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Your Legislative Report
Deputy County Manager Chris Peek and I, as well as several commissioners and the Mecklenburg lobbying team, participated in the annual “County Day” at the General Assembly last week. Despite a very hectic day at the state legislature, Chairman Trevor Fuller and Commissioners Ella Scarborough and George Dunlap were able to meet with nearly every member of the Mecklenburg County delegation while in Raleigh.
In our many conversations, we were able to convey issues of concern to the County and received broad support from members of our legislative delegation. We promised to keep the communication lines open and to share appropriate feedback and input as necessary or requested.
In addition, the NC House approved its version of a $22.2 billion state budget last week for 2016-17, a 2.3 percent increase over the current fiscal year budget. There were nearly two dozen proposed amendments during debate on the House floor, but most that passed were minor tweaks that moved funding from one source to another or made technical corrections.
The House budget provides an average 4 percent salary increase for teachers with the largest raises of 5 percent for those with 10-14 years of experience. Teachers with less than five years of experience would only get a $1,000 bonus and teachers with more than 25 years of experience would get the bonus with a 2 percent raise. The House plan would bring the average teacher salary up to $50,000 in the next two years.
Top Senate budget writers have said that they plan to move quickly to review the House budget proposal and develop their own plan. Their hope is to have their budget approved by June 1, so the two chambers can move into “conference committee” negotiations.
If you have any questions, please contact Deputy County Manager Chris Peek at 980-314-2881 or Chris.Peek@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Update on Employer Roundtable Discussions
Mecklenburg County recently completed employer roundtable discussions with more than 40 individuals representing many different industries including hospitality and tourism, healthcare, banking and education.Each session provided information about the current state of our community’s economic outlook, feedback from employers on their recruitment/retention efforts and employers’ insight into our community’s gaps. Despite the differences in industries represented, the challenges presented were very similar. Employers collaborated and offered suggestions to address their needs and those of candidates, especially candidates with barriers such as transportation, childcare and job readiness.
We will meet with the Workforce Development Partners on Thursday to present our findings and determine next steps.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Ramsey Creek Park Beach Dedication Set for Tuesday
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation and the Town of Cornelius will hold a dedication ceremony tomorrow at 11 a.m. for the Ramsey Creek Park Beach on Lake Norman. The park and beach are located at 18441 Nantz Road.
The beach is the latest on Park and Recreation’s extensive list of more than 60 capital projects to come to fruition. When it officially opens to the public on May 28, it will mark the first time in several decades that swimming will be allowed in a County lake.
For more information, please contact Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges at 980-314-1012 or James.Garges@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.