Greg Ayers' website listed his work as a consultant in six states and 20 counties; as a Special Advisor to the White House and US Department of the Treasury and as an entrepreneur who created numerous medical device start-up companies and managed $500 million in capital. Asked if perhaps he was over-qualified for the position of county Council member, he said he wasn't.
"I think the county deserves the best possible candidate and if I am willing to take my time and spend my time helping out the county in whatever capacity I can my qualifications speak for themselves," he said. "The county should enjoy having the additional skills I might bring."
He is running for the position of county Council member for District 2. His opponents are Lisa Byers and Rich Hughes.
He didn't run in the 2012 General election because he lived in District 5 and the District 4 position was the one that was open. When he wrapped up his work in Cleveland, Ohio on December 1, the charter amendments had passed and the opportunity became available. "The timing was right and the position was right, it is now more of an operational role," he said.
Role of Manager:
"I look at it more of a peer relationship with the county manager. The intent (Proposition 2) was to have a truly working board. Not that I would go in and give an individual employee direction. As I look at it what is going to be important is myself, the county manager and the head of a given department sitting down and trying to define goals and objectives, timelines and resource needs," Ayers said. "Not that I am going to set operations how to do it, but setting top level vision and strategies for each department."
He added, "A lot of that's got to be done by trust and positive interactions. There is no legal binding ability for me as a single commissioner to go in and give direction to the department nor the manager. Most of the time that's not required if you follow good management practices and everyone sits down and agrees to milestones and other important goals and objectives."
Critical Areas Ordinance:
What we need to do is let's take the list of opinions, take the data actually used and the ordinance we ultimately came out with and figure out fact from opinion. Say put your data out on the table and let the community review, not the opinions. Put the raw data on the table and let's analyze it together. The public will get to see that in the new government," he said.
He's "pretty certain" parts of the CAO will have to be redone as a result of the appeals to the Growth Management Board. There may be other changes due to internal conflicts which may surface during implementation.
Biggest Challenge for County: Budget
"Revenue coming in is still challenged and uncertain and variable", he said. "Go to the community, let me tell you what the county has to do...Here's what the community could do better... Prime example: The Fair. Why do we have the county running the fair. Why don't we have the county contributing to the running of the fair. Create a situation where the fairgrounds are used more often and has a more motivated board."
He cited the volunteer Animal Protection Societies in the county as a model for needed services provided by private groups. "As a prime example, the county needs the service but didn't have to build the infrastructure and manage it as a county service. All the county has to do is divvy up the dog license fees, he said. The community and the council ask "Are there community groups like the animal protection groups that can provide services instead of the county doing it?"