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Redesigning and Reshaping Mecklenburg County Government

The County Manager proposed a strategic path to envision a new future for Mecklenburg County as part of the FY11 adopted budget. This vision highlights the need to reshape and redesign Mecklenburg County government to fit the new economic reality.

Since that time, County staff has embarked on a number of initiatives to manage these changes. This page provides a synopsis of those efforts and links to more information.

 Current Change Management Initiatives

Business Support Services Assessment:
Consolidating of Human Resources, IT, Real Estate Services, Organizational Development, Public Information and other functions into an internal shared services organization that supports County department business needs.

Medicaid Waiver Implementation:
Building a managed care operation to administer the Medicaid waiver requirements of the State.

CHS to Public Health Department Transition:
Rebuilding a public health department that is currently contracted to Carolinas Health Care System. Website

Financial Management Services:
Developing and implementing numerous structural and operational changes to the County’s financial management services recommended in a March 2010 report that assessed the County’s effectiveness and efficiency in financial management and fiscal control. All departments are involved in this effort with Finance in the lead. Staff in Human Resources, Information Technology, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Manager’s Office is serving in project leadership roles.
One component of this effort is a recently completed Sourcing Project in partnership with Deloitte Consulting. The project explored more cost-effective service contracts for facilities maintenance, temporary labor and social services transportation. Savings of more than $2 million annually and up to $10 million over the length of new vendor contracts approved by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners is expected.

As a next step, County staff began a Procure-to-Pay assessment in October 2011 to research best practices, business processes and automation to develop options for a redesign and reshape of procurement services.

Implementing the County’s Compliance Program and Enterprise Risk Management:
The Board of County Commissioners approved the compliance program on May 17, 2011. County Manager Harry Jones named Deputy County Attorney Tyrone Wade as Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Attorney Bob Thomas as Deputy Compliance Officer. With the approval of the compliance program, the Executive Team appointed a 10-member Risk Management Compliance Governance Committee which is responsible for overseeing an organization-wide risk assessment - the first step in developing the County's risk management priorities and compliance program work plan.

Law Enforcement Service Districts and Volunteer Fire Service District:
Collaborating with the City of Charlotte and other Mecklenburg municipalities to develop an alternative model for police services in the law enforcement service districts as well as developing an alternative model for volunteer fire services in the unincorporated areas.

Library Restructuring: 
The Future of the Library Task Force was created in 2010 to formulate a recommendation on how to keep the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system sustainable while adapting to changing budget realities. Key County department/units including the Manager’s Office, OMB, and Public Information worked with the Task Force, who delivered its report and recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners and Library Board of Trustees on March 21, 2011. The recommendations of the Task Force were approved by both Boards. Website

As a result of the Task Force recommendations, a Main Library Committee was appointed in October 2011 and is tasked with looking at the feasibility of consolidating, downsizing or relocating the functions of the Main Library to ImaginOn or other sites in downtown.

 By adopting the FY2011 budget, the Board of County Commissioners launched Mecklenburg County on a multi-year strategic path of redefining the County to be consistent with the economic realities that have followed the Great Recession. This decision was made in the context that: a) programs, services and personnel be matched to available funding; b) core county functions be preserved as the County redesigns and reshapes its “new normal” ; and c) the 2015 Vision, both measureable goals and targets, be reassessed. From November 2010 to January 2011, County Manager’s Office staff gathered input from residents and employees on priorities for the community and organization over the next ten years. In addition, staff reviewed current scorecard performance results and listened to discussions among the Board at its public policy workshops and regular meetings. On Nov. 1 2011, the Board reviewed the scorecard and approved the modifications highlighted in blue in the attachment. website

Budget Modeling:
Beginning with retreat in October 2010, the Board began steps to change the capital investment planning and budgeting process. Follow up efforts will also focus on operations budget modeling. Key departments/units involved are Manager’s Office, OMB, Finance, and Public Information.

Joint Capital Master Planning:
Mecklenburg County and its municipalities have agreed to consolidate capital planning efforts as the first step in implementing recommendations from IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge. IBM executives spent more than a month in Charlotte during 2010, studying how the County conducts Capital Master Planning and making recommendations on how to improve the process. County municipalities agreeing to plan together was the first step. A Quality of Life Study is also being added to the process to help operationally focus on what infrastructure should be included in particular capital projects. Key County departments/units involved are the Manager’s Office, OMB, Finance, BSSA, Park and Recreation, GIS as well as key partners such as CMS, City of Charlotte and other Mecklenburg municipalities, library, and CPCC. Additional resources are at this website.

Completed or On-Hold Change Initiatives

County/Library Consolidation:
Implemented consolidation of library facility maintenance and facility security by outsourcing under County Real Estate Services. A Steering Committee comprised of Library staff and key County departments/units including Finance, HR, IST, Public Information, OMB, RES and the Manager’s Office subsequently evaluated the potential for consolidation of additional functions. The Steering Committee presented their recommendations to a six-member subcommittee of the Board of Trustees and Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in December 2010. website

County/CMS Consolidation:
County/CMS Consolidation – Preliminary report on evaluation and recommendations provided to the Board in February 2010. Key departments involved were Park and Recreation, RES, HR, IST, Public Information, OMB, Manager’s Office. Additional follow up by neutral third-party was put on hold due to numerous other organizational changes that occurred in the County and CMS, including the County cutting its budget by nearly $150 million over two years as well as consolidating functions with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library, and CMS closing several schools.

Additional Functional Consolidation With The City of Charlotte
In an October 17th Memo to Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton, County Manager Harry L. Jones Sr. stated that due to Mecklenburg County’s limited availability of resources it is not currently feasible to pursue additional functional consolidation of services with the City. Staff from both the City and the County will continue to consider consolidation opportunities with the goal of pursuing such opportunities when they can be effectively managed.

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