June 10, 2011
Internal Business Support Functions Consolidating
Approximately 14 weeks ago, the County contracted with Ashlin Associates to assist us in assessing our business support services (human resources, information services & technology, organizational development, real estate services, and public service & information). The purpose of the assessment was to explore opportunities for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness through resource sharing and/or further internal consolidation.
Having completed this assessment, Ashlin has recommended, and I have approved, implementing a shared services agency model for these business support services. Implementation will begin at the start of the new fiscal year (July 1, 2011) and will take 12-18 months to complete all the changes.
The shared service agency model is recommended to address inefficiencies inherent in silo organizations by integrating functions and by sharing staff and other resources across functions. This also will enable us to capitalize on opportunities to improve and/or expand internal support services that are necessary to run the business of County government.
The envisioned shared services agency is a streamlined, flexible and agile operation supporting other departments in providing services to customers and the community. Ashlin Associates estimates the shared services agency model will result in cost avoidance/cost savings ranging from 10%-20%, while expanding our service capacity.
The recommendations do not include a reduction in positions, though we anticipate some job functions will change along with changes in various business processes. Still, once implemented, the shared service agency model will allow us to mitigate the need for additional positions as internal business support service needs increase.
The shared services agency model will be managed by a leadership team supervised by a shared services agency director. This agency director position will be recruited and hired consistent with the County’s current hiring procedures using an existing vacant position. The members of the leadership team will have shared accountability for the overall agency goals and performance, as well as individual responsibility for designated functions of the agency. The key functions of the shared services agency will be: Organizational Improvement; Business/Financial Management Support; Property & Asset Management (formally Real Estate Services); Project Management; Employee Resource Management; Technology Resource Management; and Public and Employee Communications.
Board members with questions should contact General Manager John McGillicuddy via email or 704-336-2661.
Business Involvement Through Sponsorships
One of the components of our citizen involvement outreach services in the Public Service & Information Department (PS&I) is seeking private sector sponsorships and underwriting. Recently, several businesses have announced sponsorship commitments to support specific County operations.
IKEA Charlotte has announced it will provide furniture for a new children's area at the Child Support Enforcement Office (CSE) at 5800 Executive Center Drive in Charlotte. CSE Director Joan Kennedy realized that children who accompany their parents to the CSE office often need a designated play area away from parents and CSE staff who may be discussing sensitive child support issues. Kennedy created a wish list of desired items and worked with PS&I staff to request support from IKEA. IKEA agreed to donate all requested items towards this effort and to maintain the area by donating replacement items for the children's play area as needed.
In addition to the IKEA donation, Sprite and CBS Radio's K104.7 are teaming up in a local version of a national campaign to collect green Sprite tabs from Sprite cans during June, while donating 10 cents for every tab turned in to the Grady Cole Center for improvements. The partnership will generate a minimum Sprite donation of $2,000 for the work.
The campaign also includes more than 100 promotional spots airing K104.7 in June, and a live remote broadcast from the Grady Cole Center. Those interested in participating can drop off green Sprite can tabs at the following locations:
• Grady Cole Center located, 310 N. Kings Drive, Charlotte
• Dogtopia, 616 Springbrook Road, Charlotte
• Kids Emporium, at 18724 Statesville Road, Cornelius.
Finally, on the heels of the recently held 2011 Pedigree Park in the Park presented by Food Lion, the 2012 event is already attracting sponsors. One of this year’s main sponsors, Pedigree dog food, has committed to being the title sponsor next year. The announcement means that the County's most popular event will continue at no significant taxpayer expense.
This year's event was held at Rural Hill in Huntersville, and drew more than 15,000 attendees and 5,000 dogs, up slightly from last year's event. CBS Radio's Kiss 95.1, K104.7, and WSOC 103.7, along with WAXN-64, a sister TV station of WSOC-TV, also have committed as 2012 media partners.
Board members with questions should contact PS&I Director Danny Diehl via email 704-336-2084.
Park and Recreation a Finalist for the NRPA Gold Medal Award
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department has been named one of four finalists for the 2011 NRPA Gold Medal Award. The award is presented annually by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to honor excellence in management and planning of parks and recreation agencies. This is the second consecutive year that Mecklenburg County is a finalist for the award.
A panel of leading experts chose Mecklenburg’s Park and Recreation Department as a finalist in the category for communities with a population of more than 250,000. Other finalists include Kansas City, MO Parks and Recreation Department, Miami-Dade, FL Park and Recreation Department, and Portland, OR Parks and Recreation.
This award honors the top U.S. communities that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. A single winner in the large population category will be announced in late-October.
Board members with questions should contact Park & Recreation Department Director Jim Garges via email or 704-336-5470.
-- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager