Editor’s note: Mr. Woodson is running for a seat on the Warrenton Town Board. He submitted his candidate questionnaire by the deadline for publication in last’s week’s edition of The Warren Record, but it was inadvertently omitted.
David T. Woodson
Occupation or field in which you work/are retired from: I’ve served as the director of printing at the White House, managed several printing facilities for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and managed the Department of the Navy’s Publications Program for the Secretary of the Navy. I am a 9-11 survivor and assisted in re-establishing essential naval operations at the Pentagon after the attack. I’m now retired from the Department of Defense with 38 years of faithful government service.
Current or previous membership/leadership positions in local civic groups, nonprofits, municipal or county committees, etc.
I served on the Warren County Board of Elections and currently serve as chairman of the Vance County Christian Action League. I established and promote the North Carolina County Coalition Voter League, which produces a comprehensive guide of government contacts and voter resources. I’m an affiliate member of a national Salt & Light Council of several churches nationwide and serve as a Salt & Light Ministry lay-leader at Clearview Church.
What are the top three issues you think the Warrenton Town Board needs to address, and how would you address them?
I believe budget transparency with community input is essential. I support the creation of an overall strategic plan that includes input from Warrenton residents. It’s important citizens play a key role in determining budget priorities. In addition, built-in accountability to residents makes for good local governance. Our strategic plan should incorporate both short and long-term priorities that focus our results and outcomes our Warrenton constituents want and need. I would work to provide incentives for government managers and employees to improve efficiency and implement best practices.
I support enhancing our community though better infrastructure management. Losing businesses and residents due to lack of resources, access to groceries and crumbling infrastructure demonstrates the need for improving infrastructure management. Economic development strategies involve significant effort, and must include building on our local assets and strongpoints. By providing support for urban re-use projects that re-develop vacant or abandoned buildings, recruiting employers, manufacturers and/or retailers provide a better quality of life for all Warrenton residents. Water, power, food and emergency services are essential services needed by all Warrenton residents, and the town council must look for innovative ways to make them affordable for all. Many successful small towns complement such efforts by emphasizing existing assets, distinctive resources and smart investments. Warrenton can do the same in affordable ways that would both increase our tax base while lowering the cost of living.
Establishing a community recycling program is a wise investment in our local and regional economy. It lowers overall waste disposal cost, reduces energy needs and is an effective way of preserving our environment. I would work with local businesses, organizations and state recycling offices while reaching out to the community to establish curbside collection and dropoff centers. A good recycling program helps lower greenhouse gases such as methane (21 times more powerful than carbon) and leads to clean and healthy environment, increasing property values and employment opportunities while helping to spur community investment.
What is your vision for Warrenton’s future, and how do you think the town board could best prepare for the future?
Infrastructure plays a key role in enhancing a community’s economic, social and environmental prosperity. I believe economic freedom is essential to human liberty and dignity. I’m committed to creating an environment that encourages individual initiatives, small business enterprise and common-sense growth. I’ll work to promote new businesses such as a new grocery store and bakery, daycare, dry-cleaning services, IT and computer services, training, fitness studio/gym, outdoor hunting and camping, and many other storefronts and services. All rural communities face unique challenges, and Warrenton is no different. My vision for Warrenton is one of investing in our people and revitalizing our town’s infrastructure to enhance prosperity. By generating construction and maintenance jobs, recreational and educational opportunities, while attracting new businesses and services, and residents are smart and necessary investments to make.
What contributions have you already made to help improve quality of life in Warrenton?
I established a yearly NC County Coalition Voter League event celebrating Warren County’s native son, John Adams Hyman. For the last two years, the event was well attended and is growing in popularity. I regularly support Preservation Warrenton and have restored my historic home, Whitsome, and make it available to Preservation Warrenton for tours and events which brings in monies to support their work. I’m working to establish a local Warren County Christian Action League chapter working with local pastors to establish social ministries and events. My wife and I, on a volunteer basis, walk several Warrenton streets and neighborhoods picking up trash, keeping them clean. Lastly, it’s not a contribution I take credit for, but one of my distant ancestors, Frank Woodson, was a brick mason in the 1850s and worked to build several of Warrenton’s antebellum brick buildings, including the Warren County Courthouse, the Warrenton Presbyterian Church and the Green-Polk House. I’m very proud to have this history and connection to Warrenton.
Why should voters put their confidence in you?
I’m experienced in managing cohesive productive and diverse teams of people to accomplish objectives, projects and tasks. I understand government processes and know how to get things done. I have a broad skillset in business, government, blue-collar trades and contracting. I work effectively with people at all levels and work under pressure, staying focused and organized. I believe planning is key to success and understand that decisions may have a profound impact on the lives and livelihood of thousands of people, and should not be self-serving or made in a vacuum. I’m a visionary and use common sense in applying innovative approaches to accomplished goals. I’m honest and truthful, always willing to stand up for what is right even if it’s not popular.