by: Jenna Deery Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Mecklenburg County's new top leader said restoring the public trust in a flawed system is her top priority.
Dena Diorio has been on the job now for a month as the county's first female manager.
Diorio doesn't spend a lot of time inside her office at the government center since moving from budget director to county manager.
She told Channel 9 today her strategy is letting people know she is the one responsible for operating Mecklenburg County.
To get to know Diorio, take a look around her office.
Her pictures document where she's been and who she's worked for, like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
“He's got to be the most dynamic person I've ever worked for,” Diorio said.
She said Giuliani taught her about dedication and passion -- traits she brings to her new role as county manager.
“I really want the public to feel good about what we do,” she said. “To kind of restore some of the trust that may have been lost over the last year or two in terms of what happened with the (tax revaluation)."
In 2011, an independent appraiser found major flaws in the county's property appraisals in which many people were overcharged in taxes.
As a result, county leaders were blasted for the mismanagement.
Diorio believes blame should be pointed at her when errors happen.
“I'm in charge. I'm accountable. I want the board to hold me accountable. I want the public to hold me accountable. Are things going to happen over somebody's tenure? Yes, mistakes are going to be made, but I want to know when they happen,” she said.
Diorio doesn't have every solution to every problem yet and there's no picture in a frame of this chapter, but she has a snapshot in her mind of what leader she'll be -- proactive and responsible.
“At the end of the day, I'm accountable for everything that happens in this county,” she said.
Now, Diorio's focus is on the 2015 budget, and she said saving money is important to her when figuring out what to do with taxpayers' money so that when tough times happen, the county is ready.
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