Woods beats Winegardner
by Staff Writer
DAVIDSON – Mayor John Woods beat challenger Vince Winegardner, collecting almost 60 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s election.
Woods got 1,292 votes to Winegardner’s 870.
In Davidson, 26.55 percent of the 8,319 registered voters turned out to vote.
“This race brought out a lot of issues that are good for Davidson,” Woods said Tuesday night, Nov. 8, “and they will only make us better at what we do.”
Woods said he will continue to work to improve transparency.
“I hope that this will engender a higher level of communication and a more inclusive form of government,” Woods said.
Woods, a lifelong Davidson resident, was first elected mayor in 2007.
He served on the Davidson Land Plan Committee from 1994 to 1995 and the town board from 1997 to 2007.
Woods serves as vice-chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Commission and chairs the Red-Line Task Force studying a commuter-freight line through north Mecklenburg. Woods is a senior vice president-Lake Norman executive for Peoples Bank.
Winegardner ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, promising to be responsible for our taxpayers and not commit them to expenditures that are inappropriate for town government,” according to his website.
Winegardner has served on the Davidson Planning Board since 2009 and helped found the Davidson Coalition for Fiscal Responsibility this summer. He removed himself from leadership with the group when he announced his candidacy, but Winegardner continued questioning monetary policies and town decisions.
Davidson’s $10 million budget for 2011-12 is too big, Winegardner said at an Oct. 18 candidate forum at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.
Winegardner also criticized the town’s purchase of the building that now houses Armour Street Theater, the home of Davidson Community Players, and homes for affordable housing. Throughout the campaign, he argued the town should spend less money on nonessential services.
The fiscal debate inspired some voters to get to the polls.
“The fiscal crisis that our country and every state, city and municipality is under right now needs attention,” resident Emmett Montgomery said.
Montgomery voted to keep the town out of private business, like MI-Connection, the cable-TV franchise purchased by Davidson and Mooresville. He doesn’t think cities and towns should be involved in business, “unless it is the business of taking care of citizens.”
John Workman didn’t like the direction Woods has led the town and voted to stop wasteful spending in Davidson, he said.
“I think if Vince is elected, it could be a pretty historic race,” Workman said. “It could send Davidson in a different direction, a more positive direction, as far as I’m concerned, a more fiscally responsible direction.”
The competition, however, apparently brought even more voters out to support Woods.
“I was really afraid that we would lose a great mayor, who’s done a lot of great things for our town,” Christine Lamb said after voting at Town Hall.