County manager tells employees goals for next year

Published 10:38 am Thursday, October 29, 2015

You are valuable and we appreciate what you do to make Davie County Government function for its residents.

Those were the words more than 60 employees of Davie County government heard at an informal “State of the Organization” luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the EMS headquarters.

The event was hosted by County Manager Mike Ruffin to continue his goal of making the organization transparent.

“I want you to know more about me – my background, my management style – things that are important to you as employees so you can understand the direction our county is going in,” he said. “I’ve worked in local government my entire career and I understand the responsibilities you have on a daily basis. It’s not an easy job and I thank you for serving this community.”

Ruffin made the decision to host the luncheon more than two months ago because he recognized the need to pull together management employees and discuss what had been accomplished over the last year, what are some of the goals moving forward, and ultimately show appreciation to those who keep the wheels of county government turning.

“I believe in working through committees, made up of individuals in this room. You are the people who understand the day-to-day functions of our organization and your knowledge and contribution can move us in the way of providing effective and efficient services for our residents,” said Ruffin.

Among the accomplishments Ruffin cited:

• A  Capital Improvement Plan that will address and restore physical assets that have been neglected. For example, renovations to the county courthouse and administrative building, relocating domestic violence services to a more effective site, future construction of an EMS station in the Farmington area, and a covered canopy at  Senior Services.

• A number or reorganizations that allow the organization to operate more seamlessly. Some of these include, establishing EMS and fire as two separate entities (Jerry Myers was promoted to fire director, a move that lifts the profile of fire services and what they provide the community); information technology department reorganized into technology solutions department where network capabilities and customer service will be a top priority; Cyndi Hendricks promoted to budget manager to allow for greater focus and oversight by the finance department.

• A communications overhaul that replaced the antiquated radio system being used by sheriff and fire departments, EMS, emergency management and 911. Twenty-first century technology now enables emergency responders to communicate on-scene effectively.

• A new benefits system implemented that provides employees with better health, dental and vision insurance, as well as 50 percent coverage for dependents.

• Overall communications among employees and the community have been improved, including implementation of a new e-mail newsletter, Facebook and Twitter page and branding initiative.

Following a lengthy summary of accomplishments, Ruffin provided a glimpse of what could be expected in 2016:

• A new awards program in place to recognize employee’s years of service.

• A new electronic document management system that will allow files to be shared across departments in a secure manner.

• A substantial overhaul to county technology, including a new employee resource portal that will allow for easy management of personnel, payroll data and processes.

• Recreation services will be handled by the county beginning in July of 2016.  The current program will be fully assessed and recommendations for expanding the program will be recommended.

• County Home Health under new ownership (to be announced in late December 2015).

Ruffin closed his remarks by making it clear to all in attendance why they were there.

“The Davie County Government organization is lucky to have each of you and this luncheon is a just a small token of our appreciation for what you do.  In my role as county manager, I want to create a good working environment for you, with good pay and great benefits—a place where you want to stay.”