Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, formed in December, 1762, has 546 square miles of land and a well-balanced economy with employment distributed between all major sectors. The county is both the most populated, and the most densely populated, county in North Carolina. The county seat and largest city is Charlotte, and the county population of approximately 1,000,000 is diverse in many ways. With 6.9 million residents within 100 miles, Mecklenburg County and Charlotte lie in the heart of a region that is the sixth largest urban area in the United States.
The North Carolina Constitution gives citizens of all counties the right to elect a Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Since 1994, Mecklenburg County has been governed by a nine-member BOCC with six members elected by districts and three elected at-large. The BOCC appoints a County Manager who is the CEO of the organization. For more information about Mecklenburg County, please visit the County website at www.charmeck.org.
The Mecklenburg BOCC’s vision for the community can be summed up as: “Mecklenburg County will be a community of pride and choice for people to LIVE, LEARN, WORK, and RECREATE.” To carry out this vision, county services are provided to meet the community’s priorities, as defined by the BOCC, and funded through property taxes, local sales taxes, fees, and other sources. The Board’s primary responsibilities are to adopt an annual budget, set a property tax rate, and establish priorities to address the County’s needs, especially in the areas of health, education, welfare, and mental health. The Board’s priorities are carried out by a staff of over 5,000 employees led by the County Manager who is appointed by, and reports to, the Board and functions as the CEO of the County.
In addition to the County Manager, the County’s Executive Team, which provides policy planning and management oversight for County operations, consists of the following individuals who report directly to the County Manager: Deputy County Manager/Chief of Staff; Assistant County Manager – Human Services Agency Director; Assistant County Manager – Financial Services; and Assistant County Manager – Sustainable Communities. Assistant County Managers are appointed by and under the general direction of the County Manager. In addition to serving as a member of the County’s Executive Team, Assistant County Managers actively participate in the development of the County’s operating budget as well as the County’s corporate strategic planning process, represent the business needs of their respective areas in these processes, and represent the County with elected officials, other jurisdictions, advisory boards, and other public forums/stakeholder groups.
Specifically, the Financial Services Director leads the Financial Services Department and reports directly to the Assistant County Manager for Financial Services. Positions reporting to the Financial Services Director are: Deputy Department Director for Central Finance; Deputy Department Director for Departmental Financial Services; Division Director for Procurement; Investment Officer; Senior IT Manager; Payroll Manager; and Administrative Support. This position is the most senior position in the Financial Services Department, which is a medium to large County department. The Financial Services Department maintains a higher degree of complexity in size, scope of services, and budget than other smaller County departments. The Financial Services Director will lead a department with approximately 127 employees and an annual budget of approximately $12 million.
OVERVIEW of the FINANCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT:
The Mecklenburg County Financial Services Department provides fiscal stewardship and accountability of all public funds with responsibility for investing the County’s money, financial reporting, cash flow and banking, capital planning, managing the County’s debt financing and debt payments, budgetary compliance, payroll, and grants management. The Financial Services department, which is comprised of Departmental Financial Services, Procurement, and Central Finance, provides fiscal support to county departments which enables them to service taxpayers, residents, and visitors through the collection of taxes, processing financial transactions, maintaining financial reporting systems and ensuring compliance with statutes, regulations, and policies. Mecklenburg County’s annual 2017 budget is $1.6 billion. Planned capital expenditures in the 2015 – 2018 Capital Improvement Plan total $972 million and the forecasted debt portfolio for 2017 is approximately $1.5 billion.
The Financial Services Director is accountable for proactively directing the Financial Services Department, including its assets and resources. The Director is also a cabinet member. As required by NC General Statutes, this position functions as the county’s finance officer, who is legally responsible for establishing the accounting system, controlling expenditures, managing cash and other assets, and preparing financial reports.
Other responsibilities include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Function as the spokesperson for the County finance organization and coordinate all rating agency and State Treasurer relations.
- Make appropriate recommendations to the County Manager and the Board of County Commissioners; collaborate with all County department heads including the Executive Team and the County Attorney.
- Develop, communicate, and implement strategic initiatives
- Partner with the County Budget Director to create the annual budget
- Perform long-range forecasting and capital planning.
- Lead, motivate, and develop department employees by setting the tone, climate, and vision for the Financial Services Department.
- Ensure compliance with statutory responsibilities and directives, in particular the County’s compliance with the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act as well as federal and state statutes related to procurement activities.
- Manage overall performance, continuous improvement efforts, and cost effectiveness.
Desired qualifications include the following:
- Preference for at least 10 years of progressively complex experience in governmental accounting and management. Requires a minimum of six years progressively responsible financial/accounting management experience.
- Strong, collaborative leader with proven track record for driving change and innovation, optimizing talent, and formulating vision into action.
- Ability to communicate professionally, both orally and in writing, with senior management, elected officials, other state and local government agency officials, rating agencies, financial advisors, underwriters, and funding partner CFOs.
- Ability to articulate complex financial matters with clarity and transparency.
- In depth knowledge of GAAP, GASB, NC/Other State Statutes for local government finance and procurement and technical pronouncements related to grants and Single Audit, such as Federal and State Compliance Supplements, Federal OMB Circulars, and Yellowbook.
- Strategic thinking and planning abilities; ability to anticipate/recognize/investigate/analyze changing external factors; plan and react, accordingly.
- Analytical and problem solving skills.
- Treasury management experience overseeing a large, complex debt portfolio.
- Capable of using appropriate data for making decisions; decisiveness.
- Technology related skills regarding appropriate software packages (Microsoft Word, Excel, enterprise financial and human resource systems, etc.).
- Understanding of the procurement function preferred.
- Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, finance, or business administration; Master’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration or related field and/or CPA / finance officer certification preferred.
Coleman Lew acknowledges that Mecklenburg County does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, and Coleman Lew agrees, along with Mecklenburg County, that applicants for the position will be evaluated without regard to any of the said characteristics.