W. Lane Bailey, Salisbury city manager, has been named the 2018 Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) James D. Prosser Excellence in Government Leadership Award winner.
According to CCOG, “the recipient of this award exemplifies and promotes excellence in government, outstanding leadership and high ethical standards. The award recognizes the cumulative achievements of a local government professional who has served as a role model for others and has consistently exhibited high professional and personal standards throughout his or her public career.”
“Words can not express how honored I am to have even been nominated for this prestigious award,” Bailey said. “I’ve worked as a professional local government manager now for 28 years, both as a city and county manager in North Carolina. Local government has never been more challenging in my career. Because of the problems we face today, it’s essential that we have good men and women working in the profession. The Salisbury team members I work with each day are the greatest public servants I know, and I’m proud to be a part of this organization.”
Bailey began his local government career in 1989 as a city manager intern with the city of Galax, Virginia. He went on to serve several North Carolina communities in positions that included budget analyst in Gaston County, N.C. and assistant county manager and county manager in Polk County. In 2000, he was named city manager of King, N.C., a position he held for four years until he accepted the position of city manager of Lenoir, N.C. He assumed his current position as city manager of Salisbury in 2015.
Since arriving in Salisbury, he has sought innovative solutions to critical issues in Salisbury such as creating “Community Conversations,” meetings held in various neighborhoods where City staff could provide updates on city initiatives and services and answer questions from the residents. In addition, understanding the need for accessibility, Bailey implemented “Meet the Manager” -- a monthly open office hour held the first Monday of each month. Bailey also successfully led the transition of the city’s municipally-owned broadband utility to a public/private partnership that will benefit the city financially and provide continued broadband services.
Bailey has been a member of International City and County Manager Association (ICMA) since 1989 and the North Carolina City & County Management Association since 1992. He earned ICMA-Credentialed Manager status, the highest professional designation bestowed by the association, in 2002, and received an ICMA Service Award in recognition of his 25 years of service to local government.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Appalachian State University in 1987 and a Master of Public Administration from the same institution in 1989.
Bailey is the son of Ken and Pat Rowland of Blanch, N.C. and the late W. E. Bailey of Bryson City, N.C., and currently resides in Salisbury with his wife, Ruth, and children Brennan and Katherine.