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Commission Capsule April 19, 2011
Human Services Agency Financial Reorganization
The Board received a report about the new Human Services Finance Division. Staff for the division will handle all financial services for the consolidated Human Services Agency (HSA) made up of four departments: Area Mental Health, Public Health, Community Support Services and the Department of Social Services. The reorganization reassigns 70 existing positions from the HSA departments to the Finance Department. The change has 20 employees being terminated, their positions reclassified to a higher level and adding of 12 new positions. Deputy Finance Director Gail Murchison will lead the 82-member division, and she will continue to report to Finance Department Director Dena Diorio. The change will cost $1.2 million additionally a year. The effective date for the new division is July 29, 2011

View additional details about the reorganization.
View the PowerPoint report presented to the Board.

Romare Bearden Park
The Board approved a motion authorizing the County Manager to execute an amendment to the Option to Repurchase Agreement between R.B.C. Corporation and Mecklenburg County. R.B.C. has agreed to a one-year extension to have major construction under way for the proposed park in Third Ward. County Manager Harry L. Jones, Sr. has said the extension is the result of the bank wanting to see the project through and remain a partner in the endeavor.

RBC Corp., which sold 1.7 acres of the 5.4 –acre park site to the County in 2008, mandated that construction start within three years of the sale. The original deadline was Oct. 8, 2011. With the extension, the County must have demolition and grading significantly complete by October 2012 or risk losing the land purchased from the bank. If construction has not started by that time, RBC has the option of repurchasing the land within two years, according to County officials. The Board has previously approved the concept of the park and voters approved bonds to construct it in 2004. However, the County hasn't sold those bonds so funding isn't available. Staff suggested the benefit of putting that project back on track for this year's 100th anniversary of the birth of the Charlotte artist Romare Bearden. It will take two years and $11 million to complete the project.  Construction Schedule.

In a related development, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation has committed to leveraging County funds by raising $3 million from the private sector. A steering committee lead by Michael Smith, CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, and Partners for Parks will have significant roles in the fundraising effort.

“We believe this will need to be more of a major donor campaign than a public campaign,” said Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges.

Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte’s Third Ward in 1911. The Romare Bearden Park site is bordered by Church, Mint and Third streets and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“The park’s design has evolved to evoke elements of Bearden’s life and work,” said W. Lee Jones , Director of Capital Planning for  Mecklenburg county Park & Recreation. “The design intent is not to reproduce Bearden’s work, but design a park in a manner that reflects how he developed and constructed his works.”

New Charters
The Board approved the charter for the Audit Review Committee (ARC). The ARC is a committee of the Board of County Commissioners that helps the Board fulfill its oversight responsibilities for the financial reporting process, the system of internal control, the audit process and the County process for monitoring compliance with laws, regulations and the Code of Ethics. The Board also reaffirmed the make-up of the ARC – five voting members (two Democratic Board members, two Republican Board members and one outside person with experience in auditing and accounting). The committee also includes the County Manager and a County Manager designee.

The Board also approved the charter of the County’s Internal Audit Department. The department examines and evaluates the adequacy and effectiveness of the organization’s governance, risk management, internal process, as well as the quality of performance in carrying out assigned responsibilities to achieve the organization’s stated objectives and goals.

Budget Calendar
Management and Budget Director Hyong Yi presented the FY12 budget calendar to the Board that includes key dates for achieving the goal of adopting a new budget by June. The County Manager will present his recommended budget to the Board at the May 17 meeting. The Public Hearing on the budget will be held May 19. The Board is scheduled to adopt the budget at its June 7 meeting. View full calendar.

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