Raleigh, NC -- When Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory is sworn in Saturday, he'll become North Carolina's first Republican to lead the state since Gov. Jim Martin left office in January 1993.
Along the campaign trail and even now as he prepares to settle into the Capitol, McCrory has made "instituting a culture of customer service to state government" a priority. But what does that mean? In the run-up to this weekend's swearing-in ceremony, WFMY News 2 went to Raleigh to ask the new administration what that ideal means, and how it plans to implement it.
"It's one of his top priorities," McCrory spokesman Chris Walker said. "He's mentioned that to every single person he's talked to when they join the administration -- to really have an element of treating the citizens of North Carolina as a customer."
The former Charlotte mayor's time working for companies such as Duke Energy will be key in shaping how McCrory runs the state, Walker said.
"[The culture of customer service] looks like taking the elements of the private sector and bringing them to government," Walker explained. "Whether it be treating the customer like you'd want to be treated ... [or] bringing a friendlier environment to government, that's what we're really looking at."
Getting North Carolina's government to that point will require more effort than even McCrory initially imagined, according to Walker.
"One thing we've seen in the transition [from the Perdue Administration] so far is the ... amount of work we need to do to get the government up to where we think a level of customer service should be," Walker said. "The governor-elect talked during his campaign about fixing a broken government and we're finding that's probably a bit more of an upward climb than we thought."
Part of McCrory's commitment to making more North Carolinians feel included in their own government, Walker said, will include openness and accessibility. The new governor will make his daily schedule available to the public, use his Twitter account and spend time traveling to each part of the state.
"There's been a tendency in governance right now to really be a Raleigh-centric form of government," Walker said. "That's something Gov.-Elect McCrory is going to really change. And you're going to see that in his first week.
"He's traveling to Asheville on his first day. He's traveling to Greensboro and Charlotte and New Bern, and really bringing that service element to government. It's not enough to just be in Raleigh and send edicts out. But really listening and hearing how our decisions are impacting business, impacting the individual, impacting anyone and everyone in North Carolina [will be a focus]."
McCrory will be sworn in at noon Saturday in the House of Representatives chamber in the State Capitol. He'll also oversee the swearing-in of each of his eight Cabinet members Saturday.
WFMY News 2