Members of the Smithfield Town Council had to select between two well-qualified applicants to fill one vacancy on the Smithfield Planning Board. The vacancy was recently created with the resignation of a planning board member.
Michael R. Taylor of Brookwood Drive and Michael E. Johnson of S. Crescent Drive both applied for the vacant planning board position.
Taylor is the Executive Director of Transportation and Growth Planning for Johnston County Schools.
Johnson is the owner of HomeMasters Pest Control and a volunteer on the Smithfield Fire Department. He also serves on the Smithfield Board of Adjustments.
Town Attorney Bob Spence reminded the council that if a planning board decision were to ever be appealed, it would be heard by the Board of Adjustments. If Johnson were to be appointed to the planning board and then heard the appeal as a member of the board of adjustments it could potentially create a conflict of interest.
After hearing Spence’s comments, the town council selected Michael Taylor for the planning board vacancy since he currently doesn’t hold any other seat on a town board or commission.
Taylor’s term on the planning board will expire in 3 years.