Harrisburg councilman speaks out after being censured

HARRISBURG, NC (WBTV) - A Harrisburg town councilman is upset after being censured at a town meeting Monday.

Harrisburg councilman Ron Smith said he wasn't informed that he was going to be censured until a few hours prior to the Harrisburg Town Council meeting. He said he was emailed a copy of the censure documents. They include several accusations made against Smith.

"No one has come to me to discuss any of these items. To me it felt like a blind side," Smith told WBTV in an interview Tuesday.

Smith said he doesn't always see eye-to-eye with the other members of the council and that has been reflected in the way he has voted.

"I've taken some controversial stances in the past. I didn't support our budget last year. At the same time, I didn't support the bonds," said Smith.

The censure came in the form of a resolution at Monday night's meeting of the council. WBTV questioned Smith about the accusations Tuesday night.

Some of the claims in the censure document state that Smith left in the middle of meetings with developers and refused to meet with others.

"Yeah I did walk out on meetings but it wasn't to the tune of walking out just to be walking out," said Smith.

Another claim is that Smith berated the town's fire chief during a meeting.

"I let my emotions get the best of me. I apologized to the chief," said Smith Tuesday.

Another accusation is that Smith sent a development plan to his neighbors and tried to create opposition to a proposed project.

"I didn't realize I was breaking any code of conduct or breaking any confidence when I did that," said Smith.

He said he has since apologized for spreading the development plans.

Smith owns up to the incidents listed in the document, but disagrees with the claim that he was taking action to promote his own personal agenda.

"The complaints that are here are not from the residents, it's from the developers. The taxpayer is who I work for," said Smith.

Smith said he has no intentions of leaving the Harrisburg Town Council. Harrisburg Mayor Steve Sciascia declined to comment on the situation when WBTV reached out to him Tuesday afternoon.

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