Bailey: County needs 'strong leadership, lean management'

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   Stanley Bailey, a candidate for county executive, has been in banking 29 years, most of that time in management positions. In the 1980s when banks were closing, Bailey spent 11 years with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, working in the department of liquidation.
   "I probably helped close about 62 banks during that time," he said, auditing failing banks, "making sure everything was there and presenting it over to the assuming bank."
   Bailey also spent seven years with General Motors Acceptance Corp., he said. "With the management that I have had ... I feel like that would qualify me for county executive."
   The most important issue the county must deal with, according to Bailey, is revenue. "This county needs a lot of incoming revenue and you're going to have to get down and really look for where this revenue is coming from.
   "Nobody wants their taxes increased, but if you don't find revenue that's exactly what's going to happen. We're going to have to work with everybody involved and find new revenues for this county. It's a must," he said.
   The major financial challenge for the county is the state budget, Bailey believes. "I know you have to wait and see what happens to that before you can know what you can do and what your goals are to work forward to. You're not going to be able to do anything until that comes in and you know where you stand. You'll have something to work from then. You'll know what you have to do," he said.
   When Bailey looks down the road into the future he sees countywide zoning on the horizon. "We can't be stagnant. We can't stay where we're at. There are a lot of people that don't want it; there are a lot of people that do. For the good of the county, we're going to have to sit down and lay everything out."
   Bailey also feels that an increase in jail population is something that must be dealt with.
   "The jail is overcrowded now. We're going to have to do something. I don't think we're going to get less inmates, so we're going to have to have something along the lines of a new one or expansion to accommodate these inmates. I feel strongly toward that.
   "We need to get our courthouse in shape before people get sick. You've got to look down the road. And none of this is a quick fix," he said.
   The most important quality for a county executive to have is "strong leadership, lean management," he said. That's the term that I have heard for 11 years with FDIC, and it works.
   "A lot of people take it the wrong way, but firm and lean, I think that's the only way to be. If you're not doing the job, go somewhere else. But you've got to get in there and you've got to show this strong management. My main objective is to eliminate the waste."
   Bailey said he supports hiring a finance director. Having spent most of his life dealing in money, he said, "it's hard for one person to keep up with that. With a financial director to show the accountability of all departments -- payables, accountables, receivables -- you'll know where you stand and I think it would be excellent for the county."
   He said the county executive and the finance director have to work together. The person that's chosen finance director "has got to be somebody that's sort of been in this business before, that's handled that situation. You've got to work with them and find ways and means. They have problems, you have problems, you work it out. I think any business can find waste and use common horse sense," he said.