In good hands with two managers

Published 12:54 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Last month, as parts of its Closer Look component of Sunday papers, the Washington Daily News published articles about the new local-government managers — Josh Kay with Washington and Randell Woodruff with Beaufort County.

The people they serve should pay attention to what Kay and Woodruff bring to their new positions and their philosophies regarding serving the public.

When Woodruff, former manager of Camden County, realized that county would be spared much of the wrath of Hurricane Irene, he arrived in Beaufort County before he was committed to arrive so he could help local emergency responders as much as possible. Before Kay began working for the city in August, he spent two weeks (around the July 4 weekend) in the city, attending a council meeting and getting acclimated to the city, its residents and its elected leaders.

Those actions show a dedication and commitment above and beyond the call of duty.

At a time when many people don’t have full faith and confidence in government at any level, Woodruff seeks to improve that situation. Woodruff said he would work to ensure continued transparency in county government operations so the county’s residents would “understand and trust us.”

“Even when people don’t agree with you, they like to know what’s going on,” he said in a recent interview.

In an interview last month, Kay said he considers himself very much a steward of the public’s resources, including finances.

“Every dollar we spend, we need to think of it like it’s coming out of our back pocket because, really, it is,” said Kay, who’s from upstate South Carolina. “Every dollar that the City of Washington spends is coming from our customers, our citizens. We need to be as mindful of that as we are of our own paychecks.”

With philosophies like these, it appears Washington and Beaufort County are in the extremely capable hands of two managers who understand public service.