Woods picked for vacant City Council seat

December 14, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - One longtime educator is replacing another on the Martinsburg City Council.

Rodney Woods, 60, of 906 Hillcrest Drive in the city's Third Ward, was the unanimous selection of sitting council members to complete the unexpired term of At-Large Councilman Donald Anderson, Mayor George Karos announced Thursday.

Anderson, who also retired from Berkeley County Schools, resigned in October for health reasons.

"I would certainly encourage the other 15 people (who applied) to run for council, or mayor ... in June," Karos said before the appointment formally was approved by the council.

Woods is expected to take the oath of office Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall in a special council meeting. The unexpired term, along with the other six council and mayoral seats, expire June 30, 2008, 20 days after the municipal election.


"I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work," Woods said Thursday night in a telephone interview after the council meeting.

A native of Webster Springs, W.Va., Woods said the excitement of the region's growth in 1973 lured him to Berkeley County after he received his master's degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

"Even at that time, it was growing. Now, I'm wondering if I've stayed too long," Woods said, laughing.

Woods' application for the vacant seat noted 38 years of experience as an administrator. He was principal of Potomack Intermediate School when he retired, but continues work in education as a consultant. His wife, Cindy, is a librarian at Spring Mills Middle School.

Woods said he could never pretend to be filling Anderson's proverbial shoes on council.

"I hold him in high regard," said Woods, who worked with Anderson in the county's school district.

Though the mayor only votes to break a tie among council members, Karos said Woods' statement to council members about his Democratic Party registration "really stuck out."

"Although, I am a registered Democrat, it is my position that city business should be conducted in a nonpartisan ... manner," Woods wrote in the application letter.

Though he initially moved to Martinsburg in the 1970s, Woods said he resided in the Inwood, W.Va., area before returning to the city in 1984.

"The city services appealed to me," Woods said.

Third Ward Councilman Max Parkinson said he was surprised by Woods' application for the seat, but feels he would be the type of person that Anderson would want to sit in his seat.

"I know more of his good reputation. He was a good neighbor," Parkinson said. "I was very, very impressed with his rsum."

Among an extensive list of career highlights Woods noted in a rsum submitted to council were his work with the Shenandoah Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, the Yankauer Nature Preserve trail maintenance committee and "Principal's Desk" column writings for The Daily Mail from 1993 to 1995. He said he was appointed by Karos to serve as a city appointee to the Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority (PanTran) in 2006.

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