Harry Jones

Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg County commissioners have hired from within to replace long-time county manager Harry Jones. Assistant County Manager Dena Diorio landed the job last night, seven months after Jones’ firing initiated a national search for a new leader.

Mecklenburg County Chairman Pat Cotham has taken a lot of heat for the firing of County Manager Harry Jones last week.  So she’s decided to fire back at her nay-sayers by releasing results of a poll she commissioned.   

Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

  Mecklenburg County commissioners are now looking for a new county manager after they fired Harry Jones Tuesday night.  One thing is clear in the shake-up: the new manager won’t have as much autonomy. 

County government has had its problems of late.  For starters, there was the botched 2011 property revaluation.

“This is a special situation and so every part of it, in my view, we must do carefully,” said Commissioner Trevor Fuller at a meeting in December.

County Commission Fires Harry Jones

May 7, 2013
Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

After months of growing tensions between longtime Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones and county commissioners, the board voted Tuesday to terminate Jones.

His firing was swift, and seemed well-orchestrated. After a 6-2 vote with Dumont Clarke and Vice Chairwoman Kim Ratliff opposing, the board ended Jones’ contract shortly after it emerged from a three-hour closed session. Commissioner George Dunlap was absent.

Lisa Miller

The new Mecklenburg County commission and county staff members haven’t gotten off to a good start.  Improving that rocky relationship was at the top of the agenda of a three day planning session that kicked off Wednesday.

Commissioners and County Manager Harry Jones are locked in a marriage of sorts.  Right now, it’s not a good one.  Everyone agrees communication could be a lot better.  For that reason, Jones decided the planning session would begin with a sit down. 

Davidsonnews.net (file photo)

The tax assessor who oversaw Mecklenburg County's much-maligned 2011 revaluation is out. County Commissioners announced Tuesday night that assessor Garrett Alexander has resigned, but they put off a final decision on how to handle problems with the revaluation. 

It was an awkward night for County Manager Harry Jones. Eight months ago he was adamant the revaluation did not need reexamining.

A growing chorus of Mecklenburg County citizens and elected officials is calling for a complete re-do of the 2011 property tax revaluation. The independent review completed last week found most of the new property values are accurate. But values in a small percentage of neighborhoods – perhaps 10 percent – are significantly out-of-whack, according to the report. 

So now what? The Mecklenburg County commission meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m. to discuss.