Stephenson will retire in June

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

A top Smithfield town official has announced his plans to retire.

Smithfield Town Manager Peter Stephenson will leave his post June 30 after 22 years serving the town. 

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“Smithfield has been a great place to live and raise a family over the past 22 years,” said Stephenson in a Feb. 12 announcement. 

Stephenson, 55, plans to spend more time with his family over the summer and then look for new opportunities to utilize his experience, interests and abilities, according to the announcement. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

During his tenure, Stephenson has guided the town through the Pinewood Heights relocation project, the South Church Street beautification, the construction of the town’s reverse osmosis plant, The Smithfield Center, Windsor Castle Park and the Joseph W. Luter III sports complex, to name a few. 

Stephenson’s career in government spans 32 years, and has included James City County and Leesburg. He has served as president of the Virginia Local Government Management Association, as well as serving on the Virginia Municipal League insurance programs members’ supervisory board. 

“We’ll miss him. He’s a world of knowledge,” said Smithfield Mayor Carter Williams of Stephenson’s retirement. 

Williams said the town will begin advertising for the position, but there is plenty of time as Stephenson will remain until the end of June. Plus, Stephenson will be on hand to aid in the transition, said Williams. 

Stephenson’s retirement coincides with the departure of several town council members, including Vice Mayor Andrew Gregory and council members Milton Cook and Steve Bowman, who recently replaced former council member Connie Chapman mid-term. 

Chapman left late last year to take a job with Isle of Wight County Tourism. 

Neither Gregory, Cook or Bowman plan to run for office in the May 1 town election, leaving Williams and council members Denise Tynes and Michael Smith as the only seasoned members left.  

Williams is also up for reelection, and so far, an additional seven people have picked up packets seeking a seat on the council. 

Williams said he hates to see Stephenson go when so many council members are also leaving.  {/mprestriction}