Haywood won’t seek reelection to Town Council

Published 3:25 pm Friday, March 18, 2022

Beth Haywood won’t seek a second term on Smithfield’s Town Council.

Haywood announced at the council’s March 1 meeting that she will step down at the end of her term, which expires Dec. 30.

“I had three grandsons born in the last two years and I want to spend more time with them … To be fully committed to Town Council takes a lot of time reading, researching, talking to people and I would rather spend that time with family at this point in my life,” Haywood said, speaking to The Smithfield Times via email March 16.

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She’s also become dissatisfied with the lack of progress on some town projects.

“When I ran four years ago, I did have high hopes of seeing the Park-to-Park trail completed,” Haywood said. “It has been frustrating that so many other projects have come through and have been completed, considering we committed to this project more than 10 years ago.”

Last year, Isle of Wight County celebrated the opening of its portion of the trail, which is eventually intended to span from Nike Park in Carrollton to Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield. The county’s $8.6 million portion of the 10-foot-wide asphalt bicycle and pedestrian path spans roughly 3 miles down Nike Park and Battery Park roads. The remaining 1-mile segment, which will run from Battery Park Road down South Church Street and across the Cypress Creek Bridge, is to be funded by the town. As of 2019, Smithfield’s portion was projected to cost anywhere from $2.5 million to $3.3 million, and be eight feet wide rather than 10.

“Serving on Town Council has been a good experience for me,” Haywood said. “I have learned a lot. … Now is the time for others to get involved. In order for all people to be represented, we need to have a variety of candidates.”

Four of the seven council seats will be on the ballot this November. Per a 2021 change in state law, Smithfield’s local elections are no longer in May.

In addition to Haywood’s seat, those held by Mayor Carter Williams, Councilwoman Valerie Butler and Councilman Wayne Hall will also be up for election.