ELECTION 2020: Baucom touts experience
Published 10:19 am Sunday, October 25, 2020
One of the four incumbents seeking reelection to the four seats available on the Locust City Council has lived in Stanly for more than 40 years.
Larry Baucom, a Monroe native, moved to Stanly when he was 8. After growing up, Baucom married Kay Barbee, a Locust native, and the two eventually moved to Locust in 1967.
Baucom retired after working his way up the ladder in sales in the gas and oil industry. After starting with a station in 1963, he eventually spent 35 years with BP, rising to the job of regional sales manager.
He also started a business most people driving through Locust would notice on the main thoroughfare, Tarheel Auto Sales, which his children now run.
On and off, Baucom has spent about 24 years on the city council.
Baucom previously worked on committees, which helped to sign up local residents for the town’s water and sewer services. He served for 12 years on the county’s Economic Development Commission Board and 14 years on the Atrium Health Stanly board.
“My heart is for Stanly County. Sure, I’ve got a lot of love for the western end, but the western end is only a part of the county. Whatever is good for the county is good for the western end,” Baucom said.
The councilman said Locust “is in a growth mode, but we’re not exploding as long as we are in a controlled environment.”
He said the city was in the right place for growth to happen with N.C. Highway 24-27 going four lanes all the way to Charlotte.
“It’s just the beginning of what’s going to take place in Stanly County. We’re just the threshold to open it up…it was the right thing to do at the right time.”
Locust, Baucom said, is a little hampered with sewer, noting the county has increased the amount treated by the wastewater plant in Oakboro. The biggest thing facing the city, he added, is “to control the sewer that we have at the present time and utilize it in the best way possible.”
Baucom also said the city needs to extend water service in the area, noting several parts of the city need services.
He praised the efforts of City Administrator Cesar Correa, saying the city has “one of the finest administrative offices.” He also spoke highly of the efforts of the Locust Police and the city’s public works department.
Regarding public works, Baucom said the city’s infiltration and inflow, which can affect the efficiency of water treatment, is under control, running “as close and as small a percentage you can with the frame we have.”
The city “is on the right track,” he said, adding “it’s just a pleasure to ride a train heading in the right direction.
Part of his vision for Locust, he said, would be to add more members of commerce and industry to the city along with residences.
“We just don’t need to be a residential bedroom for Charlotte, Concord or Monroe. We need to have some jobs here,” Baucom said.
He noted two industrial parks close by, including the Riverstone project in Stanfield, would benefit Locust and the western end of the county as a whole.
Serving on the EDC board is important, Baucom said, “just to make sure we stay on an even keel and have jobs available as well as housing.”