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Welcome to the County Manager’s Suggestion Box. In the interest of being transparent, the County Manager implemented this service to provide residents and employees the opportunity to provide their feedback on County services and programs. Check back here each month for new responses. Many of the suggestions received pertain to specific departments. While respecting anonymity, the County Manager has shared those suggestions with department directors. Department directors will provide responses and follow-up actions as appropriate.
We cannot respond publicly to messages related to employee job performance or direct complaints of specific people or employees. If you have a concern about a County employee or an ethics/fraud complaint, please submit it to the Fraud/Ethics Hotline at 888-225-2039 for appropriate follow-up.
Visit the archived page to view previous responses.
Hi Dena, Why is racial equity training mandatory for all county employees but learning how to save ourselves, a co-worker or someone else in the building from an active shooter isn't? I am very concerned about the recent up tick in active shooter incidents and feel the county isn't pushing it hard enough. I also feel our buildings are vulnerable as anyone can walk into a building without being screened for a gun, is it possible to look into screening all visitors that enter a public area? Thank you for your time.
The County Manager’s Office is working with Asset & Facility Management, Legal and others to develop a wholistic strategy (training modules, etc.) in response to the Virginia Beach shooting. Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention training is now mandatory for all county employees annually. The County also continues to partner with CMPD to offer in-person "Active Shooter Survival Training" for staff facilitated by trained CMPD officers and is working to expand future training opportunities. as well as new weapons screening at all public entrances to county buildings. Also, as of September 30, 2019, employees who use the employee entrances to access County facilities will be required to go through a security checkpoint.
Mecklenburg County continues to move forward with its Equity and Inclusion Initiative to ensure that everyone in Mecklenburg County has an equitable opportunity to thrive. Back in June 2019, the County adopted its first Equity Action Plan. One of the strategies in the plan includes a Countywide training for all employees. The required one-day training will focus on understanding the role government plays in advancing racial equity, as well as help employees to understand and define equity, inequity, implicit and explicit bias, as well as individual, institutional and structural racism. The training will also focus on normalizing conversations about race, operationalizing new behaviors and policies, and organizing to achieve racial equity.
There should be a regular snack and soda machine in each building. this will give employees a "choice" if they want to eat healthy or not.
The vending machine changes have been in line with the County Manager's message of health and wellness for our employees. Providing healthier food and beverage options at County sponsored meetings and events, and in vending machines on County property has the potential to:
Model and promote healthy eating among employees
Increase employee and some Mecklenburg County residents' access to healthy food options
In a survey in 2015, employees indicated a strong interest in healthier snack and meal options at work. To support employees in their efforts to lead healthier lifestyles, the Healthy Vending and Food Policy was created. This policy expands the healthy options available for food and beverages purchased, sold and served at County meetings or events and in our vending machines. Mecklenburg County's policy meets national nutrition guidelinesrecommended by the American Heart Association. Canteen is our current vendor and shows purchasing statistics of foods/beverages that are profitable and encouraging of people's choice of healthier foods/beverages. If employees want specific snacks not available from the vending machines, they can bring them from home.
Diversity Training I'm looking forward to diversity training at Mecklenburg County. I appreciate that everyone is expected to take it and sign up for it as their schedules permit. I was curious about how that's monitored. Will we hear statistics at a later date how many departments complied with the request? I ask the question to prompt the result.
Department Directors will be accountable to make sure employees sign up. It is on their work plan to ensure their employees participate in the training. Department Directors will get a report on a regular basis listing who has completed it and who still needs to complete the training. We will communicate to the organization on how we are doing on this as it is one of the measures for the Equity and Inclusion Initiative.
Recycle Bins I was hoping there would be mention of more recycling practices at county locations. I was told we are a green campus, but the only recycling bins I've seen in our locations are for paper only. Can we add bins for plastic and aluminum? I know we'd need a service to collect them, but I'm hoping this change can be put into future plans.
The small blue bins that are typically located within a workstation or office are meant to be used primarily for recyclable paper goods. There are also taller black bins and blue bins located throughout departmental spaces and break rooms at VCW. The blue bins are for all appropriate recyclable material, including plastic and aluminum. The black bins are for other non-recyclable garbage/food, etc. County maintenance vendor staff are responsible for emptying both types of these bins periodically.
Recycling Since we are a 'green' organization, would it not be appropriate to have recycling bins placed in various buildings [i.e., VCW, LUESA] for bottles and aluminum. There are a number of organizations that will supply the bins and arrange pick-up as well.
See response above.
Mail Having a postal drop box placed at the VCW. would be beneficial to both employees and customers alike.
A US Post Office free-standing mailbox (for out-going mail) is currently located on the back side of the Valerie C. Woodard Center, between Entrances K and L, near the loading dock. This new US Mailbox can be used by both employees and customers and was placed at the new location where the US Mail is delivered to all the departments at the Woodard Center.
CCOB 5th Floor Ladies Restroom PLEASE do something for your Mecklenburg County employees who work at CCOB on the 5th Floor. The ladies room is foul. Late in the afternoon is reeks of urine because some of the toilets are leaking on the floor. The steam cleaning of the tile floor a few weeks ago, while appreciated, did nothing to address the urine odor because it is a daily problem of the toilets leaking urine across the floor. There are sewer flies inhabiting the stalls and toilets that fly around every time a toilet is flushed. It is unsanitary, unsafe, and unhealthy. PLEASE send someone at the end of a workday to confirm this report. Do not come early in the morning immediately after the bathroom has been cleaned.
Asset and Facility Management will evaluate the cause of the odors, including the potential of leaking toilets.
Unplanned Births Support comprehensive sex education and birth control information
Mecklenburg County seeks to empower individuals of all ages to engage in reproductive life planning through the provision of patient-centered reproductive and sexual health services. Here is a snapshot of the programs and services we offer to support family planning:
Family Planning Clinic services including reproductive life planning discussions, birth control counseling and distribution of birth control methods on-site. These services are provided on a sliding scale based on income (the scale slides to $0)
The Improving Community Outcomes for Maternal & Child Health (ICO4MCH) aims to improve birth outcomes (increased pregnancy intervals, maternal health, pregnancy intentionality) by encouraging reproductive life planning. We partner with MCHD clinics but most or our work is with non-medical service providers (ex. case managers, WIC Staff) and community members who have contact with women and men of childbearing age. This program asks individuals to consider if they want to become pregnant in the next year and tailors education based on response ranging from preconception health to birth control options.
Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Clinic services are an important part ensuring optimal reproductive health. Our services include STI/HIV education and prevention counseling, routine testing, on-site treatment. These services are provided at our locations as well as at community sites throughout the county. All services are provided free of charge to the patient.
In addition to services provided, Mecklenburg County Public Health also has strategic partnerships with community agencies to promote reproductive life planning. We do this by attending community festivals, using radio advertising, and having information available at public libraries.
City of Charlotte 1. The city of Charlotte offers an All-Access Transit Pass for their employees, at a SIGNIFICANTLY reduce rate of $33 annually. Can we (the county) negotiate with the city of Charlotte, to get a similar discounted rate for an All Access Transit Pass? 2. The city of Charlotte established the employee relations Team, "The Queen's Team". The Queen’s Team members meet with some senior leadership and mayor at least once a quarter to exchange information, get feedback, provide input on workplace initiatives, and ask questions. CAN MECKLENBURG COUNTY CREATE AN EMPLOYEE RELATIONS TEAM SIMILAR TO WHAT THE CITY OF CHARLOTTE DEVELOPED? It appears that the city of Charlotte really value their employees hopefully Mecklenburg County can jump on board.
As of September 1, 2018, the city of Charlotte discontinued its’ discounted transit passes and commuter reimbursement tax benefit programs. The programs went away with the introduction of the city’s “All-Access Pass”. City employees can ride any CATS service with unlimited rides (buses, light rail, etc.), and access the city’s Smart Ride Program that provides free parking once per month in the deck. City employees pay $33 annually with the city subsidizing the remaining cost. Based on our research, the county would need to pay an estimated $300,000+ (per year) and the cost for the employee would be around $55 annually. On July 1, 2017, Mecklenburg County added a new benefit called the “Commuter Reimbursement Account” (CRA). This is a pre-taxed, employee paid benefit offered to regular full-time employees to purchase CATS bus, rail or vanpool passes. Currently, we have only 5 participants county-wide in the program. We appreciate the suggestion and will keep it in mind for future consideration. Your suggestion about creating an employee relations team has been forwarded to the Human Resources Department for consideration. We already have the Dine with Dena lunch sessions to afford county employees access to the County Manager to discuss any issues/concerns they may have.
Quitting I have a coworker who recently quit about two weeks ago b/c she became frustrated with the job. How is it that this same employee is returning back next month, but as a part time employee?? To my understanding, the county policy is that you can only return 1 year after leaving. Is this no longer the policy and how does this happen?
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to respond to your question. As indicated in the Human Resources Policy & Procedures Manual (Reinstatement/Reemployment), “Employees who previously worked for the County may be considered for reemployment.” Therefore, it is possible for an employee to resign from their full-time position and return in a part-time capacity. The Drug Free Workplace policy states that “an employee's failure to appear for testing will be considered refusal to participate and will constitute grounds for termination. The employee will not be considered for reemployment for at least one year from the date of the scheduled test.” This is the only policy that provides a specific timeframe for reapplying.