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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.


  
May 2019
Question: Employee Climate Survey - ECS 

I assume that the ECS is supposed to be anonymous. If that is true and the demographics of the survey respondents are reported then it is really not anonymous. I work in a small division of the County and once I finished answering all the demographic questions such as department, division, age, sex, race and length of service it would have been pretty easy to pick me out. Since I wanted to be truthful and even give some negative feedback and I did not feel comfortable answering those demographic questions accurately. I gave false information so that no one could figure out who I was.
My suggestion is to either quit asking all those demographic questions or make sure the respondents know that the responses are never reported to managers along with the demographics of the respondent. Basically make sure that we know it really is anonymous. Sort of like this site (Suggestion Ox) does in two different places.

​We only ask for demographics so we can conduct an enterprise wide analysis on any disparities in results. We NEVER share the department results by demo group with the department directors as we want to minimize risk in anonymity. Next year we will do a better job communicating to the organization about the use of demographic information as we would not want employees to intentionally give false answers to something that could help the entire organization understand differences amongst and within various demographic groups.

May 2019

Question: Weekly Pay

Hi Dena, Thank you for all your doing for the county employees for the upcoming budget. I was curious has the county explored going to a weekly pay structure like the city currently operates on. The reason for inquiry as this could help many employees by not having to wait bi-weekly and also help with those with child care where payment is required weekly. This is just a thought and I am thankful for all your doing.

​You are welcome.  Employees are our most valuable asset and we wanted to make that clear through the Employee Investments in the FY2020 budget.  The County processes multiple payrolls with different pay periods and pay dates. In order to accommodate the processing of multiple payrolls, we must process each payroll biweekly. Additionally, the County is required to be substantially equivalent to the State of NC in all our policies and the State utilizes a monthly payroll cycle.

May 2019

​Question: Retention of County Employees

First I have to say thank you for what you put in your FY 2020 budget. As a county employee whose been here awhile, this was a breath of fresh air. As you continue to move forward in deciding to how best to retain employees, I think one avenue worth exploring is the retention bonus. I believe this comes around Christmas time to those employees who were here prior to 2010 and it's a huge plus for them and assists with Christmas Shopping. I know it'd be a concern giving to all employees but why not start the retention bonus at five years? Once your here five years, your vested in the retirement and have made a commitment to most likely stay with the county long time. This gives employees something to look forward to once reaching that five year mark. Thank you again for all your doing for us the employees of the county and hopefully maybe this can be a consideration down the road.

You are welcome.  The policy you are referring to is the Longevity Bonus. The policy states that the County will recognize the value of long-term commitment to the organization and continued performance excellence by the award of longevity pay to employees with 10 or more years of service, hired before July 1, 2004. The policy is a Board of County Commissioners policy as opposed to a County policy. The policy was revised in July of 2004 and currently applies to employees hired prior to July 1, 2004.

We are committed to making Mecklenburg County an employer of choice. In order to do so we have invested in the creation of a new position and programs that focus solely on employee retention and engagement. We will be evaluating all our current programs and looking at adding new programs and/or bringing back old programs in order to determine what will allow us to best attract, retain and engage employees.

We are also embarking upon an exciting project to redesign the County’s classification and compensation system and are evaluating our current benefit plans and offerings. These changes will also increase our ability to attract, retain and engage employees. Be on the lookout for exciting changes in all of these areas!

May 2019

Question: Bereavement Leave

Can the county look into adding nieces and nephews to the approved usage for bereavement leave? I was suprised to learn this wasn't covered and had to use vacation time.

​This suggestion is being researched and would need approval by the Board of County Commissioners.

May 2019

​Question: CJS Issue

Dena, I understand and support the County's involvement in raising money for relay for life. My frustration is the way the CJS director goes about soliciting money for this event. The director allows employees to purchase vacation hours. Employees received one hour off for every 15 dollars they gave and could purchase up to two days off. My frustration I want heard is the directors practice seems to favor some employees over others, and seems to favor certain races and job positions over others. Most of the staff are African Americans, who make less than the White staff. By offering a reward (vacation time) but requiring it to be purchased, I question if this leads to different treatment in who actually can afford to purchase time off. 9 staff paid enough for a day off, 6 were White and three were African American. As a result, one group gets a benefit while others do not. Most of us work second jobs just to make ends meet. Although we would love additional time off, we can't afford this incentive the director offers. Sure, we were told we could go fundraise so we didn't have to come out of our pocket for the money, but when you are working more than one job, you also do not have time to fundraise.
Criminal Justice Services (CJS) does provide time-off award opportunities to department team members who participate in County fundraising events.  For Relay for Life (R4L), team members could earn one-hour of vacation time for every $15 raised.  Raised funds included those personally contributed and those donated by others to an employee’s R4L account.   This incentive was provided as a result of staff recommendations for ways in which they would like to be recognized.  In fact, we capped the earning amount at 16 hours because in previous years there was a staff member (African-American) who earned a significant number of hours of time-off because of the amount of funds they raised.  It is also important to note everyone within CJS has been advised that participation in fundraising events is voluntary and a personal choice.

In order to support Relay for Life and encourage department participation, several contests and awards were given out throughout the campaign.  CJS participated in the County Chili Cook-Off and held voluntary internal events.  Purple Fridays was an internal event in which staff were encouraged to wear purple on Fridays in support of R4L and the American Cancer Society.  Based upon how many CJS staff members wore purple on that Friday, a CJS R4L team member (whose name was randomly drawn at the end of the day) was awarded a dollar amount to their R4L fundraising account that equaled to the number of staff members wearing purple that day.  CJS held 12 Purple Friday events throughout the R4L campaign, of which 10 of the week’s awards went to African-American staff who in turn earned time-off awards due to the number of Purple Friday participants.

Finally, gift baskets were randomly awarded from the list of all CJS R4L members at the end of March and April.  The May gift basket was awarded to the CJS staff member who raised the most money for the CJS R4L team.  All gift basket winners were African-American.  Overall, 25 staff members participated in fundraising, in which 15 were African-American or another minority race.  All 25 earned a time-off award in accordance with the amount of funds they raised.

Great efforts were made throughout the R4L campaign to ensure all department fundraising activities and contests were conducted in a fair and transparent manner.  Each department has staff members at different ends of the pay scale which makes it even more important to create ways in which everyone can participate in events.    Creating equitable and inclusive opportunities for all is at the forefront of everything done in CJS. 
May 2019

Question: Security Concerns

Besides Active Shooter training, what is Mecklenburg County doing to ensure the safety of employees? In light of the recent shooting in Virginia Beach, I wonder if all non county and county employees need to be weapon screened? The security officers aren't the brightest so I am not sure they could stop an active shooter. I think we need some law enforcement presence at all locations. This world isn't safe anymore and we really need to better protect us the employees from both internal and external threats.
Virginia Beach Shooting

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.  We will update employees once the strategy and actions are finalized.

May 2019

​Question: Safety Concern

In light of what just occurred in Virginia Beach, what steps is the county taking to ensure our safety? I've attended the active shooter training but I am not sure that goes far enough. I work at Kuralt and there are times I come in the front entrance way, I hadn't thought much of it but now am concerned. If I show my county id badge, I am not checked for weapons and just walk through. Considering the fact the person in Virginia Beach was an employee, shouldn't we all be screened for weapons? Also how does security know I am an active employee? Thank you for taking time to review my concern.

​See response above.

April 2019

​Question: HR Policy/Procedures Specific to FMLA

Need to inform employees that HR will notify them of their return to work status prior to the actual return to work date. 
DO NOT DO THIS VIA USPS MAIL - the date of the correspondence differs than the post mark date as much as 4 days and was received past the date to return to work - it takes too long and deadlines are missed use a phone call and/or personal email for this notification. 
HR needs to use a checklist so that the employee knows what documents need to be completed and when and to whom they should be forwarded. 
The checklist will provide the timeline for events to take place so that the employee is fully aware of what needs to occur. 
Have a meeting with the employee, don't just send forms and a generic letter -provide details so that the employee is fully aware of what needs to transpire. 
When HR receives the returned forms from the physician and the forms are incomplete or forms missing call the employee so that they are aware as the forms are automatically forwarded to HR. If the employee is not aware, this could affect their leave status. There MUST be more communication between HR and the employee. 
Train HR consultants so they are well versed in leave and FMLA requirements.
Thank you for your recommendations. As you may be aware, FMLA can be a complicated process with many moving parts that are specific to each employee’s/ family member’s serious health condition. The Department of Labor requires an employee to notify their employer of their need for FMLA 30 days in advance, when foreseeable. The Department of Labor also requires our office to utilize the U.S. mail for the Notice of Eligibility to the employee within 5 days. Our HR Department works diligently to abide by FMLA regulations regarding this matter. The Department of Labor requires an employee to submit the requested physician’s certification within 15 days which is detailed on the Notice of Eligibility that employees receive, along with the Leave Specialist’s contact number for additional guidance and/or questions. If an employee is not able to receive/wait for the U.S. mailing, employees may also request the physician’s statement in an electronic format by contacting their leave specialist.
When advance notice is provided, County employees are scheduled for a Last Day Worked meeting with their Leave Specialist after the completed physician’s certification has been received. However, every Day Worked medical leave appointment cannot always be pre-scheduled. Consequently, that may limit our ability to prepare/inform the employee on the full extent of the process. Due to this reason, we include the County’s FMLA/Extended Policy, Leave Guide, Department of Labor’s FMLA Guidelines, along with a host of other information for the employee to review at their leisure. Throughout the leave of absence, our Leave Specialist remains available to guide the employee through the process, until he/she returns to work. Each of the resources clearly defines the Leave of Absence process guidelines. If any of these processes are not followed, it can delay leave determinations and the return to work clearances.. We are aware that there is a lot of information to digest regarding a leave of absence, however we make every attempt to present all the information to our employees through written manuals and one-on-one consultations.
We apologize for any frustration you may have experienced during this process and assure you that our Leave Specialists are competent in FMLA guidance. They engage regularly in policy and process training, along with FMLA Training courses.   It is our commitment to provide each employee with enough information and support to ease the stress associated with their need for a leave of absence. The Leave Specialist is always available and should be contacted to assist any employee with any obstacles they may have concerning deadlines, policy or process.
April 2019

Question: ​IT Facilities

To start on a positive, thank you to the IT Department for installing water filter machines in our area. This was something IT did and paid for. The rest of VCW is so new and pretty and most feel that we work in outdated spaces. The walls are dingy, the lighting horrible and there isn't enough space. Not to mention we don't have enough break space (3 tables) to eat lunch at or take a break away from our desk. It's depressing when you look at the other areas in the building now with really nice spaces and we have nothing. We aren't allowed to use any of the facilities of the conference center so that space is basically off-limits.
Here's my ask: 
1. Can we get some break area space? Maybe some picnic tables outside or something like where we can eat lunch?   See below.
2. Can we get our walls painted, especially in the areas of high traffic? What about the carpet?  See below.
3. Is it possible to right size our cubicles? Part of the cubicles are small and part are larger. If you are unlucky enough to get a smaller cubicle, get ready to bump your knees all the time.  See below.
First, there are several new break areas in the newly renovated Ashley Wing of the Woodard Center that are available to all building occupants, including ITS employees.  These areas have skylights and a variety of seating, including interior picnic-type tables.  One of these break areas at the large through-building corridor beside the Tax Assessor’s Office has just installed a “micro-market” that  includes a variety of healthy vending choices.  Another break area available to all employees is located behind the VCW Conference Center adjacent to the back door of Asset and Facility Management (Suite 6000) and the Child Development Services Agency.  Regarding finishes in the IT Department, I’ll ask the Asset and Facility Management Department to assess the condition of the finishes.  They can either repaint walls as part of maintenance or consider a capital reserve request in a future budget.  Carpet replacement would require a capital reserve funding request due to the high cost, so AFM can assess that as well.  The entire suite’s light fixtures have been replaced with LED fixtures. 
Many of the cubicles in IT are 8 x 8, larger than the County typical standard of 6 x 8.  There are numerous workstations in IT that are smaller, sometimes called “touch-downs” (more like carrels in size) that were installed specifically to house contractors.  The worksurfaces of most cubicles are the exact same depth (usually 24”), so if there is a problem with knee clearance, it would not be related to the size of the cubicle.  If the height of the worksurface is affecting knee clearance, it can probably be adjusted higher, as most cubicle system worksurface heights are adjustable.  Please contact Mark Hahn, Director of Asset and Facility Management (980-314-2520), and he should be able to assist with any clearance issues.
April 2019

Question: Pay Increase

I have been hearing a lot about improving the culture at the county. While I'm sure that may be happening, there are some things that happens to take step back with those improvements. Recently it was announced that minimum wage at the county would increase. Yes, this is a great thing and should happen, but what about the people who have been here for many years and barely make over what the new rate is? Its a slap in the face of someone like me who has been here for almost 8 years, to know that my counterparts who has only been here for far less will now be making almost the same as me!! This sucks and it has definitely decrease my moral here!!!
Mecklenburg County is proud to have increased our minimum hourly rate for regular full-time employees to $15.00 per hour effective February 13, 2019.
As we join the nationwide movement to pay employees a more livable wage, we have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in our employee’s lives.  We understand your frustration that only the minimum of the pay range was adjusted; however, the only authorization we received from the BOCC was to bring regular, full time employees up to $15.00 per hour if they were below that threshold. We did not receive authorization to adjust any other aspect of our compensation structure.

We are embarking upon a project to evaluate and redesign the entire compensation system which may provide additional changes in the future regarding employees’ salaries.  As a first step, for Fiscal Year 2020, I am recommending $15 million dollars for a 5.5% percent across the board salary increase for all County employees, in place of the usual annual merit increase. The one-time increase is just one step in helping to bring employee salaries closer to the salaries of our competitors in the market.
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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