December 1, 2014
UPDATE: Woodard, Overman electedThe
Dare County Board of Commissioners elected new leaders today, and, as
expected, the Democrats are out and the Republicans are in.
to board leadership positions
By IRENE NOLAN
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
halfway through the meeting agenda, which included mostly resolutions
and presentations, the board went into closed session to discuss a
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
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."
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.
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
- 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 http://www.darenc.com/gov/govboc.php.