Human Services Governance
The Board of County Commissioners held a Budget/Public Policy meeting May 14 to discuss governance of the County’s combined Human Services Departments (DSS, Health, MeckLink). County Attorney Marvin Bethune and Assistant County Manager Michelle Lancaster gave a brief history of how previous Boards of Commissioners governed. Staff told the Board that there are four basic models:
- Traditional Model with DSS Board, Mental Health Board and Board of Health
- Original Mecklenburg County model with BOCC assuming powers of all three board
- Pure Consolidated Model with one appointed board governing all three departments
- Mecklenburg version with the BOCC serving as the consolidated Human Services Board
The BOCC was not expected to adopt one of the models. It asked staff to do additional research about what some other counties in North Carolina do and report back to the Board at a future meeting.
Interim Manager Report
The New Interim County Manager Bobbie Shields told the Board that after reflecting on all that has happened since Manager Harry Jones was terminated the previous week, he found three important issues that he plans to keep in mind going forward. First is the stress level of County employees due to the considerable media coverage given the termination. Second is the County’s need to keep a customer focus on everything we do. Third is to maintain and build relationships both internally and externally. Shields reported that he talked with Krista Tillman over the phone. She is a retired executive who was recommended by Chairman Pat Cotham as a good person to fill a spot identified as executive transition manager. Shields reported he talked with Tillman to gain understanding of her potential scope of work. That began a lengthy and sometimes heated exchange between some commissioners about whether the County needs an outside consultant and whether it should be Tillman. That issue will be brought to the Board at its May 21 meeting.