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Commission Capsule - August 14, 2012
Undocumented Students
The Board discussed a motion brought by Commissioner James and supported by other Republicans to request that Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools quantify the cost of teaching students who are undocumented. While CMS cannot turn away any student, Commissioner James fe the school system should be able to count the number of students and determine the cost to taxpayers of educating those students. After considerable discussion and hearing from several speakers, the Board voted against the motion.

Park Safety
The Board heard a presentation about safety in County Parks from staff of the Park and Recreation Department and Charlotte Mecklenburg Police. The report put park crime in perspective indicating that 1 percent of all reported crimes in Mecklenburg County happen in parks or nature preserves and that 80 percent of the 1 percent are property crimes such as larceny and car break-ins. Park officials are working with CMPD to identify crime hotspots and take action in those areas. Park officials are using security cameras, engaging neighborhood groups and establishing a rapid response protocol in the event of a serious crime.

Capital Financing
The Board heard Financial Services Director Dena Diorio report on the status of funding capital improvement projects. Since the County began using paygo in 2009 to finance construction whenever possible, the overall cost of capital financing has declined by 19.2 percent. To show the impact of the paygo strategy, $3.6 million in bonds approved for Parks in 2004 and $34 million in CPCC construction approved by voters in 2005 were allowed to lapse without issuing bonds to cover the capital projects. The projects were completed using paygo funds instead.

Business Investment Grant
The Board authorized a business investment grant to Genpak, LLC to expand its product line at its facility on Westinghouse Boulevard. Genpak manufactures a line of single use food service items including cups, foam and plastic containers, and cutlery. The $276,000 grant will include a capital investment of approximately $15 million and will create 80 new jobs within three years with an average annual wage of approximately $36,400.

Naming of Facility
The Board approved a motion to rename the old County Criminal Courts Building at 700 East 4th Street the Judge Clifton E. Johnson Building. Johnson became the first African American Judge in Mecklenburg County in 1969, the first District Court Judge in 1974 and the first Superior Court Judge in 1977. He received the Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion Award posthumously in 2010.

The next board meeting will be September 18.

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