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Fuller: County needs to rebuild publicís trust
Commissioners chair pushes better service
 
Published Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:23 am
by Herbert L. White

Mecklenburg County commissioners Chair Trevor Fuller wants the board to build relationships across the dais and with constituents.

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PHOTO/PAUL WILLIAMS III
Mecklenburg County commissioners Chair Trevor Fuller said he will focus on building teamwork on the board and constituent service delivery. Fuller will give the State of the County address on Jan. 30, his first since becoming chair last month.

Fuller, who was elected chair last month, will give his first state of the county address on Jan. 30. He revealed in an interview with The Post that Mecklenburg’s leadership will emphasize better constituent service as well as goals for the year. 

“There are some general principles we will talk about, the fact we’re heading in a new direction together as a county,” Fuller said. “We just finished setting a strategic planning agenda (last week). I’ll talk about some of the challenges we’ve had that we are overcoming, particularly the [revaluation] situation. I think we’re making some really good progress there, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

Commissioners had a difficult past year with fallout from a botched property revaluation, the controversial firing of former county manager Harry Jones and the search for a replacement. His successor, Dena Diorio, earned praise for her communication and administrative skills. She is the first woman named to the position.

“One of the things we’re very proud of is our new county manager,” Fuller said. “Just what’s happened in the last couple of weeks she’s been in has been confirming over and over that we made the right choice. It was a difficult choice to make and in some instances a risky choice because it was an internal candidate and it was a real feeling that we have an external candidate, but I think our choice will be looked (upon) as one of the most important – and good – decisions that we’ve made in quite some time.”

Fuller, one of three freshman commissioners elected at large along with Pat Cotham and Kim Ratliff, admits the board has to mend fences with constituents after bruising political battles in the last year. The goal, Fuller insists, is putting the past behind and working on challenges from mental health services to economic development.

“We do have to rebuild trust with the public,” he said. “I think the last year there have been a number of challenges that eroded that trust and I think that erosion was made worse by our own inability to deal with issues in a clean and professional way. Instead, people were excluded and had personality issues and to me that all comes back to leadership. If your leadership is in the right place, even if you do have personality conflicts, you work through those and around those conflicts to get things done.

“I don’t think we did that.”

 

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