County Manager's Office
Send an Email
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.
Question: No Heat
Hello, I am writing to inform you that there is no heat at Chapin Hall suite 101.
There hasn't been any heat in the last 2 months and staff have been complaining and maintenance hasn't done anything about it.
Supervisors have been complaining and NOTHING IS BEING DONE ABOUT IT!
The staff here have been working in their coats, scarves, hats and gloves, while some even have blankets wrapped around them just to stay warm.
The workers here are trying to be efficient and effective with trying to work to provide services to our clients, but it's becoming unbearable to do that , in fact, no employee with Mecklenburg County should have to sit in the cold all day and it's becoming worse.
CAN YOU PLEASE ASSIST US IN HAVING SOME HEAT IN THIS BUILDING!!
We agree and regret the discomfort that was experienced by employees. Asset & Facility Management was aware of the problem, and it has been corrected. There were problems with the operation and controls of the new HVAC system that had to be changed to develop a solution.
Question: Class and Comp
The way to handle an attempt to reclassify a position is a joke. If a director, yes a director wants to reclassify a position in where they feel it's justified, submit the proper paperwork supporting the reclassification, then there shouldn't be any issues. My position was attempted to be reclassed and it was denied, so I've decided to seek employment elsewhere and this will be my last week with the county. I want to go work for a place who values their employees and doesn't put constraints on directors. I really feel like I wasted 10 years here but hey Mecklenburg county seems to worry more about preceptive then taking care of the employees.
Reclassification requests are submitted by the departments through their HR point of contact. The request must be approved by the Director and, in some cases, also by the Assistant County Manager. Departments must submit a form indicating how they plan to pay for the reclassification which HR forwards to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and a description of the new or changed duties which the department feels justifies the reclassification.
The Classification & Compensation Consultant evaluates the documentation and performs a job analysis to determine whether the changes in duties/responsibilities and/or newly added duties meet the requested job class. If so, the request is approved and processed. If HR determines the request does not meet the requested job class, HR works with the Department to see if information was excluded which would help meet the requested job classification or to determine another job classification that is a better match. Very rarely is a request denied altogether. In the vast majority of cases, HR and the Department work together to reach a mutually acceptable classification.
Department Directors possess a field of knowledge and skills pertaining to the department they run and are experts at doing so. Similarly, our Classification and Compensation Consultants possess a field of knowledge surrounding the classification and compensation of jobs and are experts at doing so. Department Directors direct the activities of a department because that is their expertise. Classification & Compensation Consultants manage the classification and compensation of the County’s jobs because that is their expertise.
The Classification & Compensation Center of Excellence (COE) within HR exists to handle the County’s classification and compensation work. The Consultants within that COE are experts at what they do which is why they make the reclassification determination instead of Department Directors. Additionally, having reclassification and compensation decisions made by a COE outside of the Department is an HR Best Practice and serves as an internal control.
Since May of 2018, 108 reclassification requests have been processed and only 1 of those requests was denied altogether. Sometimes, an employee feels their position should be reclassified and department management does not agree; therefore, the request is never submitted to HR. Additionally, reclassification requests are typically submitted for vacant positions. Incumbent reclasses are not part of the County’s procedures unless the incumbent has been working under-classed for a period of time or in the event of a reorganization or a restructure.
Question: Christmas Holiday 24-26 Not Just 24-25
I was recently made aware that most of the counties surrounding Mecklenburg receive December 24-26 off (at least administrative services and similar departments). And there are some eastern counties that do the same. I wanted to inquire about how come we are unable to receive December 26 as a holiday as well and have to use our personal leave instead. thank you.
This suggestion has been raised in the past. The County provides holiday pay for Christmas Day and one other day. We currently provide 11 paid holidays which is considered competitive compared to both private and public sectors. I recognize that there are several surrounding municipalities including the State of North Carolina that provide three days at Christmas as paid holidays. Annually, I review and approve the County’s Holiday schedule for the upcoming year. As you may recall, in 2015 we added Veterans Day as a paid holiday. We will continue to evaluate if the County should expand its’ holiday schedule.
Question: HR Policy Updates
We get messages saying that there have been changes to the HR policy manual but I have no way of know what changed since the old policy is no longer available. Can you please tell me what has changed for 2019?
Human Resources is reviewing the County’s policies and procedures to ensure we are aligned with changes in State and Federal law and to address potential HR issues that may not have been covered in our previous policies and procedures. We used several avenues to communicate our policy changes:
We had an article in the Employee News Now (ENN) on December 27, 2018. The policies were posted
here on MeckWeb and the changes were highlighted. The old policy was not removed from the HR Policy Manual until the effective date which was January 21, 2019. A Lunch & Learn Session was held at three different locations. This allowed HR to answer questions employees may have had after reading the policies.
This will continue to be our process as we revise our policies and procedures. In addition, we will post a “Summary of Policy Changes” to assist in identifying what was revised.
Question: Employee Recognition
Hello, I feel if I nominated this employee for the above and beyond it could be shown as favoritism, that is why I will post my recognition here. I think there is a county employee who doesn't receive enough recognition for the job he does and that is (name redacted) in Security. I am amazed on how he manages all of our badges, the multiple moves going on throughout the county and ensures everything is working properly. I recently had the opportunity to work with him while our department moved. He literally took time to listen to all my employees concerns, answered every question they had, and any questions he didn't have an answer to, he went back, got the answer, then responded in an email. He's always on the ground, working with us if we need him. His responsiveness is incredible and he always seems to be somewhere helping some department. I also heard rumors he may be leaving the county, if this were to happen I am unsure who could fill the void he would leave behind. He has the talent, knowledge and work ethic that is extremely rare and hard to come by so losing him would be a disservice to Mecklenburg County. I hope the county does everything they can to retain him if he is indeed considering leaving. I hope this feedback reaches the right people to recognize him.
The Above & Beyond @ Work program is the venue best suited for this employee recognition. Please use that forum to submit your nomination. Any county employee may nominate someone they feel is worthy of this recognition.
Questions: County Security Concerns
Security Phone Line
The security phone line 980-314-1414 is hard to manage. By the time I find my building I could be dead. I spoke with (name redacted) who advised me to take some time and research the phone tree so I knew the correct prompts for each building. I find this completely unacceptable and feel county security should have a card available that shows which prompt corresponds with each building, not have us just stand there waiting for us to hear our building. When we finally get to our building, guess what the security officer doesn't answer the phone. Some Security we have here, makes me feel real safe!
Why does it take forever for building access requests to be processed? According to (name redacted) email signature it advises it could take up to 48hrs for a badge or access request to be submitted. This to me is unacceptable as if I have an immediate need for an employee to have access I shouldn't have to be burdened in letting this person in and out of the secure areas. It seems (name redacted) is never in the office and always in the field doing project work, is this what an admin does? I'd expect an Admin to be in the office responding to requests quickly and efficiently. I just recently hired someone in October and it took three days for my new hires badge to work in the building, completely unacceptable and it was all because (name redacted) was tied up dealing with a move of employees into a building. Why is an admin handling a move into a building might I ask? Also why doesn't county security handle printer access? It took my new hire two weeks, yes two weeks in order to get printer access and every time I reached out to (name redacted) for assistance, he deferred me to IT, well then IT would refer me back to (name redacted). Finally after two weeks he contacted the IT director to correct this. If (name redacted) was able to handle these requests, I wouldn't have been inconvenienced and have to continually print for my new hire. Something needs to be done and corrected as the current process isn't working. Someone from Security should be readily available to accommodate the immediate needs of county employees. If a major security incident occurred would they be unavailable to assist?
Is there really a county security director? We never see him, he never attends our safety meetings, nor does he ever randomly walk through our space. In talking with other employees they say they same thing, they don't ever see him ever. He seems to only communicate by phone or email. We've seen (names redacted) more times than I can count. We still have no information on workplace violence and how reporting will work or who is even informed when an incident is reported. It seems those three know more about what's occurring in Security then the actual director. If I needed something I went right to (names redacted) because (name redacted) left the county. Between (names redacted), they are both very responsive to our department's needs even though they both are extremely busy. If either of these two leave, security will not function. Who will coordinate safety meetings and projects? Do you ever seen the Security director on a project site? I really hope this message brings about some change.
Frustrated with County Security
We recently had an incident at our location and I have to say I’m not satisfied with how county security responded. First, I called the (name redacted) several times to no avail which I knew he wouldn’t answer because he usually never does. Second, I tried (name redacted) who usually is pretty responsive but couldn’t get him either. I sent both an email and in (name redacted) out offfice message it says to call 980-314-1414 for officer assistance, well that’s all well and good but I don’t have time to stand here and wait for my building to be said, we should have something that helps expedite the process if we urgently need help. I finally was able to connect with (name redacted) who amazingly was also able to get hold of (name redacted) as well. I later found out through my director why (name redacted) was unavailable and it was a little concerning. How is the person who oversees our access control, alarms, and cameras and a key contact in county security only an hourly administrative assistant? That’s why he couldn’t answer my calls is because he’s hourly and the incident occurred off business hours. Only when (name redacted) authorized him to help did he get involved. Shouldn’t all county security employees be available 24/7? My issue was resolved but in what took hours to resolve could have possibly been resolved in less then an hour. I hope county management looks at this because in the future this could be a problem in my eyes.
We had some badge issues on December 31st, (name redacted) was out of the office, so we called (name redacted) who didn't know how to correct the issue and was trying to reach (name redacted). Well unfortunately for us our badge issue has to wait until Wednesday January 2nd because (name redacted) isn't authorized to work when he's off since he's hourly. How is the person managing our badges an hourly admin? Something is seriously wrong with this picture. On top of it all (name redacted) didn't know how to correct the issue at all either. Someone really needs to correct this because it boggles my mind that someone overseeing the badges is hourly, what if our badges all fail and he's off? Is someone going to contact him and allow him to work? Please address this issue.
I've tried to voice concern to the right people but to no avail. Who is the county security director? I've been told (name redacted), but my emails go unanswered, my requests for him to visit our office or when I ask him to attend a safety meeting, someone else from security shows up usually either (names redacted) We rarely if ever hear from him, during our entire move we only communicated with (name redacted) or sometimes (names redacted) make extremely quick decisions unlike (name redacted) who seems to either not answer our questions/concerns or defers in making a decision. It seems like utter chaos in that department and I am wondering if anyone really knows what is going on. Hopefully this will get someone's attention as my emails have gone unanswered.
Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding our security operations. The safety of our employees remains a top priority for me. The following response provides some background information as well as next steps as we continue to develop our security strategy.
Since its inception in 2006 and until the last couple of years, the AFM – Security Division had only one or two staff. It started with only a Security Coordinator position. Then an Administrative position was added when badging was consolidated enterprise-wide about five years ago. With a staff of two, including himself, the Security Director managed all contract guard services directly (for County and Library locations), armored cash pickup services across the County, attended safety meetings, conducted project security designs in consultation with AFM project managers for new design and construction of buildings, responded to all workplace violence concerns (including afterhours) in coordination with the County’s threat management team (which was formally established at the urging of the Security Director after his arrival to ensure our staff stay protected). The Security Admin position handled all badge/access requests across the enterprise (for which the Security Director served as the backup when the Admin was unable to assist). Because of his technical knowledge of the access control system, the Security Admin has become significantly more involved with space/project moves of staff as he works closely with security vendors and the IT Department to ensure the security systems are functioning properly prior to everyone moving into a new space.
The Security Director and security managers will be trained on the new access control system that is currently being installed to provide back-up support to our Security Administrator, particularly afterhours, if an urgent need exists.
Building a more robust security team now allows the Security Director to focus more on strategic planning and forecasting with enterprise security systems, RFP and contract development/execution, project management of enterprise level security projects, ensuring his division is operating effectively and efficiently, and providing a professional level of service to staff across our enterprise. It is of note, that he is planning to attend safety committee meetings periodically when available; and is always there to assist with security concerns at any time. If you are unable to reach the Security Director and have a concern, please contact Mark Hahn, the Director of Asset and Facility Management.
Our Security Admin’s title/position is not reflective of the duties he performs. Whether it should be an hourly position or exempt, of course, is up to the Human Resources Department, not AFM. We have discussed this at length with HR. Apparently, this is a common issue across the County due to the County current pay band/classification system. We are assured that HR is starting an initiative to better classify staff like our Security Admin.
This badge access process has been changed so that new hires now have an active badge provided to them at the New Hire Orientation. To be successful for each new hire, however, the new hire must submit a photograph in advance, and the hiring supervisor or appropriate department representative must complete the security request form to allow the proper access levels to be assigned to the badge. When those steps are followed properly within schedule constraints, new hires should receive an active badge at the orientation.
Regarding printer access from Information Technology: Due to massive relocations from various locations into the new VCW location, we needed to put our annual “Evergreen” desktop refresh efforts on-hold during the month of January due to the workload. We are currently over 60 percent complete with the ¼ County-wide refresh and are reinvigorating this work in February. We have brought on additional contractors to assist the existing IT Desktop Deployment & Support teams, but the workload is substantial. IT Services has attempted to respond quickly to any overlooked detail (e.g. We have been able to furnish temporary solutions to CSS for their front desk and localized security camera solution)
We have identified opportunities for process improvements within On-boarding, Re-Boarding & Off-Boarding. These processes span much of the organization (e.g. HR, IT, Asset and Facility Mgmt., Finance). Cortney Mondzak, HR Consultant, is reaching out to better understand the challenges. There are also conversations taking place regarding FY20 budget prioritizations with this effort as a potential area of focus.
Our security staff takes employee and customer safety very seriously and they work diligently to manage the overwhelming requests that come from County employees. We appreciate your patience as we continue to make improvements to our security operations.
Question: Employee Safety
Does employee safety mean anything to you? Below is a statement released by CMS, where county leaders more concerned about the safety of kids then their moms and dads? We then had to scramble to find child care because of the stupid decision to open the county. What is it going to take to put county employee safety first? Someone getting hurt on their way in to work or worse getting killed? Governor Roy Cooper clearly stated in his message if you don't have to be out on the roads stay home. Are county employees special that we have to come to work? Is it public perception that is a contributing factor in these decisions? I was very pleased you took the steps you did for Hurricane Florence but having employees report for Hurricane Michael which is forecasted to be worse then Florence was just plain stupid! I hope you read this statement below and realize how it makes the county look by making their employees report to work.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be closed for all students and staff on Thursday, Oct. 11. The safety of our students and staff are top priority. A strong storm system moving into the area tonight is predicted by experts to cause dangerously high winds, flash floods, unsafe travel conditions and possible long transportation delays for families, students and staff. The district recognizes the impact of school closings on families in the community and made this decision in consultation with law enforcement and weather experts, city and county leaders and other area school districts. CMS will advise families, students, staff and the community of the school schedule for Friday, Oct. 12, through direct phone calls, social media, the CMS website and area media outlets
Closing, delaying or staying on schedule is always a judgement call. I make the best decision possible based on the information I have at the time, and I will continue to go through that process the next time it occurs. Employees should make their own decisions about whether to travel in inclement weather to work and take their accrued vacation time when necessary.
Question: Tropical Storm Michael
I am at lost for words that Mecklenburg County felt it was appropriate to open for business in the middle of a tropical storm. There are several weather alerts and or warnings, schools closing yet we either have to stay home and lose vacation time or risk coming in. My kids schools closed siting consulting Mecklenburg County leaders in where they agreed unsafe travel conditions will occur yet the county opened. This is very perplexing and concerning to me that our county manager would be willing to put thousands of county employees on roadways in where hidden dangers could lurk. I'd really like to understand how these decisions are made. I had high hopes since our safety was put first during Hurricane Florence that we'd be closed during tropical storm Michael which didn't happen and deeply concerned me as a county employee.
See above response
Question: Once again, myHR staff unavailable
I work in a call center and you can bet your paycheck that my boss does not allow us to NOT answer the phone. I'm trying to contact MyHR Help Desk and for the last 40 minutes the message says "we are sorry but we are unable to assist you." I just don't see how you can allow one call center to just log-out (is it because it's "only" for staff") so that they can go to lunch. Once again, a big fat double standard. This happened at 12:10pm to 1:42pm on FRIDAY October 19.
Periodically, the Employee Services Center (ESC) will shut down as a team for a couple of hours when there are team trainings or departmental functions. On October 19th, several staff members were on an Interview Panel for the vacant ESC Specialist position and the interviews ran over the allotted time. To ensure that everyone received a lunch hour within our allotted time, the Employee Services Center closed down for one hour. A voicemail message indicating this was placed on the phone and an electronic message placed on MeckSupport. Keep in mind employees always have the option to submit a myHR helpdesk ticket through MeckSupport as an alternative.
Question: Pseudo donation bins in the county
There are a growing number of unregulated so called donation bins in the county. 1. The business model is solicitation of Alms. (getting something of value for nothing in return) 2. The bins are not regulated in their construction, placement or anchoring. 3. They conduct a business at every location they are put at and pay no county fees for doing so. 4. Not one bin I have seen in the past year in our county meets state regs. as to how they are labeled. Each must have in 3" high lettering on each side of the bin state that they are a for profit business. 5. These bins take away from our local charitable entities by taking donations away from them. 6. I question how much of the money stays in the area as at least one company doing this bundles up all the clothing and it is shipped overseas. 7. My fellow citizens in most part have been tuned into the "Green" recycle mode and think they are doing good by putting their things in these bins. Most fail to read the small print that they are for profit businesses.
Mecklenburg County Government does not have any authority over these donation bins. Mecklenburg County conducts an annual charitable giving campaign, but only includes non-profit, tax-exempt organizations under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) guidelines. It is up to each individual department to police their buildings for any other donation bins that do not comply with the county’s policies for charitable giving.