Dena Diorio oversees a $1.7 billion budget as Mecklenburg County manager. Needless to say, she’s tackling big-picture issues. She recently shared 10 items she’ll be addressing over the coming year.
“Things are going very well on that, but obviously, FY19 is a big year, where we send out the notices of value and start working through all the appeals and questions and concerns that we get from residents.”
“This relates to our community resource center that we first opened in June, but we’ll be working over the course of this year to start designing the second and the third community resource centers – really learning from the lessons of the first one and tailoring the service delivery in the next two to be responsive to the needs of the folks that live in those specific communities.” Future centers will include one in the eastern part of the county.
“We continue to work on several key initiatives as it relates to transforming our public health department. We’ve done a lot of work working around organizational change and change management, working on our electronic medical records, our clinical care model delivery system and laboratory management.”
“The big initiative there is our PrEP pilot, which we started last fiscal year and we’re making some considerable progress on that during this fiscal year.” PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxi, a treatment to help prevent people most at risk of getting HIV.
“Dec. 5 was our one year anniversary of when we got hacked. We continue to do a lot of work on hardening our infrastructure and doing a lot of things around IT security and data security to make our systems more secure than they were a year ago.”
Volunteer fire departments
“We have been getting a lot of requests from volunteer fire departments to use tax dollars for capital projects. We are working on what a good financial model looks like as it relates to doing capital work for volunteer fire departments. It’s not something we have done in the past but recognizing that volunteer fire department do provide services to a lot of unincorporated parts of the county, where we do have a lot of increase in population. We need to be responsible to those needs as we move forward.”
“We have almost 600 children enrolled this year. We’re very excited about the progress we’ve made. In February, we’ll open up a waiting list for next year. We’re continuing to make sure we have the right number of kids and all the sites available to make sure we can continue to expand the program.”
“We had started last year to put together a crisis management plan for county manager’s office and the county. We want to be able to make sure that when we do have a crisis, that we have everything in place to be able to respond effectively.
“We talked about that since we had the riots in Mecklenburg County in 2016 about our need to look at equity and inclusion within our county and making sure all the services we provide are free of inequity and bias. We have a consultant also that’s helping us to put together training for our employees and looking at our policies and procedures to ensure that we don’t provide services that don’t include any kind of inherent bias.”
“We’ll begin looking at the FY20 budget. That takes a lot of time and resources for me and the staff.”