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Personnel Changes at DSS
Dannette R. Smith, Director of Youth and Family Services division (YFS) of the Department of Social Services, has accepted a position with the State of Georgia as the Fulton Regional Director, effective September 10. This is a tremendous opportunity for Dannette and we wish her the very best.
Dannette has provided a level of leadership and direction to YFS that is unsurpassed. She brought dedication and knowledge to the task of transforming YFS from a traditional child welfare operation into a community-based/family-centered service delivery system. Her five and one-half years with Mecklenburg County has been marked by significant effort, change and progress. This work culminated in the outcomes of the child and family services review in March, 2007. In that review, Mecklenburg was recognized as the finest urban child welfare operations in the nation.

Unrelated to Dannette’s new position, we also note that John Eller, Director of the DSS Services for Adults division, has taken a new position outside of the County. Board members gained familiarity with John as he championed the Status of Seniors Initiative. Effective August 7, John will become the director of the Department of Social Services for Cabarrus County.
These new opportunities provided to Dannette and John highlight not only their achievement but also the excellent stature and reputation our Department of Social Services has regionally and nationally under the direction of Jake Jacobsen.
Please join me in congratulating Dannette and John on their new opportunities and thank them for their service to the residents of Mecklenburg County.

Mecklenburg County Ranks Top in the Nation
Expansion Management, a monthly business magazine that covers economic development, site selection, business climate, and business relocation praised Mecklenburg County in its June edition. Expansion Management, in conjunction with the National Policy Research Council, reviewed the facilitation relocation activity of 19 million companies over the past eight years to determine the most popular destinations for relocating businesses. The results ranked the Mecklenburg County area as the top location for business recruitment. According to the magazine, the study “looked at business growth rates at the county level” which gave an indication of which part of the metro area was driving the growth. Mecklenburg County (part of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC/SC Metropolitan Statistical Area) was at the top of the list.

FY2007-2008 Strategic Planning Calendar Update
At the August 14 meeting, I will recommend that the Board’s annual Strategic Planning Conference be held in October as a one day event with a half-day follow-up to be held in early 2008. This change will provide staff an opportunity to develop strategies aligned with the Board’s three-year emphasis.
The Managing for Results process begins with goal setting followed by the development of strategies based on these goals. The current schedule and sequence has staff working on developing strategies before the Board has established its areas of emphasis. With a simple adjustment to the planning calendar, we can address this issue and improve how we manage for results.
Regarding time commitment, in the months where the Board’s strategic planning meetings are taking place, we would not hold public policy workshops given the time commitment you are already making.
As a next step, I have asked staff to include an agenda item for the August 14 public meeting to bring this proposal before the Board.
Mark Your Calendar
Tuesday, August 14:
  • Dinner Meeting, 5 p.m., CH-14
  • Regular Meeting, 6 p.m., Meeting Chamber
            --Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager

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