ashley, John A. Dunn and Steve Rabil are up for election this year. Mayor Andy Moore’s term is also up for election.
The filing period for municipal elections in Johnston County opens on Friday, July 5th.