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Smithfield’s Kris Monson is in government for the long run

March 29th, 2014 Posted in Arts and Life

By Alicia Facer

SMITHFIELD—Never-ending stress, knee surgery, three children and three grandchildren have not stopped City Council member Kris Monson from donating her services to a community she has been a part of for the past 18 years.

Monson has been serving the city for 13 years.

“I was involved with the Youth Council for a couple years and then one of the City Council members asked me if I would like to be on the Planning and Zoning commission and I agreed,” Monson said. “After a few years I decided I wanted to have a vote that counts, so I decided to run for City Council.”

However, being involved and constantly worrying about the well-being of the city can take a toll on Council members.

“There are times when I leave and I feel like I can’t go back,” Monson said. “I have a hard time with people who ridicule and are not willing to get it themselves.”

To help relieve some of that stress, Monson bicycles and runs. Knee surgery in October set her back a few months, but Monson is more determined and dedicated than ever.

“I just started running again the last couple months,” Monson said. “It’s definitely a slow process.”

Smithfield government has been going through a transition itself.

“These past few years we really have put the elected representatives in charge of the city,” Council member Barbara Kent said. “That way we give the power to the people who elected those representatives.”

The Council consists of members Kent, Monson, Brent Buttars, Jeffrey Barnes, Dennis Watkins, and Mayor Darrell Simmons. These Council members will work together four years with this mayor and so far have made a really good team, said Kent.

“One of the reasons I decided to run again was because we work well together with each other, and with the mayor,” said Kent. “Kris Monson and I have worked together for a long time and all the interactions have been really pleasant.”

It’s a good team because the leadership is dedicated to the community, the mayor said.

“People want to live here, people want to develop here,” said Simmons. “For us to raise a family, you have so many important things to a family that are really close by.”

One of the reasons the community is special to Monson is because of the harmony and hard work of the residents.

“There is a real spirit of family and unity, people are out there to help each other,” Monson said. “I’ve been really impressed with the spirit of taking care of each other.”

TP

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