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Mayor: Smithfield poised for smart growth

Moore discusses town’s achievements, challenges

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SMITHFIELD — Mayor Andy Moore is presumed to be the youngest person ever elected to the Smithfield Town Council.

Before his election as mayor in 2015, the 47-year-old Smithfield native served 16 years on the council. This is his second term as mayor.

“I love Smithfield,” said Moore. “I enjoy working for the citizens and trying to make improvements to our community.”

Moore cited the development of parks and recreation in Smithfield, including the Buffalo Creek Greenway and the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center, as examples of how the town provides amenities for its residents.

“Also, the work we did with ElectriCities, negotiating with Duke Energy to have lower electric rates so that we can be more competitive,” said Moore. “We’ve worked on a downtown project to bury the power lines and add more lights.”

Like most cities, Moore said one of the biggest challenges Smithfield faces is infrastructure.

“We have aging sewer lines,” said Moore. “But I’m glad we’ve developed a plan to focus on infrastructure.”

He also would like for more people to visit Smithfield after dark.

“I’d love to see more people who work here stay to eat and shop here,” said Moore. “There are so many things to do in Smithfield.”

The quality of education at Smithfield and Selma schools is another of Moore’s concerns.

“There’s a lot of educational data out there and I’m not an expert,” said Moore. “My son is a student at Smithfield-Selma High School and he’s enjoyed it. I tell him, ‘Hampton, the school reflects the real world. There will be diversity in the workforce, so appreciate the diversity at your school.’”

One of the keys to improving education is more parental involvement and, to that end, Moore supports the #SSStrong movement.

“We need more people in our community to get behind our schools,” said Moore. “We need more parental involvement.”

A strong educational recruiting tool for businesses and industries, said Moore, is Johnston Community College.

“JCC has been very receptive to the needs of business and industry and develop special curriculum to match the skill sets needed by them,” said Moore. “Along with JCC, we have Johnston Health, which provides quality health care.”

Moore admitted that he spends most of his time on the go and doesn’t get to relax much.

“When I do get away, I love to travel with my family,” said Moore. “I enjoy going to the beach and the mountains, fishing and hiking.”

Moore is married to the former Lydia Whitley. They have three children, Hampton, 17, a senior at Smithfield-Selma; Griffin, 15, and Whitley Kate, 12, who both attend Neuse Charter School in Smithfield.

Moore is a 1989 graduate of Smithfield-Selma and has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from North Carolina State University. He has worked for 19 years in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently for Pfizer since 2011.

“Lydia and I decided to move back to Smithfield because we wanted to live in a smaller town and raise a family,” said Moore. “We need to attract more younger families to Smithfield.”

Moore and his family are members of Centenary United Methodist Church in Smithfield, where he serves on the church council.

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