By John Woods 
Guest editorial

As I reflect on 16 years of service, first on the town board and now as your mayor, I am extremely grateful for the support the citizens of this great community have offered me.

I am running unopposed in this election, but this election, like every other election that selects leaders for our town, is critical to Davidson. The right choices at the polls on Nov. 5 can sustain decades of work and continue to keep our great community thriving!

Before you cast your vote, I ask you to look at the health of our town and our response to recent challenges – the crippled economy we faced just four years ago, continuing growth pressures, affordability and our obligations to MI-Connection (a note of clarification – none of the current town board members held the position when the decision to purchase was made – it’s my responsibility).  

In each of these matters, my current colleagues on the town board have led with courage, determination and deep commitment to the residents of Davidson.

It is no accident that Davidson is the envy of communities in and out of North Carolina.

It is no accident that people seek to live in Davidson.

It is no accident that businesses want to locate in Davidson.

It is no accident that property has not only held, but increased in value in Davidson.

Brian Jenest (3 terms), Connie Wessner (2 terms), Jim Fuller, and Rodney Graham (1 term each) have worked closely with me in recent years. We have worked to become a high-functioning team, and the results of the 2012 citizen survey speak to our success in that endeavor.

Our work together on economic development has resulted in 51 businesses, from single-person offices to MSC Industrial Supply, opening in Davidson over the past two years. And the number continues to grow ...  the Carolinas Health Systems facility isn't even included yet in that number. And all the while these commissioners have remained committed to creating jobs and capital investment that honor our shared town values and enhance the quality of life our citizens enjoy.

Perhaps most important to me is the care and intellect with which Brian, Connie, Jim and Rodney approach their responsibilities as elected officials. They are excellent communicators. They engage citizens openly and honestly. They never settle for easy answers or hide behind their positions and votes. In short, they are exemplary leaders. 

Effective leadership, shared experience and unwavering commitment to the community are key ingredients to the well-being of our town. The four incumbents on the ballot this year represent a variety of perspectives, and their highly engaged and thoughtful decision-making process has kept our town moving forward.

I urge Davidson voters to support all four incumbents for town board. 

I remain undecided on my fifth vote, as I am contemplating who will be the most effective and thoughtful leader to add to the conversation. I will look carefully to find a candidate who has shown a willingness to engage constructively on all issues, who can put aside personal positions and ideologies to support the community, who values the investment we can make together as a community, and who rejects easy accusations about transparency and consistency and embraces the complexities of the issues we face and the actions we can take.

Again, I hope that you will join with me in re-electing Brian Jenest, Connie Wessner, Jim Fuller and Rodney Graham to the town board. Our community will be the better for it.

John Woods has served as mayor of Davidson since 2007. Prior to that, he served as a commissioner beginning in 1997.