As 2013 comes to an end, here is a look back at some of the year’s events, stories and decisions in Mecklenburg County government. Items are not ranked, and the list is not all-inclusive. However, the video, photo and article links below do help show and tell what happened this year, and some items provide a preview for what is to come in 2014.
Commissioners Name Dena Diorio New Mecklenburg County Manager
Assistant County Manager Dena Diorio will become Mecklenburg County’s fifth manager and the first woman to hold the post when she takes office Jan. 1, 2014. Diorio came to Mecklenburg County government as Finance Director in 2007. She was named assistant County manager in May 2013 following the departure of Harry L. Jones Sr. and the appointment of Bobbie Shields as interim County manager. Meet Dena
A New Assessor for Mecklenburg County
The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners named Kenneth Joyner the new tax assessor at its Sept. 3, 2013, regular meeting. Joyner is a former tax administrator and most recently a lecturer at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Meet Ken. Learn more about the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office.
Mecklenburg Sestercentennial 2013: Celebrating Our First 250 Years
Through a proclamation issued at their regular meeting on Jan. 2, 2013, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners designated 2013 as the Year of the Mecklenburg County Sestercentennial Celebration or 250th anniversary, and recognized the founding of Mecklenburg County on Feb. 26, 1763. Mecklenburg County and its community partners joined forces to put together the celebration. Check out the video recap here.
We want to hear from you
The Most important part of Mecklenburg County’s history is you. Whether you are a relative newcomer or a seventh-generation “Mecklenburger,” you have a story to tell, and we want to hear it. Share your story at www.mecklenburg250.org.
County Health Department Facility Renamed the Commissioner Neil C. Cooksey, Sr. Health Center
The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners on May 3, 2013, officially renamed the building at 249 Billingsley Road as the Commissioner Neil C. Cooksey, Sr. Health Center in memory of his life and service to the community. Neil C. Cooksey, Sr. was first elected to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in 2008. A Republican, he served nearly two full terms on the Board representing District 5 even as he fought a courageous battle with cancer. He died on October 10, 2012. View photos of the dedication Watch the video Learn more about the Mecklenburg County Health Department at www.meckhealth.org.
New Uptown Park Celebrate Legacy of Romare Bearden
Romare Bearden Park
in the Third Ward section of uptown Charlotte is finally a reality. An official grand opening ceremony was held Friday, Aug.30, through Sunday, Sept.1, 2013, at the corner of Third and Church streets. The celebration of the hometown artists’ life and legacy marked the 102nd anniversary of his Sept. 2, 1911 birth. The event featured live music from acts such as Jo Dee Messina, dancers, activities for children, an art show and street performers. View photos Watch the video
In June, the North Carolina legislature passed a law requiring MeckLINK Behavioral Healthcare to be turned over to an authority with an independent board. With the state imposed deadline of March 31, 2014, the County manager’s office began negotiations with Cardinal Innovations Healthcare based out of Kannapolis. MeckLINK provides mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities services to Mecklenburg residents. Learn more by watching this video.
Board Elects New Chair, Vice Chair
The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners on Dec. 3, 2013, voted 5-4 to elect Trevor Fuller (At Large) chairman in 2014. Fuller is currently serving in his first term. Commissioners also elected Dumont Clarke, a six-term commissioner from District 4, as vice chairman. Learn about the Board.
How Can We Connect with Mecklenburg County? Have Your Say in a Brand New Way
In 2013, Mecklenburg County introduced an easy-to-use online tool focusing on citizen input and feedback. The tool is available through the County’s MeckConnect website and allows you to post your ideas for community improvement, discuss others’ ideas, and vote on the ones you like. Visit the Web site.
Mecklenburg Livable Communities Planning Now Underway
In October, a group of 250 volunteers began work on the Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan. The joint community initiative is expected to take 16 months and is supported by Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, surrounding towns, and the Foundation for the Carolinas. This collaborative effort provides an opportunity to connect existing plans and identify commonalities that encourage and support a vibrant and healthy quality of life in our community. The ultimate goal is to have a finalized plan ready for adoption in February of 2015. View photos