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Board BulletinDecember 11, 2009
Strategic Business Planning Recap
Earlier this week, the Board held the second of four workshops focusing on reviewing performance and establishing preliminary areas to emphasize as priorities over the next three years.
The first of the four workshops, held in November, dealt with the Board’s Community Health & Safety Focus Area of the Community & Corporate Scorecard. Board members may recall that performance in this Focus Area generally held steady from the previous year with three green lights (indicating the Board’s 2015 goal has been achieved) and four red lights (indicating that performance is below 85% of the 2015 target). Some of the key discussion points included:
  • Increasing demand for and decreasing state funding for mental health services
  • Although the performance trend is positive in working toward the 2015 public health goals (Health Index), there is still a significant gap between the current performance and these long-term goals.
  • Regarding trial court performance, concerns were raised about court efficiency and lack of progress toward goals.
The Board concluded this November workshop by identifying three program categories as potential areas of emphasis (Jails and Detention Facilities, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, and Adult Mental Illness Prevention and Treatment).
The workshop this week (December 8) addressed the Board’s Growth Management and Environment Focus Area. The Board learned that performance in this Focus Area also was generally consistent with last year’s outcomes (four green lights and three red lights). The one change was moving from a yellow light (performance between 86% and 94% of the 2015 goal) to a red light for Transit Proximity Index (having parks, greenways and libraries within 1/4–mile of transit stops). The change in performance was due, in part, to changes in how performance data is gathered. There also were changes made in the methodology for the Parks & Open Space Index measure. This new methodology seeks to address the gap between current economic conditions and the Parks Master Plan goals by comparing performance with voter-authorized bonds. Even with these changes, the Board acknowledged that meeting the goals for the number of parks, open space and other park amenities will be challenging due to the “debt diet” the County is experiencing.
The Board also received a briefing on a potential rethinking/rebranding of the Growth Management and Environment Focus Area. This included a staff recommendation to change the name of the Focus Area to Sustainable Communities and to expand the accountabilities within this Focus Area, including adding three new performance measures on the Board’s Community & Corporate Scorecard. The Board provided feedback and asked staff to report back to the Board with final recommendations. The Board concluded the workshop by identifying two program categories (Economic Development, and Parks Fields and Recreation Centers) as the primary areas of potential emphasis over the next three years.
The Board will conclude this first phase in its strategic planning process with separate workshops on the Social, Education and Economic Opportunity Focus Area and the Effective & Efficient Government Focus Area. Subsequent to these two workshops, the Board will culminate its strategic planning efforts with its Strategic Planning Conference in February (25-26). At that time, the Board will review and finalize its areas of emphasis for the next three years in preparation for adopting a new three-year business plan. This plan will serve as a guiding policy document in developing the county manager’s recommended budget for FY2011.
General Manager Appointed to United Way Board
General Manager Michelle Lancaster-Sandlin was one of 13 new members appointed to the United Way of Central Carolinas Board of Directors on Tuesday. Nine current members were reappointed, bringing the total number of members to 22. They join the United Way under the leadership of new Executive Director Jane McIntyre who joined the United Way in August.
Michelle’s primary responsibility is providing executive leadership for the County’s Community Health and Safety Focus Area. This includes overseeing accountability for the County’s investment in and relationship with the state criminal justice operation in Mecklenburg County. 

“A” Grade for Transparency
Mecklenburg County was one of two North Carolina counties this year that received an “A” grade in transparency by the John Locke Foundation. The John Locke Foundation provides grades for state agencies, counties, schools and municipalities in the state of North Carolina to encourage transparency. Counties are graded on 14 baseline documents or reports that should be available to citizens and taxpayers. The Foundation assigned an “A” grade because the following documents and information pertaining to Mecklenburg County are accessible by the public online:
  • Annual Financial Information Report
  • Audit reports
  • Budget
  • Capital Improvement Plan
  • Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
  • Contracts
  • Future liability for retirees
  • Health expenses
  • Revenue Report
  • Salaries of employees earning $50,000 or more
  • Transportation Improvement Plan
  • Number of employees
The full report and documents from this assessment are available at the Foundation’s website at

- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager
Tuesday, December 15
  • 3pm, Effective & Efficient Government Committee, 11th Floor Large Conference Room
  • 5pm, Dinner Meeting, CH14
  • 6pm, Regular Meeting, Chamber

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