By Dedra Cordle
Kenneth Skeaton, a long-time member on the village of Urbancrest council, has decided he will not seek a fourth term come November.
Skeaton says he has been mulling an exit from local politics since the fall of last year, but has only recently made peace with his decision.
“I think we as a village have achieved much of what I envisioned when I first joined the council,” he said. “I now feel as if my assignment is over.”
The idea to run for a seat on the village council started to take root in his mind when he was just a few years removed from high school.
“I was born and raised here so I’ve always had a passion for this community,” he said. “I wanted to see it flourish and see progress and one day I decided it was time to get involved and see if I could make a difference.”
Much to his surprise, he was elected to sit on the council in 2005, the first year he decided to run for office.
Shortly after being sworn-in, he joined the village’s health and safety committee where he served as chairman. He held that position until councilwoman Deborah Larkins-Jackson took over in December.
Though Skeaton says there have been some tough times serving on the council, there is much pride to be found in their accomplishments.
“One thing that sticks out in my mind is the codification of village ordinances,” he said.
He says serving on the council that helped modernize local laws was a point of pride for him personally.
“It was huge for us and for the community as well.”
Another accomplishment Skeaton says he is proud of is helping to bring unified trash service to Urbancrest.
“At one point, we had numerous trash providers coming in and out at all times,” he said.
He says having a unified service has really helped beautify the community.
“It encourages people to clean up their property and it makes the village look cleaner,” he said.
Skeaton says though he has decided not to seek re-election this year, he does intend to fulfill his term.
“We still have work to do,” he said, citing his role on the village board that aims to keep operations at the Vaughn E. Hairston Southwest Community Center at existing levels.
He also did not rule out a run for local office in the future.
“At some point in the future, I may,” he said. “I love this community and if the opportunity presents itself and I feel a calling to take on another assignment, I just might.”