December 1, 2014

UPDATE: Woodard, Overman elected
to board leadership positions 


The Dare County Board of Commissioners elected new leaders today, and, as expected, the Democrats are out and the Republicans are in.

Republican Bob Woodard, two years into his first term on the board, is the new chairman and vice-chairman is Wally Overman, also a Republican, who was appointed last year to fill the unexpired term of the late Richard Johnson and then elected last month for the final two years of the term.

Both votes were unanimous.

Woodard replaces long-time Democrat Warren Judge and Overman replaces Democrat Allen Burrus.

This morning's meeting was preceded by the swearing in of the newly elected commissioners -- Overman, returning Republican Jack Shea, and Republican newcomers, Margarette Umphlett and Beverly Boswell.

Republicans now control the board for the first time since the mid-1980s by a margin of 5-2.

Woodard moved from the dais down onto the floor of the Commissioner's Meeting Room for his first order of business, which was to bestow honors on Democrats.

He recognized outgoing Democratic Commissioner Virginia Tillett, who lost her seat to Umphlett, for her many years of public service, which includes 12 years as a commissioner and 20 years on the county Board of Education.  Tillett received a Certificate of Appreciation from Gov. Pat McCrory.

Outgoing vice-chairman Burrus also received a certificate of appreciation, and outgoing chairman Judge was presented by Woodard with a North State Award from the governor for "working tirelessly for this community."

About halfway through the meeting agenda, which included mostly resolutions and presentations, the board went into closed session to discuss a personnel matter.

After more than an hour, the commissioners returned to the meeting to quickly move through the consent agenda, board appointments, and comments from board members and the county manager.

During his turn for comments, Woodard listed his priorities for the new board.  They are:

  • Beach nourishment in the towns and in Buxton on Hatteras Island.
  • Oregon Inlet shoaling issues. He said, that the inlet is "a major revenue source that is certainly suffering right now."
  • Hatteras Island issues, including the replacement of the Bonner Bridge, addressing hotspots on Highway 12, and beach restoration. "We recognize that Hatteras Island is unique...We will be tireless in our efforts to protect Hatteras Island."
  • Budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015. He said his goal was to make sure every expenditure is "necessary, desirable, and important."
  • Transparency.  "We will be transparent," he said.
  • Hand votes on key issues, so it is clearer which commissioners are voting "yes" and "no."
  • Consolidation of services.  The board will look at the issue "down the road."
  • Human resources -- county employees.
  • Economic Development. "We've talked about economic development for a long time, but it's been all talk," he said. He added that he wants to pursue the issue "vigorously" and considers it a priority to move to the top of his list.
  • Education and continuing to work with the county's school board.

Woodard finally adjourned the meeting at around 12:30 p.m.

You can view a video of the Dec. 1 meeting on the Dare County website.  Go to

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