2013 BOCC Strategic Planning Conference – PM Session

During the afternoon session, staff briefed the board on the County’s Community Vision, Community and Corporate Scorecard and current performance.

M4RThe vision adopted by the Board ten years ago, recently modified, is: “In 2015 Mecklenburg County will be a community of pride and choice for people to Live, Work and Recreate.” The previous Board also adopted the performance management system called Managing for Results (known in the corporate world as a balanced scorecard) which starts with goals, moves to corporate strategies and program alignment, budgeting for results and performance management. The County’s M4R is a national award-winning program recognized as a model for dozens of governments around the country. In 2011, the Board adopted a series of critical success factors to help guide the County Manager as he recommends an operating budget to the Board. Staff recommends that the Board consider special emphasis in FY14 on:

  • Improving Quality of life in Neighborhoods (Park & Rec)
  • Enhance Citizen Involvement (Advisory Committee Diversity)
  • Sustain and Enhance the Environment (Water Quality Indices)

Commissioner James called attention to performance results of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and suggests that the Board consider more oversight and control over County dollars given to CMS in FY14 budget. Commissioner Dunlap reminded the Board that CMS is governed by its own elected Board and the BOCC has no authority to dictate what the CMS Board does with County money. Commissioner Ridenhour feels the public expects accountability for the money it spends on education. Manager Jones brought the conversation back to the balance scorecard and using data to make intelligent decisions.

YiManagement and Budget Director Hyong Yi gave the Board a primer on the budget. FY13 budget is $1.433 billion, but after paying debt service and funding education services, Library, and Medic, there is $330 million left to fund all core County services, or 23.1 percent of the total budget. Since FY09, County population has grown 11 percent while the County budget has increased 3 percent and spending on County services is 7 percent less per capita than FY09.

Yi advises that there are some challenges facing the Board as it develops a budget for next fiscal year.

  • Slow revenue growth due to economy
    • Property Tax
    • Sales Tax
    • Other Revenues
  • Expenses rising faster than revenue
  • Demand for services still high

BryantBudget Manager Michael Bryant outlined the process for developing an operating budget starting with this Strategic Planning Conference, moving to public policy workshops, the Manager’s Recommended Budget  (May 21), the budget public hearing (May 30), BOCC straw votes and finally budget adoption on June 18.

The Board had a discussion about when they should get involved in creating a budget. They way it works now is that the Board tells the County Manager its priorities, then the manager recommends a budget based on those priorities. Commissioner James suggests a better system would be to have the Board tell the manager what the tax rate should be and then have the manager recommend the budget using that tax rate. Other Board members are satisfied that the Board has the time and ability to adjust the manager’s recommendation before they vote to adopt it.

Finance Director Dena Diorio gave the Board an update on FY13 revenues that are used to fund the current year operating budget. Property tax collections billed as of the end of December exceed $902 million with actual collections at 64.4 percent. Sales Tax revenue as of January 2013 is $165.7 million.

On Friday, the Board will discuss Capital Budget Planning and will engage in a process to determine their FY14 priorities. Those priorities will help the County Manager develop his recommended budget. View video of Wednesday & Thursday sessions.

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