Committee Appointments Due
Today is the deadline for elected officials to make their appointments to the School Building Solutions Committee chaired by Jim Martin. If you have not yet made your appointment, please contact me.
In addition, the staff team designing the consensus-building process for the Committee is slated to complete its work on February 14. Board members will receive the report and recommendations from the Design Team as part of the Board's February 21 agenda.
Planning Conference Follow Up
Below is a summary of the actions and direction taken by the Board at its strategic planning conference. Over the next several weeks, the Board will receive responses and updates either through the weekly Board Bulletin or in Board workshops.
Managing for Results
The Board approved the recommended changes to the Community and Corporate Scorecard.
Board Members' Key Interests
The Board requested the County Manager to research the following:
- Alternative revenue sources besides the property tax to fund schools and other capital costs
- Options for creating a new city/county entity to manage school construction in the context of overall community planning
- Data on various CMS student demographic trends
In addition, the Board referred to the Education Liaison Committee a request to recommend an agenda for a joint meeting of the Board of County Commissioners and the Board of Education regarding the CMS Task Force recommendations.
The Board requested recommendations on how, within its scope of responsibility, it can the County provide additional assistance to MedAssist.
Criminal Justice System
The Board requested the County Manager provide data on the impact of the courts' operations on jail population. In addition, the Board requested data on the number of cases related to DWI cases to determine if there is sufficient backlog to warrant creating a DWI court.
In anticipation of the growth in the County's veteran population, the Board requested a comprehensive report and recommendations, similar in scope to the Status of Seniors Report, on the status of veterans in the County.
The Board requested additional data on MWSBE contracting. The Board also directed the County Manager to consider recommending a policy that would stimulate vendors of the County to have a diverse workforce.
Land Use and Future Land Needs
The Board requested an assessment of critical land needs over the next 5-10 years, particularly to protect the environment. The Board also requested information on methods other than purchasing land that the County could use to protect water quality.
Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance
Research options for an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance in Mecklenburg County and whether this would be consistent with other policies, such as the Business Investment Grant.
Wiping Out Poverty
Provide an update on the current status of poverty in Mecklenburg County and how the County will address the issues.
The Board also requested the following additional information, as part the scenario planning activities:
- Description of the Sheriff's Domestic Violence Services
- Opportunity to negotiate cost reductions in the contract with Carolinas Healthcare System
- Update on the Gatling Juvenile Detention Center: what is the status of state funding for a new facility? What cost, if any, does the County have in housing female juveniles?
- What are the rights of illegal immigrants within the court system?
- When does the Spirit Square contract expire?
- What are the Federal and State mandates for Work First?
Please let me know of any omissions to these Board requests from the conference.
Naming of County Park Amenities
As part of developing policy recommendations for private sponsorships and underwriting, staff has been considering options for providing naming rights of County amenities. Such policies exist elsewhere in local governments throughout the country as a means of diversifying revenue sources. Although the development of this proposed policy was underway prior to receiving a proposal to obtain naming rights for the Freedom Park band shell, this request has increased staff momentum to finalize recommendations for Board consideration.
A local vehicle dealership, Scott Clark's Toyota City, has proposed a ten-year sponsorship of the band shell in Freedom Park. Mr. Scott Clark made the offer January 10, 2006 to the Fees and Charges Subcommittee of the Park and Recreation Commission. The proposal calls for the dealership to pay $20,000 for the first two years to Partners for Parks, the fund raising arm of the Park and Recreation Department. An additional $10,000 would also be paid each year for the next eight years. The dealership also provided a $20,000 payment to Partners for Parks as the first installment, with the understanding this revenue must be approved by the Park and Recreation Commission and appropriated by the Board of County Commissioners. If it is not approved, the money will be returned to the dealership.
The total $100,000 sponsorship funds would be committed to maintenance and improvements to Freedom Park, specifically focusing on the band shell. In addition to the money, Scott Clark would commit to promote and sponsor two Park and Recreation-approved events in the park each year.
In return, the dealership proposes to have four signs recognizing the sponsorship of the band shell and the surrounding island. The signs would be placed on the island and around the park. Park and Recreation staff informed Mr. Clark that if approved, all signage must be consistent with existing park standards. The conceptual photos below demonstrate how staff proposes to display the signs.
The dealership's proposal will be taken to the Central Three Park District III Advisory Council on March 15 for discussion and a recommendation. This meeting is open, and the public is invited to participate. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Freedom Park Pavilion. The Council's recommendation will then go to the Park and Recreation Commission. According to Park and Recreation Director Wayne Weston, Mr. Clark was instructed that he would have to engage in the public processes of the Department and interact with the four neighborhood associations in the Freedom Park area.
In 60 days, we anticipate providing the Board a recommendation for a policy on private sponsorships and underwriting that includes a provision for naming rights.