Mayor should resign

Published 8:31 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

I have lived in many towns and cities of this great country and also numerous countries, but have never witnessed an elected official act so disgracefully. On Tuesday, 3 November, I attended my second Town Council Meeting. Approximately 50-75 citizens of the Town of Smithfield were present for the two public hearings on the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and the Rezoning of the Pierceville property. More than 20 of those citizens spoke during the “Public Comments” portion of the hearings — all but one in strong opposition to the project; each conducted himself/herself very respectfully. The meeting was very productive, with other members of Council hearing and considering the views of their constituents.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Mayor Williams. In three short minutes, the Mayor transformed the meeting by publicly chastising and humiliating the Town’s residents — to include many who were not in attendance. His comments of “you’s people,” and making a distinction between people “born here” (his words) and those who have chosen to make Smithfield their home or should I say “come here’s” (his words) were totally despicable, prejudicial and inexcusable! People who choose to seek election and are elected must represent all the citizens of the Town — not just the ones born here. Unmistakably, Mayor Williams does not believe this to be true. Words cannot express just how mortified and offended I was, especially being new to this Town and meeting some of the citizens of Smithfield for the first time.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I was appalled to witness first-hand the tarnished ethics of Mayor Williams. We all, especially those of us who have chosen to make Smithfield our home, are as much a part of the charm of this Town as any. The “charm” fades when an elected official actually makes distinctions between the citizens of the Town in an open forum. Mayor Williams’s narrow-minded and prejudiced beliefs have no business in managing our Town. He should be ashamed of his conduct. I believe he owes all citizens of the Town an apology during the next Town Council meeting — and should officially resign from his post as Mayor.

Carleen Gleich Arinello