Editor's note: Patch reached out to Woodstock City Councilman-elect Warren Johnson to ask questions about his upcoming tenure, his goals and what direction he'd like to see the city take.
Johnson will be officially sworn in at the beginning of the Jan. 13 Woodstock City Council meeting, which gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Chambers at City Center. Johnson will replace outgoing Ward 1 Councilman Randy Brewer, who decided not to seek re-election.
1. Now that the election is over, how have you been preparing for your new role?
In order to prepare for my new role on (Woodstock) City Council, I have been attending council meetings and sitting in on executive sessions, reviewing the City Charter, (the city's) land use code, council policy manual and other documents that guide council’s decisions. Also, I spent a day and a half meeting with City Manager (Jeff Moon) and department heads to discuss projects, budgets and timelines. I have visited project sites, the two fire stations, police department and waste water treatment plant.
2. What are some goals you'd like to see the city and the city council achieve?
I would like to see the city reduce traffic on Main Street and alleviate the parking issues downtown. I would also like to see the trail system continue to grow.
3. Personally, what are your goals and things you'd like to achieve in your first term?
My personal goals for the city are to reduce the debt, continue with responsible growth and reduce traffic congestion. I would also like to work on making a more uniform, visually aesthetic development on the Highway 92 corridor.
3. What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles and/or challenges the city of Woodstock face?
I believe traffic and parking are two of the biggest challenges Woodstock faces at this time.
4. What, if any, has been the most surprising thing you are learning as you are transitioning into public life?
At this time, I have not been surprised by what I have learned since the election.
5. What ideas do you have to help the city pay off its debt?
I am looking forward to participating in the budget process so that we can forecast and plan for large expenditures.
6. Do you have any ideas as to how the city could manage the growth — both commercial and residential — it's experiencing?
The more I get more involved with the inside process the more my ideas will evolve.
7. What should Woodstock residents expect from you in your first term?
Woodstock residents can expect honesty and transparency from me. I am willing to stand my ground for something that I believe in, however I am open minded and if presented with additional information, I am willing to change my position if I believe it to be in the best interest of the city. I am a fiscal conservative and will work to ensure that decisions made will increase the quality of life for the citizens.