Green would look to industrial recruiter to help county

By Kathy Helms-Hughes
STAR STAFF
khughes@starhq.com

   Now, more than ever, we need somebody who has knowledge of the county's finances and someone who understands the day-to-day business of local government, according to Brad Green, candidate for Carter County Executive.
   "I'm the only candidate in this race that's served in a governing position. I think I've proven that while I've served on the county commission and on the finance committee," he said.
   Green believes it's time the county sets its sights on hiring a professional business industrial recruiter. "Working in the media, I have been able to travel around the region and see different economic development offices. I think it's time that we look at, like, the Greene County Partnership. They've got their city leaders, their county leaders, state legislators, everybody working together and they've hired a professional business and industrial recruiter and that's his job.
   "I think as county executive that will be the first thing I do is to get with the folks in Greene County and the folks in other counties that have done this successfully and pick their brains and see how we can do that. I believe that's the way Carter County needs to go so that we can grow and strengthen our economy for the future," he said.
   Green said the biggest financial challenge facing the county now is waiting to see what the state is going to do. "We need to work closely with our state legislators. Obviously what they do will directly affect us. The buck stops here at local government."
   The largest worry the county has "is being sure that we balance the needs of the citizens of Carter County while at the same time taking care of their tax dollars."
   Green said he does not support the way the county is currently zoned: "Half zoned, half not. I think the three commissioners in each district have a feel for where the people want to be and where they want to go. And I think that that's the lead that we need to take."
   Since last year's problems at the county jail, the county commission set up a committee which has begun to look at jail issues. "We have fixed some of the problems and there are other problems we will just have to face in the future," Green said, "but eventually we're going to have to study more in-depth about a separate jail facility. I don't know how far in the future that will be. But we will make do with the best we have and then study more in-depth the things that we can do in the future."
   A county executive's most important quality is "trust," according to Green. "The people need to have faith and trust in the person they're going to put in this office. As a county commissioner I have served on the Finance Committee; I have knowledge of the county's finances. I understand the day-to-day business of local government and when people ask me questions, I'm going to give them the straight answer. They don't have to ask me over and over again. I'm going to tell them the truth. The people of Carter County deserve someone they can trust, and I think I'm that person."
   The county is hiring a full-time financial director, which Green believes will increase efficiency and accountability in county government. "It will be a financial director/purchasing agent," he said. "The purchasing agent will be able to bid out projects that the county needs all over the country. We'll be able to get the best possible price and deal on whatever we do. It's better government, it's better use of taxpayer money," he said. "Every dime taken in and every dime spent will go through that office."
   Green has no doubt that he would have a good working relationship with the new financial director. "I have a good working relationship with my fellow commissioners now, with city leaders, with the state legislators. We've worked together while I've been on the commission to make sure that everyone's treated fairly in the governmental process. This will just be a new position that will do the same thing."