Two weeks after county commissioners unanimously named her to the position, Dena Diorio took over as Mecklenburg’s new County Manager on Thursday.
“This is my first full day on the job and talk to my staff and put my plans together. Hopefully this is the first of many good days,” Diorio said.
Diorio is the county’s fifth manager but the first woman to take on the role. She says she’s excited about being a change agent.
“I want to make sure that we have transparency, more regular reporting to the board and to the public’s trust,” she said.
Trust that many home owners lost, she says because of rising property taxes.
“I think it’s important for the citizens that we have equity, the values are correct and anyone owed a refund, gets one,” said Diorio.
“Residents feeling like they weren’t being heard and how their values," she said. "They didn’t feel like they were being heard and we have done a lot to make that a better process."
Diorio brings years of experience having worked in New York and Connecticut. She served as finance director and took over assistant county manager after commissioner s fired Harry Jones Sr. This is Diorio’s seventh year working for the county.
She will make $228,000, nearly $20,000 less than Jones. But the search for a new county manager cost tax payers nearly $60,000.
“As an internal candidate, I proved I was the best person for the job but I competed with candidates across the country, so I think that was money well spent.”
She says there’s no term limit set for her role - so she’s hoping to stay around for a long time.