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Address

Mailing Address:

Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East 4th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

Office Location:


Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East 4th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

MAP

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

County Manager's Office
980-314-2900

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The County Manager's Responses to Your Suggestions

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.


  
August 2018
Question: Work From Home 
Dear Dena:
Please, please, please allow more staff to have work from home options. On days when we have no reason to be in the office (no meetings or whatever) it would really help with morale and mental health. While I know that higher paid staff are able to live in convenient locations to their offices, some of the poorer staff have to commute far which can add hours to their work days especially with all of the highway construction going on. I understand that this option is sometimes at the will of the supervisors but I feel that many are to scarred to let their staff have this benefit. If something came from you then maybe supervisors would allow us to work from home more. Thank you for listening. Also the charlotte staff and bank and Duke employees are allowed this.
Working from home is up to the discretion of each department based on business need and work required to be done. We take work-life balance very seriously.I would suggest you talk to your supervisor or department director about looking at ways to help employees in your area manage work while considering needed time-off for personal time.
August 2018
Question: Health Care
I find the county’s health care options to be the poorest in the state of North Carolina. Forcing new employees to take an HSA account is just wrong. Deana have you tried the HSA account? If you haven’t I think for one year you should so you can experience the horrors we employees face. The seed money provided by the county does very little to stop mounting medical bills. For health insurance reasons alone I’m actively seeking employment elsewhere as are many of my colleagues. Since joining Mecklenburg County and being forced to take the HSA junk, I’ve incurred medical debt I can’t pay, had my state taxes taken from me due to the fact I couldn’t pay these medical bills. Yes I said that correctly, the state of North Carolina allows medical companies to garnish taxes. I’m currently speaking with an attorney to seek more information on filing bankruptcy so these collections against me stop. Yet it appears you as the county manager don’t care. You seem more focused on bringing Mecklenburg County to you or building soccer stadiums. When is the last time anyone from your team or you yourself just walked county buildings? Your up in this ivory tower making all these decisions yet you don’t visit the people in the trenches to get a pulse of what’s really going on in Mecklenburg County. Please revisit your healthcare options and start making Mecklenburg County a more enjoyable place to work again!
The HSA insurance offered to all employees hired after Jan. 1, 2017 allows employees to have an affordable health insurance option which can be tailored to an employee's individual needs by determining how much each employee will contribute to their HSA account in addition to what the County contributes via "seed money". This HSA option offers a flexible plan for all employees that aligns well with the many other benefits that Mecklenburg County offers. As a reminder, the individual out of pocket maximum for the PPO Plan is $3,600 and $3,550 for the HSA Plan. Also, employees hired BEFORE January 1, 2017 have the option of switching from an HSA to a PPO plan at open enrollment.

Multiple factors, such as rising healthcare costs and chronic conditions, influences the County's decision to what approach to take for the upcoming benefit plan year. Prior research indicates an increasing trend in organizations only offering a consumer driven type health plan such as a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Health Reimbursement Plan (HRA) for its workforce.

We believe that by being better consumers of your medical benefits, it will positively impact employees' future cost as well as the County's. We will continue to monitor and evaluate both the PPO and HSA plans to provide affordable, quality healthcare benefits to employees, retirees and their dependents that are sustainable to all, including the County. In addition, HR offers HSA 101 classes quarterly and the next class is being scheduled for mid-July. Register for HSA 101 class in myHR.
August 2018
Question: Health Insurance
I miss the days when Mecklenburg County provided their employees with premiere healthcare. It made Mecklenburg County a desired location to work. Now we have this HSA crap, that is basically no better than having no insurance. The county provides $750 for a single person and $1500 for a family. One visit for a single person can wipe out that $750 in a heartbeat, the $1500 provided, what if it's family of 6? Yesterday I went for a medical procedure but due to the HSA I can't have this procedure because the surgical center want's my out of pocket maximum met or half of the amount of my out of pocket maximum up front. If your goal was to weed out the 79% of chronic users as you have mentioned several times then it will work because employees will leave and go work somewhere else in order to get the healthcare that use to be provided here. There is so many studies out there that advise HSA is not the way to go and how it's destroying the health care industry so I don't get why the county continues to promote something so flawed and designed to penalize people who need good decent healthcare. I hope one day we can get back to the good old days where the county manager ensured the employees were taken care of and not worrying about other projects.
See above response
August 2018
Question: HR help desk
I have been "caller number 1 in queue" for over 25 minutes for the HR Help Desk. This is ridiculous. Don't apologize. Fix it!!!!!
First, let me apologize for your experience. Our number one job is to provide excellent service to our customers. Your concern has been addressed with the appropriate area. The HR help desk is now ensuring that all employees log off the phones when they are unavailable and changing the message on the phone when the Employee Service Center (ESC) is unavailable. Employees are given an option to leave a message or submit a ticket if the ESC is unavailable. For future reference, our ESC is designed to offer high tech – high touch HR services to employees of Mecklenburg County. If questions are received that need to be elevated, the ESC Representative will forward the question to the appropriate person for a response. For any HR related needs, please call the ESC at 704-432-6947 or email. Contacting ESC directly should result in a more immediate response to your concern(s).
August 2018
Question: Office Morale
Hi!! I highly suggest Ms. Diorio visit the child support office. Morale is down from our recent write- up and unreasonable expectations. We had a staff meeting this past Friday where the director didn’t attend the full meeting nor were we given the opportunity to voice our concerns and/or questions. Employees are looking for new jobs and are dropping off committees. The worst part is that because of this write-up we all face possible termination. I would file a grievance with HR but I risk having a target on my back. Many are hesitant to even talk about the issues in fear of repercussions from upper management. I don’t want to continue to work with the county based on this experience. Feeling hopeless. Please help your county employees have a voice without being terminated.
I most recently visited the Child Support Enforcement Office on September 5, 2018. Along with Assistant County Manager Anthony Trotman, we regularly visit Child Support Enforcement (CSE). Employee feedback is extremely important to both of us. Employees are encouraged to provide feedback through multiple forums such as Dine with Dena, Facebook Q & A session, Twitter page and other tools that I have made available for staff to stay in touch with me. The CSE leadership team also has an open-door policy that provides employees the opportunity to meet and share constructive feedback to help shape the important work of this department. After Joan Kennedy’s retirement, Assistant County Manager Anthony Trotman is serving as interim CSE Director and there will be a continued focus on employee engagement.
August 2018
Question: Visitor Sign In
Has the County ever considered using Lobby Guard or a similar service to track visitors to County buildings? Lobby Guard is the sign in service that CMS uses to track who enters their buildings. It keeps track of date, time and DL # of the visitors and even has the option to take a photo. I think that with the tension and security threats of society, it would be a good idea to consider. Also, County buildings would have more continuity of services using this option. Some buildings require sign in, some don't, some have paper sign in (which is difficult to enforce). http://lobbyguard.com/
Based on a Security Master Plan prepared by consultants in FY17, the County Security Services Division of Asset and Facility Management is reviewing County facilities to determine the types of threats that might be present and determining a security level for each facility. Facilities that pose the most serious threats due to their operations, area crime statistics, etc., will usually require weapons screening. Additionally, the new Department of Community Resources facilities are utilizing a queuing system that allows clients to sign in digitally after going through weapons screening.
August 2018
Question: Danced Around the Question
The response to this suggestion/question did not address the issue. Please respond to the question of what options does staff have after purchasing a software/hardware that IT suggests/requires then says they no longer support. Don't dance around the specific question please. How can the ITS department recommend/force a software/hardware purchase then refuse to support it? Upon ITS staff recommendation software and hardware were purchased and now I'm told "we no longer support that." I am not an ITS professional and don't have the money in my budget to purchase the latest hot ticket item ITS is pushing. I just want the recommended equipment to work. Really frustrating - and don't blame this on the hack - as ITS is getting a blanket pass on their incompetence. (Previous response listed below.)”It is important that we have set standard technology solutions that meets the needs of the organization while allowing for staff to build important knowledge required to provide support. Due to the rapid acceleration of change within technology, this challenge has never been greater in the history of information technology. In some cases, vendors who are serving the consumer as well as the business environments also struggle to deliver competitive market advantage by introducing the latest and greatest technologies while perhaps making their existing technology offerings obsolete within ever shorter timeframes.Our approach to address these rapid pace of change challenges is to work collaboratively with a County wide advisory board (next meeting is scheduled for June 26th at VCW) regarding the standards that should be offered and supported in FY19 beyond. Additionally, there is a collaborative group comprised of OMB, Procurement and ITS who are also working together to simplify and streamline our Countywide procedures regarding the purchase process of technologies.With that said, we certainly want to provide support and assistance to individuals with these paces of change technology transitional challenges. We have and will continue to work closely with departments and their team members to understand what we can do together to minimize disruption to the vital work the County performs on behalf of the residents of Mecklenburg County.
I am unable to answer this question because I do not have the specifics relating to what the individual or department is frustrated about. I would appreciate and possibly be able to resolve the specific problem of what hardware or software that is causing the frustration: “ITS staff recommendation software and hardware were purchased and now I'm told "we no longer support that." The individual or department can email or call Keith Gregg for a definitive response.
August 2018
Question: County Cell Phones and Computer Recycling
Maybe offer county employee an opportunity to purchase these items before they are sent to recycling company as another benefit.
We do have a “reuse” program regarding some specific technologies with a designated department as their business needs are very high volume at only select times and older equipment will meet their needs. I would not be a champion of selling end-of-life equipment as it opens too many complexities for the County.
August 2018
Question: Cost of Living Raises
Why do Mecklenburg county employees don’t receive cost of living raises? In the area where I work the typical merit raise is about 3%, say if you make $50K then your raise for the year is $1,666 and if you divide that over the course of the year it only adds up to $133 monthly before tax. An employee that makes $100k that receives a 3% merit increase receives an additional $3,333 for the year which is an additional $277 per pay period before tax. By the time taxes are taken out the only thing that this does is put the employee into a higher tax bracket. Help me understand as a county employee why this is happening? In my opinion this is why the county has a large turnover. There are no incentives to work here, all the benefits have been taken out of the equation for potential new employees. The division that I currently work in is moving downtown which will be an additional expense, because of this move we will have to pay for parking that will be taken out of our paychecks. This is another expense that the employees will have to endure with no compensation for it.
Mecklenburg County has a "pay for performance" system. Employees are eligible to receive a certain percentage merit increase based on their performance. Currently, the maximum an employee can receive is 4.5%. In addition to Pay-for-Performance, Mecklenburg County employees are also eligible for QAA's (Quality Assurance Awards). The employee can be awarded $50 - $500 for:
 
  • Outstanding delivery of or improvement in customer service
  • Innovation resulting in cost savings or greater operational efficiency 
  • Outstanding performance which impacts project status or goal attainment 
  • Special team/task force achievement which impacts the County’s or Department’s balanced scorecard

An employee bonus is a one-time salary increase that may not necessarily be tied to employee performance. A pay-for-performance merit increase is added to the employee's salary and based on their annual performance.
August 2018
Question: Waste of Tax Payers Money 
Dear Dena and County Commissioners, 
I would like to know, why is the county moving the finance divisions uptown? The county spent millions of dollars to move the Defender’s office in the Johnson building years ago, now we are spending money to renovate and move the finance divisions uptown. I think, this is a waste of tax payer’s money. The money used for this project could have gone towards health insurance to lower our premium.When making the decisions to move finance, did anyone consider some employees makes $14, $15 an hour, moving uptown. This is barely nothing, and now you all are taking more money. $25 may not seem a lot for people making 6 figures but it can go a long way for someone making ends meet. Can the finance divisions be reimbursed for parking since we are (basically) forced to move uptown?
The relocation of all the Finance Divisions to the Judge Clifton E. Johnson building is being done for many reasons. From an operational perspective there has been a need for some time to co-locate all the Finance divisions into one location from their currently fragmented locations at the CMGC (Central Finance), Tom Ray Center (DFS), and the Valerie C. Woodard Center (Procurement) to create a more centralized, consistent, efficient, approach to providing Financial Services. Having all the divisions in one location will enhance collaboration and allow more efficient communication and workflow among the divisions. From a facilities perspective one of the goals of the Mecklenburg County Comprehensive Government Facilities Master Plan 2015-2030 was to consolidate State/Court related operations in the County and Courts Office Building (720 E. 4th St.) closer to the court complex and consolidate County operations in the Johnson Building closer to the CMGC, rather than having a mix of the operations in both buildings. 

There are no other parking options. All county employees who park in the garage pay a reduced rate of $25 monthly ($12.50/pay period). We do not offer free parking to County employees who work in the government district. The Courthouse Parking Garage (validated parking) is used for employees who work at sites outside of uptown and must attend training classes at the Clifton Johnson Building and while the cost is not charged to the Department it is charged to the County. Non-government lots/garages are much more expensive. We do offer the Commuter Reimbursement Flex Account if the individual is interested in buying a reduced bus/rail pass on a pre-tax basis. 

Parking uptown definitely brings challenges. If these employees had to find their own parking like many private sector employees, it would be much more expensive. It would not be fair to other County employees who have been paying the $25/month rate for years to start providing such parking free of charge to Finance employees moving to this location.
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Address

Mailing Address:

Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East 4th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

Office Location:


Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East 4th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

MAP

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

County Manager's Office
980-314-2900