October 22, 2010
At its October 19 meeting, the Board requested information on how unrestricted contingency funds have been appropriated in the past. This question arose as part of the Board’s discussion regarding the request to appropriate $75,000 from unrestricted contingency to help pay for the Future of the Library Task Force.
Since FY2006, the Board has approved the use of the unrestricted contingency for several initiatives and projects similar to the Library Task Force. In FY2006, the Board allocated $75,000 to support the School Building Solutions Committee. In FY2007, the Board approved $10,000 to help fund the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women’s Summit, followed in FY2008 with an additional $30,000 approved for the Women’s Summit. In addition, the Board appropriated $125,000 in unrestricted contingency funds for the Center City Partner’s Center City visioning process, and $80,000 to the Hall House Initiative as a match to the Critical Needs Task Force in FY2009.
Board members with questions should contact Budget & Planning Director Hyong Yi at 704-336-6945 or email.
M4R Gets Good Grade
Mecklenburg County government’s philosophy of Managing for Results (M4R) is being recognized for superior performance management efforts from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Center for Performance Measurement (CPM).
The County is one of 18 jurisdictions to be awarded a 2010 Certificate of Distinction from the ICMA CPM. The CPM is dedicated to helping local governments improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services through the collection, analysis, and application of performance information. The CPM assists more than 150 cities, towns, counties, and other local government entities in the U.S. and Canada with the collection, analysis, and application of performance information.
The certificate program assesses a local government’s performance management program and encourages analysis of results by comparing to peers and gauging performance over time. Criteria for the Certificate of Distinction Award include:
- reporting of performance data to the public through budgets, newsletters, and/or information provided to elected officials
- data verification efforts to ensure reliability
- staff training
- use of performance data in strategic planning and operational decision-making
- sharing performance measurement knowledge with other local governments through presentations, site visits, and other networking.
Certificate winners were recognized at the ICMA Annual Conference this month in San Jose, CA.
Board members with questions should contact Planning & Evaluation Director Leslie Johnson at 704-432-0090 or email.
Organizational Charts Available On-line
Prior to the Board’s Capital Budget Retreat, staff received a request to provide department organizational charts for the Board. These charts have been compiled and are available online at www.MecklenburgCountyNC.Gov by clicking on the link to the County Manager’s Office page. These charts also can be accessed from the Board of County Commissioners page.
Board Retreat Follow Up
At the Board’s recent Capital Budget Retreat, two questions were asked regarding school buildings identified for possible closure by CMS.
The first question was whether the County had any outstanding bonds on the schools. The County has not spent any bond or COPs proceeds on these schools in the past three years. Any capital expenditures prior to that would be included in current debt service payments, but are not individually identified in school debt service.
The second question dealt with the disposition of surplus CMS and had four parts:
1. Who owns the property?
The majority of public school properties are owned by CMS. Exceptions include some schools deeded to the County by the Board of Education (BOE) as security (collateral) for the issuance of COPs, or on an annual basis so that the County could obtain sales tax refunds for work construction done on the schools during that calendar year. By written agreements with the Board of Education, the County has to deed the schools back to the BOE once the COPS are paid off and once the work on the schools is completed. There are separate agreements for each of those two sets of circumstances, all previously approved by the Board.
2. If the Board of Education closes a school, does it revert back to the County?
No. The BOE continues to own the school until the BOE decides to sell it.
3. If a school property is sold, what process does it go through?
G.S. 115C-518 dictates this process. One of the key steps is that prior to selling school property, the BOE must offer the County the first right of refusal to purchase the property at fair market value or at a negotiated price between the County Board and the School Board. If the County does not wish to purchase the property, the BOE can sell it with the proceeds of the sale being retained by CMS. The BOE also cannot provide the County the property as surplus, either, even if the County paid for the land and/or school.
4. Must the County turn over property to the schools once a building is built? Can the County lease the property to CMS and retain the deed for ourselves?
Although these actions are inconsistent with past practice both locally and elsewhere in N.C., it is permitted by GS 153A-158.1. The County has used this statute when the schools have been built on County-owned property and financed by COPS (and therefore secured by a deed of trust on those schools). However, these instances also included an agreement with the BOE, approved by the BOCC, that the school would be deeded to the BOE once the COPS were paid off.
- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager