As 2019 comes to an end, here’s a look back at some of the events, stories and decisions that helped shape the Mecklenburg County government over the past 12 months. Stories are listed in chronological order.
A new year means a new location for many Mecklenburg County departments. Starting in January 2019, the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office, Community Support Services and several divisions of the Public Health Department moved from their current locations to newly renovated sections of the Valerie C. Woodard Center (VCW), located at 3205 Freedom Drive in Charlotte. The Office of the Tax Collector moved VCW in early February and a portion of Youth and Family Services, a division of the Department of Social Services (DSS), relocated in Summer 2019.
The Mecklenburg County Public Health Office of Community Engagement program has received the grand prize in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge. This nationwide challenge supports the efforts of 50 small and midsize cities and counties that have innovative solutions for public health issues in the community. The funds will be used to help combat cardiovascular disease in the community. Village HeartBEAT has helped reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving the level of fitness and health education for nearly 700 residents in Mecklenburg. VHB reduced smoking in the community from 17.4 percent to 13.9 percent and obesity rates from 70 percent to 64.7 percent. This was accomplished by using local faith-based organizations (a network of over 60 churches) as sites to promote healthy lifestyles in the African American and Hispanic populations.
Mecklenburg County and the NC Counts Coalition announced the launch of Meck Counts 2020, an effort to plan outreach and engagement for the U.S. 2020 Census. County leaders announced the establishment of a 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, which is comprised of elected officials and leaders from education, business, nonprofit, healthcare, the faith community and community-based organizations. They will work with local stakeholders and media to educate the public about Census 2020, encourage participation, and facilitate survey access, particularly among traditionally hard-to-count populations. Mecklenburg County residents can learn more about the importance of the Census, stay up to date on the work of the Complete Count Committee and sign up to get involved in outreach efforts by visiting
For many decades, the American Legion Memorial Stadium has served as a popular destination for recreational activities, concerts and community events for thousands of Mecklenburg County residents. Now, the stadium, which opened in 1936 and was named in honor of Mecklenburg soldiers who served our country in World War I, is undergoing well-deserved renovations. The new stadium will have a seating capacity of 10,500, allowing it to accommodate a wide range of activities, including professional and amateur sporting events. The project is expected to be finished in spring 2021.
The Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office was the star of the show at the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) annual conference in Niagara, Ontario. The department was officially recognized as the winner of the 2019 Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award, honoring the department as a model agency in the field of property assessment, and the 2019 Public Information Program Award, recognizing the department’s outstanding work surrounding the 2019 Revaluation. The four-phase approach used a dedicated website, community engagement events, technical documents, and media outlets to improve outreach and create confidence in the community for the 2019 Revaluation.
The child care subsidy waitlist in effect in Mecklenburg County as of July 1, 2019, has been cleared thanks to the County's ongoing investment and partnership with Child Care Resources Inc. (CCRI). More than 1,100 previously unserved children ages birth to five were deemed eligible for child care subsidy through the County's Waitlist Reduction Initiative. In June 2019, the Board of County Commissioners approved $20 million to go toward County-funded child care subsidies, to reduce the number of children on the County's child care subsidy waitlist. Following the adoption of the budget on July 1, CCRI invited 1,954 families from the waitlist to apply for funding through the County's allocation. After determining eligibility, 1,134 previously unserved children ages birth to five, were enrolled. To date, a total of 1,688 children are being provided childcare subsidies with County funding, an increase of 191 percent from June 30, 2019. "This is a huge accomplishment for the County and one that we've spent more than three years trying to achieve," said County Manager Dena R. Diorio. "It pleases me to know that these families now have access to high-quality child care."
During its swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 3, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners elected George Dunlap (D), District 3, as chair and Elaine Powell (D), District 1, as vice-chair.
Both Dunlap and Powell will serve in these positions for a one-year term expiring in December 2021.
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