Name: Steve Bradley
Occupation: County Admin- istrator
Resides in: Bartow County
Education: Cartersville High School 1967; West Georgia College 1971, where I received a Bachelor in History and a Minor in Political Science; Woodrow Wilson College of Law 1979, J.D.
Family: Ellen and I have been married for 40 years. We have two children, Stan and Beth, a daughter-in-law, Dana Bradley, a son-in-law, Albert Turner and three grandchildren, Trip, Taff and Taryn.
What inspired you to become the county administrator?
A: I worked in county administration for five years in the tax assessors office and one and a half years as county clerk/treasurer under Commissioner Frank Moore. I also served as co-county attorney while in private law practice for several years. My father, Woodrow Bradley, served as clerk of Superior Court for 20 years. So you might say that I went into the family business. I enjoyed working in county administration in my previous position and when Commissioner Brown offered me the position as county administrator in 1993, I readily accepted and I have enjoyed serving as administrator for more the 19 years.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
A: Working with Comm- issioner Brown, the county administrative staff, the county departments and employees has allowed us to accomplish many things. No one can accomplish anything alone. I am particularly proud of the planning efforts that we have accomplished, including the Growth Management Plan, the long- and short-term transportation plans and our green space program. I believe that we have managed the county's finances wisely and have established a fair and well-managed human resources system. One of the first things I worked on when I was appointed county administrator was a rewrite of the county's personnel policies, which I believe has helped us manage human resources and personnel issues in a fair and systematic process that has benefitted our employees, as well as the citizens of Bartow County.
What would you like to see happen in the future for Bartow County?
A: In the future, I trust that we can build upon the leadership, programs and planning that has been accomplished under the leadership of Commissioner Brown and the other commissioners that preceded him. One of the things that we have stressed in county government is a balanced approach to growth and development. That is why we put so much emphasis on planning. We did not want Bartow County to become just another bedroom community of Atlanta, and we continue to cherish those things that have given character to our county, including historic and environmental preservation; while at the same time, providing good economic opportunities for our citizens and great services. This, of course, does require a balanced approach to governance at the local level. I certainly would like to see this approach continue in the future, as well as the good working relationship between county government and our cities, which is one of Commissioner Brown's greatest legacies.
To the person who comes into your position following your retirement, what would be a piece of advice that you would offer?
A: I think the best advice to someone who follows in my position is to understand that there are very able people who work in various positions and jobs with the county and to seek out advice and counsel from those people. Also, I think it is important for a county administrator to give the commissioner sound advice and counsel and to be candid in that advice. I don't think a good administrator tells the commissioner only what he or she thinks the commissioner wants to hear, but when giving the advice that needs to be stated, it should be done in a respectful way. Further, I believe a good county administrator gives solid advice and counsel to the other members of the administrative team and to the department heads and oversees good financial and human resources practices.
What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your career?
A: Without a doubt, the greatest challenge I have faced is to be a part of the management team that oversees the county's finances during the ongoing economic crisis. We have seen our revenues drop every year for several years, yet the demand for good services is greater than ever. One of the things I am most proud of is that we have managed to maintain a balanced budget through a series of systematic and strategic cuts without laying off employees, except the elimination of three security guard positions, and the employees in those positions were all retirement eligible and each received early retirement incentives.
If you could have any profession in the world, what would it be?
A: I have always loved the outdoors, especially in the wilderness areas. I often thought that a career in the National Park Service would have been very fulfilling.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things must you have?
A: If stranded on an island, the three things I would most like to have is a Bible, my wife and a survival kit.
Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
A: My home, with my extended family, is my favorite place in Bartow County, followed by the old gold dome courthouse that has meant so much to me and my family and of course the green space parks that I have helped preserve.
Which three words best describe you?
A: Three words that best describe me are seeking, trying and persevering.
If you could have any superhero power, what would it be and why?
A: The super hero power that I wish I could possess is supernatural wisdom to help bring people of great differences together for the good of human kind.