Republican Candidate Woody White is a local attorney who says he’s running for a seat on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners because of what he calls a crisis in leadership.
As the former state senator explains to WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn, until the county can effectively solve its water quality problems and solid waste issues, county government is not delivering basic services.
White says the number of times he’s listened to the news only to hear about a new sewage spill or that Banks Channel is too polluted for swimming is a big part of what’s motivated him to run for office.
“Instead of focusing on delivering clean water and fixing our sewage and solid waste problems, we’re talking a lot about building a baseball stadium. You know, I’d love to have a baseball stadium to be honest with you. But we’ve got to go back to the basics first. We’ve got to get that right.”
Part of getting it right, says White, is taking a hard look at the budget and distinguishing between the county’s needs and the county’s wants. As to whether a Titan Cement plant should operate in Castle Hayne, White is circumspect --- in deference, he says -- to a possible quasi-judicial process. If elected, he wants to be certain, he says, that he’s not excluded from voting on a special-use permit for Titan Cement – due to an earlier, unfortunate rhetorical remark during his campaign. But he does have questions.
“Titan is going to have to be very specific... We know what their permit says. What are the real numbers? What are the mercury and sulfur dioxide discharges? Those are very grave concerns to me and to a lot of citizens.”
Another key reason White says he’s running for office: the tone of the political dialogue.
"It’s been shrill. It’s been anger-filled and shouting and screaming. We have to approach these problems seeking first to understand and then to be understood.”