Robert L. Smith was first elected to City Council in April, 2002 in the Fifth Ward. He was re-elected in 2005 and was elected by as Mayor Pro Tem by members of Council. He was re-elected two more terms through 2011, when he was elected Mayor Pro Tem for a second time. In 2014 he was defeated but was re-elected in 2017. Councilman Smith was elected by his peers as Mayor of the City of Poplar Bluff for the 2019 - 2020 and 2020 - 2021 terms. Councilman Smith worked for Operation Off-Street, and the Poplar Bluff School District. He is a certified member of Missouri Municipal League and Municipal Government Institute.