Mecklenburg County commissioners on Thursday starting outlining what programs and services should receive top priority as they're planning the 2011-12 budget.
Commissioners will vote on their final priorities for the year at a later meeting.
But a preliminary list -- which you can view by clicking here -- was presented Thursday at the board's annual strategic planning conference at the Charlotte Museum of History. It is based on the results of a community survey as well as county management's list of "critical success factors" they believe the county needs to focus on in the next few years.
(Learn about the critical success factors on page 36 to 47 of this link)
Landing at the top in priority one of seven were Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, debt service, economic development, education support services and job training/employment assistance.
The priority list helps influence how much money certain programs or services could be in line for in the new budget. Being ranked at the bottom, or in level 7, doesn't mean a program will receive no money.
Likewise, being listed at the top won't prevent a service from facing cuts.
On Thursday, commissioners noted several categories they'd like to see moved to different priorities.
Seven board members wanted to raise the ranking for Central Piedmont Community College, which is at level 4 in the preliminary list. Three commissioners also said they'd like to raise the ranking for the parks, fields and recreation centers category (5).
Other categories at least one commissioner wanted to move higher on the list included
child & adolescent mental illness prevention and treatment; adult abuse/neglect prevention and protection; child abuse/neglect prevention and protection; homelessness services; jail and detention facilities; morgue and medical examiner and regional planning.
Areas that at least one commissioner wanted moved to a lower ranking included: economic development, non-communicable illness/disease prevention and treatment; land quality; greenway development and management; and transportation. APRIL BETHEA