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1st Term Archive

February 11, 2002
Dinner brings out Republican candidates

The Dispatch
DENTON — Saturday night’s Davidson County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner was a coming out, of sorts, for Republican candidates in this year’s elections.Sam Watford of East Davidson, a paving and utility contractor who serves on the county planning board. Watford raised some eyebrows Saturday night by distributing cards with a $1 coin attached. “Something for You, Shining and New, In 2002,” the inscription read. The coin was intended not to buy votes but to encourage Republicans to take a card and remember its message, Watford said. “If you’ll look at the tables, you’ll still see a lot of brochures,” Watford said. “But most of ours, people have put them in their pockets". Ben Watford, the candidate’s brother, said they spent $500 in contributions on the gimmick.

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February 19, 2002
Candidates file to run for office

The Dispatch
The 2002 election season officially kicked off Monday as the Davidson County Board of Elections opened at noon for candidates to file to run for office. Sam Watford, 49, a paving and utility contractor from East Davidson who serves on the county planning board. Watford said he is seeking the office because it involves managing people, growth and money, all areas in which he has experience. He said he would like to see forward strides made in education and said he is optimistic about the county’s economic future. Watford said he wanted residents to know he was serious about his candidacy and hopes it will show through to residents during the campaign season. “I bought a new pair of boots for some serious politicking,” Watford said, joking.
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September 11, 2002

Commissioners will see new faces following primary

The Dispatch
Republican voters in Tuesday’s primary sent two of the three incumbents running for re-election to the November ballot. Sam Watford of Thomasville, in his first bid for a commissioner’s seat, was the top vote-getter for the Republicans with 5,450 votes. Watford was endorsed by Sheriff Hege. “I’m new to politics and Sheriff Hege has helped me a whole lot,” Watford said. “You could say I’m taking what we call ‘Politics 101.’” The 49-year-old grading and utilities contractor serves on the county planning and zoning board. Watford’s campaign theme is “less tax is good government, and less government is better government.”

Click here for complete article.     Click here for primary results.

October, 2002
By Kristen Johnson
The Thomasville Times

For the eight candidates competing for a seat on the Davidson County Board of Commissioners, education and economic development go hand in hand. Candidates spoke at a forum held Thursday evening in the cafeteria at E.L. Brown Middle School. Each candidate was given four minutes to speak and answer a question randomly assigned to him or her. The last candidate to speak was Republican Sam Watford. Watford said economic development was “without a doubt” a priority for him — but said he felt the “best answer to these tough times is to help the working man in business for himself expand through help with zoning and permitting.” Watford also suggested revising the county’s land-use plan. “Growth around our municipalities is stressing our schools, highways and quality of life,” Watford said. His question dealt with the relationship between city and county fire departments, and whether responses to county schools could be done by the fire departments closest to that school. “There are mutual aid agreements between city and county fire departments,” Watford said. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think those agreements already address the issue.”
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October, 2002
By Kristen Johnson
The Thomasville Times
Several candidates for Davidson County Board of Commissioners were put on the spot by a group of roughly 50 voters who took the gloves off at Friday night’s forum. Lexington resident Fred Sink questioned candidates about the recent decision to increase the county’s sales tax one-half cent. “We get taxed more and get the same services,” Sink said. “The people can’t bear more taxation. Would you vote to rescind that extra half-cent if you were elected?” “It’s supposed to be a temporary half-cent tax,” Republican Sam Watford said. “If it came to be that we no longer needed the money, I’d vote to rescind it.” Truell was the only candidate to raise his hand when asked by Arcadia resident Mark Scott if he “really believed” the DCSO under Hege’s administration had reduced crime by 61 percent. As audience members laughed, Watford — another candidate formally endorsed by Hege — raised both hands.
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October 23, 2002
The Dispatch

When you stand in front of the voting machine on Nov. 5, our hope is that you will resist the temptation to leave the voting booth after pressing just one button for a straight ticket. We think this is especially true in the selection of four members of the Davidson County Board of Commissioners from nine candidates.

Our favorites are, in alphabetical order, Watson Gregg, Loretta Martin, Max Walser and Sam Watford. What a terrific board it would be if these four were elected to join the three Republicans who are in the middle of their four-year terms. Sam Watford, a member of the county planning and zoning board, is a civil engineer with his own construction company. His expertise in economic development matters would be invaluable on the board. He promises to oppose any tax increases and is widely known in Thomasville for his activity in civic organizations. A pilot, he would promote as a favored location our under-promoted county airport if FedEx displaces some private planes in Greensboro.

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November 6, 2002
Election Results
The Dispatch
A Democrat will join the Davidson County Board of Commissioners for the first time in 12 years as Max Walser was the leading vote-getter in the race for the four open seats. Walser received 22,924 votes for 14 percent. Republicans took the next three places: Sam Watford came in second with 22,820 votes, followed by Don Truell with 22,444 votes, both at 14 percent and incumbent Cindy Akins with 21,635 for 13 percent. While shaking hands, Walser and Watford acknowledged that the final vote canvass could conceivably reverse their ranking with only 104 votes between them. In an interview afterward, Watford called Walser “a sharp guy” and said he was looking forward to working with him. Asked what he thought the voters’ message was, Watford, 49, a resident of the East Davidson area, answered, “Change, since the top three vote-getters are not incumbents.” Watford attributed his win to good organization. “I’d like to thank a lot of people who worked hard. Next to the sheriff’s organization, we put together the best organization on the Republican side.Getting here is the easy part. Living up to voters’ expectations, as well as my own, is the hard part,” Watford added. Watford campaigned on the proposition that “less tax is good government and less government is better government.” He guaranteed that he will not raise taxes. Watford questioned whether incumbents were “playing politics with your money” by first cutting trash and recycling box site hours over the summer then reinstating the original schedule shortly before the election. He also questioned the vote to implement an additional one-half cent local option sales tax Dec. 1, just before the holiday season. This was Watford’s first run for elective office.

Click here for complete article.    Click here for election results.


January, 2003
Board opposed to West Belt project.
By Kristen Johnson
Thomasville Times

With its first vote of 2003, the Davidson County Board of Commissioners voted 5-2 to approve an amended resolution restating its opposition to the High Point West Belt project.
Commissioner and Thomasville-area resident Sam Watford cited the proposed FedEx hub as an important reason for the West Belt’s construction.
“If you live in Thomasville, it’s hard to get to the airport,” he said. “A limited-access highway will help make that an easier trip and help development from the FedEx hub.”
Watford and Kepley both voted against approving the resolution of opposition.
Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

March, 2003
Property taxes to raise?
By Kristen Johnson
Thomasville Times
More than $75.5 million in proposed capital expenditures over the next five fiscal years could force Davidson County to raise property taxes by as much as five cents.
“It seems to me like some previous boards have just made financial commitments for future boards to figure out how to pay for,” commissioner Sam Watford said. “I can tell you right now that some of these projects are going to move slower than they are on paper.”

Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

June 7, 2003
Property taxes to raise?
By Kristen Johnson
Thomasville Times

When his turn to speak came, it was Davidson County Commissioner Sam Watford who summed up the board’s sentiment.
“Nope. There are no sacred cows here,” he said, answering a question fellow commissioner Billy Joe Kepley posed to the group. “Anything ya’ll want to cut, lets go. I’m with you. Schools, public safety — nothing is sacred as far as cutting this budget down.”
Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

November 25, 2004
Thomasville Middle School expansion
By Kristen Johnson
Thomasville Times

Board vice-chair Sam Watford, who cast the lone dissenting vote, delivered what was arguably his longest speech since having been elected.
“I’m the only person up here who seems to be concerned about where this $5 million is coming from,” he said. “I can see you have a need for it, but I can’t in good faith vote to support this expansion because I don’t know how we’ll pay for it.”
Reading from a list, Watford ticked off several elementary schools from around the county and listed their square-footage.
Based upon that comparison, he said, Thomasville Middle School is “far from overcrowded.”
“This is $5 million we can’t even borrow this year,” he said. “There just is no way to do this without adding at least a nickel to our property tax rate.
“We need to slow down. I was taught that you shouldn’t live beyond your means, and this is the ultimate example of doing that. I can’t support this.”

Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

April 29, 2005
Same-Sex Marriage resolution
By Kristen Johnson
Thomasville Times

Commissioner Sam Watford was perhaps the most direct of all the commissioners in expressing his opinion.
“I trust in God and believe in traditional marriage,” he said. “But I will absolutely decline to debate morality while in this room and while serving in a governmental capacity. It’s not the time or the place for it.
“I refuse to use the religious and moral values of the majority of Davidson County’s citizens for my personal and political gain.”
Watford called the question — which in governmental terms means an elected official wishes to call an end to discussion on a matter and vote.
The board was subsequently polled. Potts, Akins and McClure voted in favor of the resolution, while Sink, Walser and Watford voted against it.
Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

June 15, 2005
Taxes will rise 1 cent in county
The Dispatch
Board trims half proposed hike in 6-1 vote to approve annual budget
Tuesday was a night for compromise as the Davidson County commissioners cut in half a 2-cent property tax increase that had been considered for the 2005-06 budget.
"I said once before I'd never vote for a tax increase - and I said at 18 I'd never walk around at the beach with a pot belly, either,"
said Sam Watford, drawing laughter from the board and audience.
Finally, it was Watford who made the motion to adopt a penny increase and trim the other penny from the staffing changes and Medicaid. Larry Potts offered the second.
Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

November 23. 2005 12:00AM
County tables new rules for subdivisions
The Dispatch
A complex and controversial new type of subdivision ordinance will not be tried in Davidson County any time soon, it appears. The board and county staff have been studying the matter since April. County Manager Robert Hyatt, who provided an 80-page information packet but no formal recommendation at the meeting, said he was seeking direction.
"If you're looking for direction, I'm thinking we might need to look the other way," said Commissioner Sam Watford, who is a utilities excavating business owner.
Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

December 14. 2005 12:00AM
Commissioners to get retirement benefits
The Dispatch
The Republican-dominated Davidson County Board of Commissioners has approved a retirement plan for elected officials that is opposed by the county's Republican Party executive committee.
In a 4-3 vote Tuesday night, the commissioners adopted retirement benefits proposed by Vice Chairman Larry Potts. Voting with him for the plan were Cindy Akins, Fred Sink and Max Walser, the lone Democrat on the board.
Chairman Fred McClure, Don Truell and Sam Watford voted against the plan.

"I still feel like this is a part-time position," Watford said, noting that most part-time county workers are not eligible for retirement benefits.
Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

January 25. 2006 11:59AM
Timetable set for school construction
The Dispatch

School construction financed with the bonds Davidson County voters approved in November will be spread over six years, meaning the list of projects tied to the referendum will be completed in 2011.
Sam Watford, who made the motion to adopt Option 2, was convinced the middle option was fast enough and represented the best stewardship of taxpayer funds.
"In 2006-07, we're going to have $25 million worth of school construction going on in this county," he observed. "... You can't compare that to anything that's ever happened in this county. I think we're going wide-open."

Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

February 10. 2006 12:00AM
Planning session focuses on sewer, jobs
The Dispatch
Most of the topics were updates of ongoing concerns. However, Public Works and Services Director Bill Clutter got board members' attention with the news that Winston-Salem/Forsyth Utilities might be willing to assume responsibility for part of the county's sewer collection system, from which it now accepts wastewater for treatment.
"To me, this news he's brought back is some of the best news we've gotten in this county," remarked Commissioner Sam Watford. "We're not in the sewer treatment business. Let's get a working relationship with them and get this going."
Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

August 02. 2006 1:00PM
Board votes not to sign Alcoa agreement
The Dispatch
By the narrowest of margins, the Davidson County Board of Commissioners elected Tuesday night not to sign the relicensing "Agreement in Principle" between Alcoa Power Generating and lake-area interest groups and local, state and federal agencies.
The board vote was 4-3, with McClure, Sam Watford and Larry Allen favoring signing the agreement and Walser, Don Truell, Larry Potts and Cindy Akins opposed.
Watford said he felt the AIP's benefits outweighed its weaknesses. "I've always found that it's better to cooperate than it is to kick," Watford said.
Click here for complete article.  Click here for meeting minutes.

November 15. 2006 1:00PM
Gay marriage, English-only resolutions OK'd after hot debate
The Dispatch
In a surprise move, the board on Tuesday night took on not one but two contentious national issues, declaring the opinions of the board through separate resolutions. One of them, a resolution making English the official language of Davidson County government, was placed on the agenda well in advance of the meeting. Watford, citing the resolution's non-binding nature, called it "a waste of time and paper." "This is a do-nothing resolution that serves no purpose at all," he said. The second, added only after the meeting was called to order at 7 p.m., was a reworked version of 2005's marriage resolution, which had been previously voted down 4-3. The new resolution, which on Tuesday passed 5-2, called for the state General Assembly to allow a voter referendum on the issue of gay marriage. Watford, who voted against the original resolution last year, returned to his opinion that the issue was political. "This is nothing but politicians wanting to get their names out there and be associated with this," he said.
Click here for complete article.    Click here for meeting minutes.

  Check the Record!
Links to the minutes of  commissioners board meetings.
December 2, 2002
December 10, 2002
January 2, 2003
January 14,2003
January 28, 2003
February 6, 2003
February 11, 2003
February 25, 2003
March 6, 2003

March 11, 2003
March 14, 2003
March 15, 2003
March 25, 2003
April 3, 2003
April 8, 2003
April 22, 2003
May 1, 2003
May 13, 2003
May 27, 2003
June 5, 2003
June 10, 2003
June 24, 2003
June 27, 2003
July 28, 2003
August 7, 2003
August 12, 2003
August 26, 2003
September 4, 2003
September 9, 2003
September 23, 2003
October 2, 2003
October 14, 2003
October 23, 2003
October 28, 2003
November 6, 2003
November 12, 2003
November 25, 2003
December 4, 2003
December 9, 2003
December 18, 2003
January 8, 2004
January 13, 2004
January 20, 2004
January 20, 2004
January 27, 2004
February 5, 2004
February 10, 2004
February 24, 2004
March 4, 2004
March 9, 2004
March 23, 2004
April 1, 2004
April 13, 2004
August 5, 2004
August 10, 2004
August 24, 2004
September 2, 2004
September 14, 2004
September 28, 2004
October 7, 2004

October 12, 2004
October 26, 2004
November 4, 2004
November 9, 2004
November 23, 2004

December 6, 2004

December 14, 2004
January 6, 2005
January 11, 2005
January 25, 2005
February 8, 2005
February 22, 2005
March 3, 2005
March 8, 2005
March 22, 2005
April 7, 2005
April 12, 2005

April 26, 2005

May 5, 2005
May 10, 2005
May 24, 2005
June 6, 2005
June 14, 2005
June 28, 2005
August 4, 2005
August 9, 2005
August 23, 2005
September 1, 2005
September 13, 2005

September 27, 2005
October 11, 2005
October 25, 2005
November 8, 2005
December 1, 2005

December 13, 2005

January 5, 2006

January 10, 2006

January 24, 2006

February 9, 2006

February 14, 2006

February 28, 2006

March 14, 2006

March 28, 2006

April 6, 2006

April 11, 2006

April 25, 2006

May 4, 2006

May 9, 2006

May 23, 2006

June 1, 2006

June 13, 2006

August 1, 2006

August 22, 2006
September 7, 2006
September 12, 2006
September 26, 2006
October 5, 2006
October 10, 2006
November 2, 2006
November 14, 2006
November 28, 2006
December 4, 2006




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