For the first time in four years, Mecklenburg County held a State of the County Address at the Government Center in Uptown.
Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Chairman Trevor M. Fuller gave the address, which focused on priorities, goals and accomplishments.
“For the first time in a long time, there is a palpable sense of renewal,” said Fuller.
The speech hit the highlights for Mecklenburg County over the past few years:
1. Almost 12 thousand news jobs
2. Romare Bearden Park opens
3. Uptown population nearly doubles
4. Return of Charlotte Knights
5. 11 million county visitors, fueling $100 million for hotel projects
“What all this means is that our revenue picture is getting brighter and furthermore, we anticipate completing the year with a surplus,” said Fuller
But not all of it was positive. There are some major issues still plaguing the county,
1. 15% of population living below poverty level.
2. Ranks last in economic mobility for major metropolitan areas
3. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) students fall short in proficiency on national exams
“These are startling and frankly embarrassing facts,” said Fuller.
Fuller announced that he will be forming a chairman's task force on poverty and economic mobility in Mecklenburg County, hoping that it spurs change.
“We are a can do community and we have the capacity and ability to achieve our goals,” said Fuller. “There is no doubt that we are well-poised to move this community from good to great.”