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Cumberland commissioners approve diversity plan

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The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategic plan.

The plan, which was crafted with input from a committee that included a cross section of county employees, was created to develop recommendations and procedures to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within county government.

The advisory committee was tasked with making recommendations in five primary areas: internal operations; policy development and execution; community outreach; staff recruitment and retention; and training.

 Commissioner Jimmy Keefe, who was not at the meeting, had previously asked that the plan be updated to address diversity and the makeup of appointed boards. That suggestion was part of the plan approved by the board.

The plan includes hiring a chief diversity officer to oversee diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The process also will include getting feedback from the community through town halls, surveys or community forums; building transparency within county government; and providing continuous training for county employees.                                          

In other business, the board agreed to amend the professional services agreement for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The county has an agreement with Innovative Emergency Management Inc. to administer the program for the county through Dec. 31. In May, the county received $1.2 million in additional funding for the program. Monday night’s vote extends Innovative Emergency Management’s contract through June 30, 2022.

During the meeting, board Chairman Glenn Adams presented outgoing Chairman Charles E. Evans with a leadership award.

“It was very important to me to have served with the individuals that I’ve served with because we collectively have worked very hard to make sure that Cumberland County is represented the best possible way that it could be,” Evans said. “I accept this with honor and pride.”

The board went into executive session to discuss economic development matters for approximately 15 minutes. No action was taken after the closed session.  

Keyona Smith covers Cumberland County government for CityView TODAY.

Cumberland County, Board of Commissioners, diversity, equity