An Elizabethtown resident is seeking the Democratic nomination for District 3 Bartholomew County commissioner.
Donald B. “Brad” Woodcock, 48, is seeking the seat held by first-term Republican Rick Flohr.
Pledging to bring “new eyes and a fresh approach,” Woodcock said he advocates more effective and reliable planning for projects such as the recently-abandoned proposal for a new Bartholomew County Annex office building.
Dropping the annex project does more than affect county employees and residents who relied on the services there, he said. It also meant losing an anchor project for the badly-needed State Street Corridor revitalization effort, he said.
“We have to ensure that expensive, last-minute surprises in county government expenditures do not occur,” Woodcock said.
Woodcock, who said he’ll soon be talking to key players in the debate over proposed new regulations for concentrated animal farming operations, said the three commissioners will take political heat no matter how they vote on the CAFO matter later this year.
“None of us want the big hog operations next to us, but those operations have to go somewhere,” Woodcock said. “You have to sit down one-on-one with the different interests, and make the best decision that benefits the most people.”
The responsibility for decisions that led to a county financial crisis last year should fall not only on the shoulders of the county commissioners and county council, but also on the Indiana General Assembly, Woodcock said.
State lawmakers have cut funding to Bartholomew County government by millions of dollars over the past seven years after capping property taxes and lowering corporate taxes, he said.
In addition, Woodcock said the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department recently has been forced by the state to house all felons convicted of Level 6 offenses, as well as use its own personnel to fill out 35-page-long Medicaid forms for each eligible inmate.
“This will put a financial strain on the jail,” Woodcock said. “Money is tight, but I believe in public safety. Law enforcement should be the last place you want to force into making budget cuts.”
Having Democrats Elaine Wagner and Tom Dell elected to the Columbus City Council in November provided Woodcock with the inspiration he needed to run for county commissioner, he said.
“And I hope my example will encourage other Democrats to step up and create a more level playing field,” Woodcock said.
Name: Donald B. “Brad” Woodcock
Political office sought: District 3 Bartholomew County Commissioner
Political experience: Currently serves as a precinct committeeman.
Career: Real estate investments. Previously worked 18 years as a quality assurance team leader for Toyota.
Family: Wife, Ellen, a registered nurse at Columbus Regional Hospital. Two children: son Ryan, and daughter Kristin.