Action points, June 16

Highlights from the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners Meeting


June 19, 2014 – The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners held its regular meeting on Monday, June 16. Watch the meeting on TWC Channel 22 or Cabarrus County's YouTube channel. You can also review tweets sent live from the meeting.

Among its decisions at the June 16 meeting, the Board:
  • Recognized Perdue Farms for volunteer hours, and Zach Hagg for his Eagle Scout project and volunteer service to build garden beds
  • Recognized EMS employees for achieving the 2014 Mission Lifetime Silver Level Award from the American Heart Association
  • Recognized William J. Fox on his retirement from Cabarrus County EMS
  • Recognized the Carolina TarWheel program for their national championship victory
  • Approved consent items, including Approval of BB&T Resolution and Agreement for Deposit Account, CCS Request for a Budget Revision for the New Northwest Area Elementary School ‐ $337,000, Review and Award Contract for Secondary Transportation Services, Human Services Transportation Maintenance Contract, and the Tax Administration's Refund and Release Report ‐ May 2014
  • New business: Held public hearing on ​Proposed Text Amendment to Zoning Ordinance and approved TEXT2014‐00004; declined Participation in NCDOT Private Rail Crossing Closure; approved Proposed Funding for Kannapolis Middle School; approved revised Construction and Renovation Fund Budget and Related Project Ordinance for RCCC Renovation Project; approved the Introduction of General Obligation Bond Orders for Schools and Community College, authorized their publication and set a public hearing for July 21, 2014; held public hearing on the Adoption of the FY 2015 Cabarrus County Budget; maintained current Emergency Management, Planning & Zoning and Construction Standards fee schedules at current levels; did not approve increase; adopted a budget ordinance for the special Fire Tax and Insurance Fund for FY15; no tax increase included for Mt. Pleasant or Northeast districts; adopted a budget ordinance for general fund, Cabarrus Arena & Events Center Fund, Landfill Fund and Health Insurance Fund for FY15, including proposed staff updates as presented and adding Commissioner Oesterreich’s amendments, as follows:

Reduce BOC pay to $10,000 and the per diem by 25%‐Reduce the annual salary of a commissioner to $10,000. Implementation of budget reductions should start at the top.

Reduce county management staff by one Deputy County Manager position‐Between the County Manager and two Deputy County Manager positions, approximately half a million dollars per year is expended. The county, like many governmental agencies, is top heavy in administration. Moreover, it does not appear the citizens are receiving a half of million dollars' worth of work product from these three positions. One deputy county manager receives over $150,000 in total compensation (including benefits). This money could be better spent on several deputies or several new teachers or teachers assistants.

Decrease the Arena budget by $278,721‐0ur current proposed budget has an increase to this expenditure of $78,721. This increase should be deleted and the budget reduced by an additional $200k. Other than the fair, the management company receives all revenue from the arena and the county subsidizes the facility and events with an additional $900,000. County management appears satisfied to subsidize the arena and the management company with almost $1,000,000. That is not satisfactory.
Reduce travel expenditure line items to no more than $200,000 combined. Priority grades should be assigned to travel expenses and budgeted travel funds should be allocated until the $200,000 limit is reached.

Non‐Departmental Contingency shall be $900,000‐During the 2013 budget discussion, County Manager Mike Downs stated that this contingency had been as low as $50,000 or $60,0000 in years past. This line item has increased significantly as a discretionary budget item and it should be limited. The county set aside an emergency contingency fund of $5,000,000. If a needed expenditure occurs mid‐budget, it is either a high enough priority that it should qualify for the $5,000,000 emergency contingency or a revenue neutral budget amendment should occur.

Delete all funding for the county Wellness Center‐‐the county operates an exclusive wellness center for its employees. Employees are provided health insurance and we have tremendous health facilities within Cabarrus County. A private wellness center is duplicative and not a top priority for expenditures. This facility should either be closed or 100% self‐funding. Delete funding for the Wellness Coordinator position‐The position schedules things like "gentle yoga" during lunch periods. This is an unnecessary position and with our debt potentially growing substantially in the next few years, we should eliminate unnecessary positions.

Delete funding for 4 new park hires from 2014‐The parks department was increased from 46 to 50 employees in 2014. Funding levels should be returned to 46 employees.

Reduce expenditure to health insurance fund to no more than $6,800 per eligible employee‐‐ The county currently expends $8,182 per employee for health insurance. Our school teachers receive a benefit expenditure of $5,435 per employee, meaning the difference between the county and state/school employees is $2,747. With over 1,000 county employees receiving health care benefits, the county is spending approximately $3,000,000 more than the state and school systems for a similar number of employees. County management can best decide the method for putting this expenditure more in line with our state and schools.

Delete all funding for the Lomax Farm/Food Policy Counsel‐between the small capital projects ordinance and operation expenses, the county spent approximately $400,000 on the Lomax farm last year. There were 7 participants learning to farm. We have far too many needs within our school system to be expending $400,000 on 7 people learning to farm.

Implement the Health Alliance agreement from last year‐last year, it was agreed that the Health Alliance would receive an additional $300,000 as a ONE‐TIME measure to help it adjust to sequestration. The full $300,000 should be removed from its budget. CHA chose a far nicer facility than what is needed and it needs to be responsible for its decisions, not the taxpayers of Cabarrus County. Remove the $114,309 increase from the proposed budget.

Remove funding for 4 Library Positions in Concord Main Library‐In 2010 and 2011, our library system (all libraries combined) had a total of 30 positions. In the three years since, our library staff has grown to 44. Funding for 4 positions from the Concord Main Library should be removed. As the recent survey shows, our citizens were more satisfied with every aspect of our library system in 2010 when the system had 30 employees than they are now with 44 employees (locations is the only factor that scored higher, and additional employees do not impact this factor).

Remove funding for the Midland Library positions. Funding of these positions was dependent on Midland completing the main street project and funding the library structure. After a visual inspection of the project, one can be certain this project will not be completed in a manner necessitating library funding within the next fiscal year.

Remove funding for the following personnel additions:
Communications Specialist
Revaluation Office Assistant
2 Revaluation Data collector
2 Landfill Operators

Remove funding for purchase of any new county vehicles (other than emergency service vehicles)‐information provided states that the county recently auctioned two diesel engine trucks with just under 125,000 miles for a very small price. This is unacceptable. Diesel engine vehicles are useable to a far greater mileage than gasoline engine trucks. The county has been irresponsible with vehicle purchases. The county must better prioritize the positions for which a vehicle is required and use the current fleet to meet needs.

Terminate expenditure increase to meet salary study.

Reduce funding in transportation fuel budget to $190,000‐Actual expenses for this line item for the last three years are $180k, $167k, $194k, and as of May 21 of 2014 $168k. The requested budget of $235k should be reduced to $190k.

Reduce funding in transportation budget for auto maintenance to $180,000‐Actual expenses for this line item for the last three years are $140k, 179k, $l71k, and current actual expenses are $171k. The requested budget of $285k should be reduced to $180k.

Reallocate $1.3 million capita l appropriation at Camp Spencer‐Camp Spencer currently has two functioning and revenue producing structures that are scheduled to be torn down and rebuilt at a cost of $1 million. This money should go to fixing leaking roofs in our schools.

Terminate/reallocate all funding for Wallace Park‐‐$1.8 million has been appropriated to build a new park at the Cabarrus/Union county line. With almost half a billion dollars in debt and hundreds of millions of dollars of additional debt potentially in the county's future, it is irresponsible to fund a new park.

Reduce contribution to EDC by $332,000‐Economic development in Cabarrus County is exceptionally important. However, the structure currently being used is not an acceptable structure for the taxpayers of Cabarrus County. Under the current structure, Chamber of Commerce employees are shared with the EDC. This structure cannot be maintained for three primary reasons. 1) The Chamber of Commerce both locally and nationally, has become a political entity. Speaking of immigration reform, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue recently said "If the Republicans don't do it, they shouldn't bother to run a candidate in 2016,". On a series of other political issues and races, the chambers nationwide are using funds to influence races. Tax dollars cannot be provided to an entity so closely tied to political issues. 2) Just two and a half years ago the Cabarrus Chamber had mismanaged its budget to the point it had to sell its facility and layoff employees. Putting an entity with such recent financial struggles in charge of several hundred thousand dollars of county funds is troubling. 3) information provided states that the Chamber uses EDC funds to subsidize Chamber activities and expenses. It is very concerning that taxpayer funds could be being misused, particularly in light of the recent financial struggles of the Chamber.

  • New business continued and the Board removed the Update of the Construction and Renovation Fund Budget and Related Project Ordinance for Public Safety Radio Replacements and Governmental Center Chiller Replacement as it was no longer necessary after budget adoption; and approved revised Small Projects Capital Projects Ordinance and Related Budget Amendment


VIDEO: View the June 16 regular meeting
View the 
full agenda of the June 16 BOC meeting (large document and may take a few minutes to load).
Learn more about serving on a Cabarrus County advisory board and/or committee.  
The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners will hold a special joint meeting with the Cabarrus County Board of Education on Friday, June 20, its next work session on Monday, July 7, and its next regular meeting on Monday, July 21.
Note: This is for information only. The minutes for the meeting will be the official record of action taken by the Board on June 16, 2014.