MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
News
How Do I ...
Online Services
Public Records
Departments
Online News
Media Advisory
News Releases
County Earns 10 Awards at National Conference
7/22/2014



​To recognize the creativity and imagination of counties, the National Association of Counties (NACo) presents a number of awards each year to county officials, their employees and the counties themselves.

NACoNACo is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo assists America’s 3,069 counties in pursuing excellence in public service to produce healthy, vibrant, safe and resilient counties. NACo promotes sound public policies, fosters county solutions and innovation, promotes intergovernmental and public-private collaboration and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.

 
During their July 2014 conference in New Orleans, NACo presented Mecklenburg County with 10 Achievement Awards. :
 
Architects and Engineers Customer Service Tool
The Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Plan Review and Permitting division provides plan review services for Commercial buildings that will be constructed or renovated. Architects, engineers and project managers are required to submit construction drawings (blueprints) for all commercial buildings being constructed or renovated. The blueprints must show compliance with the North Carolina State Building Code suite, which includes building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire, fuel, gas and energy requirements.
 
The Plan Review and Permitting division performs a code review on the construction drawings and if the construction drawings are found to comply with all applicable codes and ordinances, a construction permit is issued to the contractor. Our department transitioned to an electronic plan review system in February 2012.
 
The Client Feedback Tool was introduced into the electronic plan review system approximately three months later. This tool allows architects, engineers and project managers to provide timely feedback on their experience within the plan review and permitting process by sending them an electronic survey request at the end of each plan review cycle and at the completion of the project, before a permit is issued.
 

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Strategic Plan
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library began its strategic planning process in late 2012. The primary objective going into the planning process was to gather high-quality, actionable feedback from a large, representative group of Library stakeholders. By the time the planning process was complete, the Library had gathered feedback from more than 5,500 residents, users, stakeholders and staff.
 
The Library’s feedback gathering included many methods: community and staff focus groups (140 participants); community and staff forums (155 participants); a demographically representative telephone survey of users and non-users (602 participants); and online surveys of staff and users (4,500 participants).
 
Two planning groups carefully considered this feedback: a staff  design team and a public steering committee. Using the feedback, plus additional research, the teams developed a strategic plan focused on three major goals: increase community engagement and awareness; innovate for 21st century access; and increase operational excellence, fiscal stability, and sustainability.
 
 
Mecklenburg County's Budget Dashboards
Over the past few years, Mecklenburg County has faced several challenges that have served as the impetus to change how we manage our business. These changes include growth, diminishing state revenue, the need to adequately fund education, and a more diverse population.
 
In response to these challenges, Mecklenburg County has chosen to focus on changing and improving the key processes for planning, budgeting, and performance management in order to ensure that we make the best use of limited resources in order to deliver the greatest return on investment to our customers and stakeholders. This process is known as Managing for Results (M4R).
 
As part of the Managing for Results philosophy, the Office of Management and Budget has developed and maintained three types of interactive dashboards – Performance, Enterprise, and Department – as a way to help monitor progress in meeting both department and overall organizational financial and performance goals. Each dashboard offers an easy-to-use visualization of financial or program evaluation data (or both) using graphs and charts, and are made available on the County’s website.
 
The implementation of these budget and performance dashboards has resulted in an increased level of accountability and transparency that provides information to departments, elected officials and the community in an easy to follow manner, which is consistent with the County’s effort to incorporate transparent business processes and practices as an integral part of daily operations.

Mecklenburg County's Budget Evaluation Survey tool (BEST)
Over the past few years, Mecklenburg County has faced several challenges that have served as the impetus to change how we manage our business; these changes include growth, diminishing state revenue, the need to adequately fund education, and a more diverse population.
 
In response to these challenges, Mecklenburg County has chosen to focus on changing and improving the key processes for planning, budgeting, and performance management in order to ensure that we make the best use of limited resources in order to deliver the greatest return on investment to our customers and stakeholders. This process is known as Managing for Results (M4R).
 
As part of the Managing for Results philosophy, Mecklenburg County has consistently tried to incorporate transparent business processes and practices as an integral part of daily operations. The Budget Evaluation Survey Tool, known as BEST, provides a set of measures that incentivize better budget planning and promote sound financial management throughout the organization. The results of the BEST is included as a component of each department director’s annual evaluation and used to formulate the subsequent year’s agency budget request.
 
As a result of the implementation of BEST, department leaders have become experts in their budget administration, with a clearer understanding of how their actions contribute to the overall success of Mecklenburg County government. The BEST results are also made public on the County’s website, increasing the financial literacy of both internal and external stakeholders.
 
 
Mecklenburg County's Service Evaluation Framework
The Mecklenburg County Office of Management and Budget in 2012 redesigned its program evaluation model, called “Program Review.” The intent of the redesign was to provide for a more in-depth evaluation model that would allow services to be assessed for effectiveness and efficiency.
 
Prior to the 2012 redesign, the County leveraged Program Review, which was a model to evaluate its programs and services with a focus on mainly relevancy, performance and efficiency. While the model was sufficient, it didn’t provide for the level of rigor needed to thoroughly understand how well the program was or was not working. As a result, County staff sought another model that would best fit the evaluation needs of Mecklenburg County. To date, the Service Evaluation pilot has been tested. Early results reveal the new Service Evaluation framework will allow the County to formally adopt the framework as the primary method for evaluating County programs and services.
 
 
Paralympic Air Rifle
Offered through Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department (MCPRD) Therapeutic Recreation Section’s Paralympic Sport Club Metrolina, Paralympic Air Rifle is a new program offered to disabled Veterans and injured service personnel with a physical disability. The program focuses on the fundamentals of safe gun handling and air riflery while offering participants the opportunity to improve concentration, hand-eye coordination and social interaction.
 
Paralympic Air Rifle targets the Veteran population and strives to provide more opportunities for “Wounded Warriors.” Athletes demonstrate a variety of physical disabilities including spinal cord injuries (SCI) including paraplegia and paralysis, Gulf War Illness, anoxic brain injury, traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, amputee and transverse myelitis.
 
Paralympic Air Rifle adapts to the specific needs of the athletes and offers a new sport to the Veteran population in Mecklenburg County and surrounding communities. North Carolina statistics indicate that 21.3% of Veterans in North Carolina have a Service-Connected Disability and confirm the need for additional opportunities for Veterans.
 

Paralympic/Adaptive Archery
Offered through Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department (MCPRD), Paralympic/Adaptive Archery is a program of Therapeutic Recreation Section’s Paralympic Sport Metrolina. Paralympic/Adaptive Archery is a four-week sport program for teens and adults with disabilities.
 
The program targets athletes with visual impairments, amputee, cerebral palsy (CP), including disabilities affecting muscle control, balance, or coordination, stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries (SCI) and other disabilities that require competition using a wheelchair, and developmental disabilities.
 
The program also offers athletes the opportunity to participate in a sport while improving concentration, hand eye coordination, strength, as well as increasing social interaction and personal growth. Successes of the program include increased participation in Paralympic sports, increased physical well-being, increased socialization, and increased community awareness about paralympic sport opportunities in the community.
 

Pep Squad
The primary need addressed by the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department (MCPRD) Pep Squad program is the ability to provide a cheer/sport program to participants within the community. Currently, the department offers a cheerleading program, the Spirit Squad, in the fall partnering with football.
 
The Pep Squad provides an additional opportunity for county residents to participate in a cheerleading program during the spring, in which participants cheer for the adaptive baseball program. The program is an instructional cheerleading program provided to teens and young adults with disabilities ages 13-25.
 
Pep Squad provides an opportunity for teens and young adults to participate in cheerleading and be a part of a team, all while having fun with friends and cheering for the adaptive baseball team.
 

Prescribed Fire Alerts in Mecklenburg County
Mecklenburg County owns and manages over 7,000 acres of nature preserve. “Prescribed fire” is used as a landscape level management tool on many of the properties. Environmental professionals embrace this science-based practice, as it is highly effective and inexpensive. The fires mimic natural disturbances, helping maintain a high level of biodiversity and quality habitat for many native species.
 
Mecklenburg County Natural Resources (MCNR) adopted a tool for public notification regarding prescribed fires that has quickly proven very valuable. Charmeck Alerts is software used by Mecklenburg County in partnership with the City of Charlotte. The program is similar to traditional Reverse-911 efforts in concept but provides increased flexibility both in contact path and selectivity of the contact group.
 
MCNR staff has been using the tool in cooperation with emergency managers at the Charlotte Fire Department to inform the public about prescribed fires in nature preserves. By targeting citizens based on location and using multiple contact paths, the agency has improved public knowledge of the burn program, reduced extraneous 911 calls during burns, and driven more traffic to the department website. It has also served as an educational opportunity for MCNR to reach neighbors about the importance of prescribed fire and land management in nature preserves.
 
 
Property Ownership Land Records Information System (POLARIS3G) - A Third Generation System
Property Ownership Land Records Information System (POLARIS 3G) is a third-generation Internet mapping application designed for access and retrieval of maps and GIS data layers associated with real property in Mecklenburg County. POLARIS 3G’s predecessor (which was also named (POLARIS) was first published on the Internet in 2003.
 
POLARIS 3G has similar content and features, but the technology and presentation has been significantly enhanced. While Mecklenburg County now has 16 online GIS applications for public use, POLARIS 3G is the industrial-strength application that is used for serious real estate mapping/analysis needs. The application integrates 60 unique data layers into one seamless package. POLARIS 3g is cross-platform compliant and can be operated on a PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone device. Very few GIS applications anywhere have this much data to display within an Internet application used by the public.
 
For this reason, there are hundreds of different types of companies that use this system on a regular basis. These include residential realtors, commercial realtors, developers, contractors, lawyers, paralegals, banks, loan companies, insurance companies, planners, utility companies, cable companies, architects, land speculators, recreational planners, etc. For many, POLARIS 3G has totally eliminated the need to visit a Mecklenburg County or City of Charlotte department to obtain a copy of a map or related property information.
 
For the complete NACO entries and award contacts, click here and select “Mecklenburg County.”
 
 
# # #
Contact:  William Carroll 704-621-7434, William.Carroll@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
 


Printed from:

on: