As Governor what can we expect to see with regard to your cabinet picks? Do you believe in shaking up the place with fresh ideas and perspectives or leaving in place those who came before you who may have institutional experience? What qualities and qualifications will you be looking for in your leaders? Are their any specific agencies or agency agendas that you feel will be critical to the execution of your main priorities, if so which one(s) and how?
My cabinet members will be of one mind: to move Alabama forward. And to do that we won’t be trying the same things Alabama has tried for forty years.
Remember the Ritz-Carlton principle? When we take over a hotel we keep the employees but remove the managers. Why? Because if the managers were doing their job, we would not have been invited in.
I’m clearly the only outsider in this race. If the people of Alabama choose to send me to Montgomery it will be a clear message that they are ready for a new team with fresh leadership to bring the drastic changes that Montgomery needs.
The operations of every agency and every cabinet member affect the everyday lives of Alabamians and there will be no sacred cows when it comes to evaluating agencies and ensuring that they are focused on their missions. In order to make this state the best it can be for the people, we can’t have cabinet members who are tied to special interests or unwilling to try new ideas. My cabinet members will be devoted to the people’s business and unfettered by special interests. They will be servant-leaders who lead with wise collaboration and the highest standards of integrity in order to regain the trust of of the people and move Alabama into a prosperous future.
Democratic candidate Sue Bell Cobb:
I will seek input from stakeholders inside and outside the agencies to ensure we have the best administrators possible. First and foremost, it is critical that we have civil servants who are ethical and beyond reproach so that we can rebuild trust in our institutions. Secondly, I will be looking for leaders who put the people of Alabama first while doing their duties as efficiently and effectively as possible so as to be good stewards of taxpayer resources. If current departmental leaders are doing a good job, I do not believe in removing them simply because they were appointed by another governor.
Mayor of Tuscaloosa Walt Maddox via Chip Hill, Communications Director (Democratic candidate):
As Mayor of Tuscaloosa, Walt Maddox has made great staffing decisions that helped Tuscaloosa become one of the best run cities in the state and propelled Walt to national recognition as one of the country’s best Mayors. As Governor, he will continue to make it a priority that his staff and cabinet reflect the diversity and strength of our state. Those he chooses for key positions will be the most qualified and ethical women and men who are committed to achieving the highest standards of excellence.
State Sen. Bill Hightower via Matt Beynon, Senior Communications Strategist (Republican candidate):
As Governor, Bill Hightower’s cabinet will be a reflection of his values and agenda for the state. Bill Hightower will be committed to reforming Alabama’s antiquated tax code, eliminating wastefull earmarks, and overhauling the way state government operates. His goal is to identify quality people for his cabinet, who will make Alabama proud, enhancing the reputation of our state, while demanding exceptional performance of them.
The goal is not to merely “shake up the place”, but to deliver a multi-decade foundation for the future which will propel Alabama to a higher growth rate enabling stronger schools, a broader economy, and a superb quality of life.
Institutional knowledge is important, but if its based upon the career-politician good-ole-boy network, and not true performance, it will get in the way of delivering what Alabamian’s deserves. People expect performance and Bill Hightower intends to deliver it.
*Responses are in the order in which they were received.