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Commission Capsule Jan. 19
CMS Budget Update
Charlotte Mecklenburg School staff briefed the Board of County Commissioners on the Superintendent’s recommendations for cuts due to a system shortfall of $100 million. Critical meeting of the Board of Education will be January 25. Manager Harry Jones cautions the BOCC not to form opinions about the recommendations until the Board of Education begins to make decisions about what and how much to cut. The County funds the school system at a level of about $300 million plus the cost of debt service.

Mecklenburg County Budget
Management and Budget Director Hyong Yi talked to the Board about the process of communicating budget updates. Staff will give the Board its first look at revenue projections at the Strategic Planning Conference January 26-28. After that, the board will get updates at most regular meetings of the Board throughout the budget season leading up to the Manager’s recommended budget on May 17. The Board is required by statute to approve a balanced budget by the end of June.

County Performance Report
Mecklenburg County operates within the framework of a performance management system called Managing for Results. The scorecard has 25 desired results or goals and 41 performance measures. During 2010, the County scored green lights on 51% of those measurable items, 13% yellow lights, 33% red lights with 55% of those items showing improvement from 2009. You can read the full performance report here.

Future of the Library Task Force
Chairman of the Task Force and head of the Board of Trustees reported to the Board the status of the library and of the study about the library’s future. Library Director Charles Brown announced his resignation this afternoon and an interim director will run the Library system until a replacement is found. The Task Force will give a full report to the BOCC in March with recommendations for changes that will sustain the system. Task Force Chairman Dr. Jim Woodward said in response to questions that last year’s cuts have put the library in a position that is not sustainable so changes to the system must be made. Read about the work of the Task Force here.

Business Incentive Grant
The Board approved a $66,064 Business Incentive Grant to RED F Marketing. RED F is considering building its corporate headquarters in either Charlotte or Lancaster County, South Carolina. RED F now employs 57 people in an office in Charlotte and one in China. They plan to hire an additional 60 employees. This item was approved but with a contingency, as it relates to 60 additional jobs. The Board authorized the Manager to negotiate a contract with RED F with details about the incentive grant.

Logging in Nature Preserves
The Board approved a plan by Park and Recreation to allow management of the loblolly pine forests in 17,000 acres of the County’s nature preserves and parks. The forests have become overgrown and are limiting a healthy habitat for wildlife and other native plants and trees. The loblolly pine is widely used for building furniture, polls, pilings, crates and pallets. Potential sales of $240,000 to $300,000 are estimated. Revenues would be used to fund natural area management and restoration.

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