The Town of Woodstock, the county seat of the scenic Shenandoah County, has a population of 5,258 and boasts a historic, charming, safe, and bustling community. It is the county center for retail, professional services, healthcare, and dining. Woodstock is the fourth oldest town in Virginia, and encompasses the historic “Main Street” feel that many localities attempt to build. Citizens and visitors are able to stroll in and out of locally-owned galleries, museums, restaurants, and shops, as well as take advantage of modern commercial conveniences.
Woodstock has a mixture of young families and retirees due to its close proximity to Washington D.C. and other Northern Virginia communities. Many individuals still commute to Northern Virginia for employment, but Woodstock has experienced an interest in young professionals locating here, noting the small-town environment, recreational amenities in and around Woodstock, and quality and diverse housing stock. Woodstock’s quality of life components surpass those of any town its size, to include festivals, concert events, children’s activities, and great park system. The Shenandoah River flanks Woodstock, as do many vineyards, and the Seven Bends State Park. Area activities and attractions include wineries and breweries, a talented artisan trail, caverns, walking trails and scenic byways, canoeing, swimming, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, “pick your own” farms, farmer’s markets, plant and tree retail centers and nurseries, historic battlefields, corn maze, geocaching, hot air balloon rides, and much more!
The Town of Woodstock was founded in 1752 and operates under a Council/Manager form of government. The six member Town Council are elected at-large for staggered terms of four years and the Mayor is elected at-large. The Town Council acts as the Town’s legislative and policy-making body and hires a Town Manager, who is responsible for implementing the policies and programs adopted by the Town Council. The Town has 59 full-time employees as well as part-time and seasonal employees. The employees of the Town provide high service police protection, planning and zoning, marketing and events, public works (streets, water and sewer distribution, water treatment, wastewater treatment, park maintenance), urban tree canopy development, finance, human resources, and administration. We foster a collaborative approach to opportunities and challenges and work well with members of our leadership team.
Our organization has been the recipient of many outstanding achievement awards, notably from the Government Finance Officers’ Association, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Downtown Development Association, the Arbor Day Foundation, Department of Forestry, Virginia Rural Water Association, and Valley Conservation Council. Our Police Department is one of the smallest, fully accredited agencies in Virginia through VLEPSC. Our Public Works Department recently received accreditation by the American Public Works Association and is the smallest accredited agency in Virginia.
The Town has an overall operating budget of approximately $13m, which includes the General Fund and Public Utilities (Enterprise) Fund. With our Fiscal Year 2022 budget cycle, the town is undertaking a comprehensive $16.2m update to our Capital Improvement Plan to guide future infrastructure investments. In addition, the Town Council adopted a five-year Strategic Plan, with individual department objectives.
Woodstock’s mission is to “encourage and facilitate economic growth, to provide a safe environment for a diverse community, and to provide high quality and efficient services to the public, while emphasizing the Town’s unique character, planning for the future, and leading by example through the implementation of best practices.” During that time, our organization has been able to conduct capital and strategic planning, and is interested in continuing to update those plans periodically. In addition to capital and strategic planning, the Town would like to update its Comprehensive Plan and would like to embark on a comprehensive Economic Development Plan. The Town has continued to make investments in infrastructure, and has paid much attention to quality of life components. We want to continue to make those improvements, eyeing projects that increase walkability, emphasize green infrastructure, and includes quality building materials and landscaping in our public spaces. Our future facility upgrades include the planning and construction of a new municipal office and Police Department building, implementation of connected multimodal network infrastructure as outlined in the town’s first Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan, and downtown streetscape improvements.
We have continued to make investments in our talented staff, being within or above the industry standard for employee total compensation. We are able to attract individuals who have specialized certifications and qualifications, and rival other localities in the region. We hope to continue human resource development by planning for staffing needs in the same way that we plan for capital needs, as well as create a succession plan for positions that will be vacated due to retirement.