May 26, 2001
Senators confirm Perry
By PAUL M. KRAWZAK
COPLEY WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate has confirmed Stephen A. Perry, a longtime steel executive from Canton, to be administrator of the General
“I’m quite excited about joining the GSA team, looking forward to this period,” he said in a phone interview from South Carolina on Friday.
“Since the president made the nomination, I’ve been trying to learn as much
as I can in terms of the challenges at GSA and I’ve met some of the people
and I’m quite excited about joining the team,” he said.
Perry, 55, will be sworn in Thursday and begins work at the 14,000-employee agency Friday. A formal ceremony is planned for June.
As the government’s landlord, the General Services Administration provides federal agencies and organizations with buildings, supplies, maintenance and
services. It has a $16-billion-a-year budget.
President Bush released a statement saying that Perry will help him meet his goal of putting people with “strong general management and leadership skills
in senior management positions of federal agencies in order to significantly
improve government services for all Americans.”
Bush added that Perry has a “proven record of success and extensive experience in the general management of large, complex organizations.”
The Senate confirmed Perry by a voice vote Thursday night, following his unanimous approval by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on
The former vice president from the Canton-based Timken Co., a maker of steel bearings, is the highest-ranking Ohioan to serve in the Bush
administration so far.
Perry was unsure what his pay would be.
“I haven’t even had that discussion,” he said. The job pays in a range of
$115,000 to $160,000, less than he made at Timken.
Perry has been preparing for his job for the last several weeks. He’s met with
officials from the General Services Administration, lawmakers and White House officials, including Mitch Daniels, President Bush’s chief budget
Asked what kind of hours he will be working, Perry wasn’t sure. He said, “It’s going to be pretty intense. That’s what I would anticipate, but that’s also
what I’m used to.”
When he starts next week, he said, “We’ve got a series of meetings that are
being set up for me to meet with staff in each of the areas to talk about
projects and activities under way.”
Among Perry’s goals is to achieve and sustain a high level of performance at the agency and to make continuous improvement, he said.
He formerly worked for Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, when Voinovich was governor in the early 1990s. Perry was director of the Ohio Department
of Administrative Services.
He and his wife, Sondra, bought a house in the Washington suburb of Potomac, Md.