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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.
Transit Passes for City Employees
The city of Charlotte provide ALL access transit passes to ALL city employees for an employee contribution of $33, can Mecklenburg negotiate a better rate or subsidize the cost so Mecklenburg employees get a similar rate?
As of September 1, 2018, the city of Charlotte discontinued its’ discounted transit passes and commuter reimbursement tax benefit programs. The programs went away with the introduction of the city’s “All-Access Pass”. City employees can ride any CATS service with unlimited rides (buses, light rail, etc.), and access the city’s Smart Ride Program that provides free parking once per month in the deck. City employees pay $33 annually with the city subsidizing the remaining cost. Based on our research, the county would need to pay an estimated $300,000+ (per year) and the cost for the employee would be around $55 annually. On July 1, 2017, Mecklenburg County added a new benefit called the “Commuter Reimbursement Account” (CRA). This is a pre-taxed, employee paid benefit offered to regular full-time employees to purchase CATS bus, rail or vanpool passes. Currently, we have only 5 participants county-wide in the program. We appreciate the suggestion and will keep it in mind for future consideration.
Can Mecklenburg County increase bereavement leave from 24 consecutive work hours paid leave to 5 days (40 hours). 3 days is not enough time.
See response below.
Hi Dena, Thank you for all your doing for the county employees. One thing I'd love to see brought back is longevity pay. It is a real incentive for employees to stay longer because that check helps. There have been so many great changes so why not add one major item I know me and many of my co-workers would love to see return!
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 that focuses 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 redesigning 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 these areas!
Paid Family Leave
I just want to say thank you for pushing for paid family leave. It was absolutely amazing to be off, bond with our newborn and not have to worry about wiping out my sick or vacation time. I just have one favor to ask, would it be possible to explore the option to extend it to 8 or 9 weeks? The reason I suggest this is because a child doesn't receive their first vaccines until their two month check up. If your like me, only here a couple of years with limited sick and vacation time, the paid family leave is great but I had to return before my newborn got their shots. This left me in a bind to get time off and ensure I didn't miss the appointment. Thankfully I have an amazing boss who works with me to ensure I can make these appointments. Having those two or three weeks would be key in allowing those of us who can't afford to take additional unpaid time off are able to get past what I have learned is the first major hurdle with their vaccines. Thank you in advance for looking into this.
Thank you for the suggestion! We are constantly monitoring industry benefits to ensure we are providing the best benefit programs we can while also meeting the needs of all our employee groups. We cannot promise to expand the length of our Paid Family Leave program, but we can promise to compare our program to what is available in our market area.
Dena’s recommended budget presentation has some changes HR is proposing for the next fiscal year!
We need a new cleaning crew in finance. Our bathrooms are never clean and we run out of everything. Please hire the cleaning people from Tom Ray. They cleaned and mopped the bathroom and kitchen floors. They took the trash out twice a day (bathroom and kitchen). They vacuum our offices and took out our trash.
The Asset and Facility Management Department (AFM) recently re-bid the maintenance services for all the County buildings in the Government District. A new
maintenance provider will replace the current provider on April 1. In the meantime, AFM will review the janitorial services on the 4th floor of the Johnson Building and seek improvements from the current maintenance vendor.
Fourth St. Parking Deck
Hi Dena, Just recently I went to the fourth parking deck to go to our health. There was absolutely no parking on the second floor, I had to circle for a couple of minutes before finally having to go almost to the top floor to park. According to signage the second floor is a designated 90 minute parking area yet according to the security officer I questioned employees and visitors to the court house park there for hours on end and there is nothing they can do about it. This is very frustrating to hear since the our health location is part of the county's push for us employees to use more. Is this something you could look into? If it's truly a 90 minute parking area, security should really enforce this, so those going to either our health or I believe that restaurant over there have a place to park.
It is very important that the 90-minute retail spaces are used only by customers and that County employees who do not regularly park in the 4th St. deck can utilize these 90-minute retail parking spaces for Our Health appointments. I will direct the Asset and Facility Management Security Division to begin a campaign to aggressively enforce this restricted parking area.
Our Health Parking Issue
I scheduled an appointment at our health which was located adjacent the fourth street parking deck. I arrived thirty minutes prior to my appointment to find a full parking deck. I was told parking would be available on the second floor however it was full. I am handicap and couldn't locate any handicap spaces. I pulled up on the second floor and spoke with a security officer asking for assistance. He advised me to keep circling. I asked him if all of these cars were here for our health? He said no, most are courthouse employees and visitors to the court house. I asked why they were allowed to take up the 90 minute parking spaces. He replied I don't know, I am not allowed to enforce it. So basically I missed my appointment and then got charged to get out of the parking deck. If we are coming here for a medical appointment to a designated county location, we shouldn't have to pay to park. This whole situation made me never want to use our health again. I really hope someone looks into the parking issue and why employees are charged to exit the parking deck if there for a medical appointment.
See response above.
The VCW is a huge complex situated in an area with numerous options for eating. Rather than having to leave the facility on cold rainy days or when the temperatures are swelling, how convenient would it be to have a true cafeteria in the building. An outside vendor could be brought in to provide the food and the County could charge rent space.
Before the Woodard Center renovation was completed a decision had to be reached regarding food service for that County facility and any other new County facilities. It is very challenging to procure and retain food service vendors that can provide consistently satisfactory food service to employees, while also making enough money to sustain their business. Because of that challenge it was decided the County would seek healthy vending alternatives to a cafeteria-type service. The County’s healthy vending provider, Canteen, offers a food service alternative called “Avenue C” or known as a micro-market. This alternative offers a variety of healthy food & drink options, including refrigerated and frozen food. Currently, there is one Avenue C located in the employee seating area between the Assessor’s Office and the VCW Conference Center. In the near future another Avenue C will be located in the renovated Chapin Hall.
Meck County Company Store
My suggestion is to have a company store where employees and managers could purchase items with the County logo; i.e., jackets, polos, hats, mugs etc. Also, supervisors and managers could purchase items to reward staff or as swag for new employees and others. Individual employees would make purchase out of their own pockets; therefore they would not be using the public’s money and the funds would go directly to the distributor.
Thank you for the suggestion! We will investigate the possibility of a company store. In the meantime, be on the lookout for newly updated employee reward and recognition programs County wide.