MONROE – County Commissioner Richard Helms jokes how Hyong Yi is setting the standard for department managers when it comes to fashion. More important, Union County is getting a proven innovator with its new public works administrator.
Since joining the county last month, Yi has gotten to know the staff from the manager’s office to the people in his department working in rain and putting in pipe.
“There are just fantastic people working in Union County government,” Yi told commissioners July 15 while wearing a bow-tie and a blazer. “I am so pleased I can be a part of it to bring planned progress to this community.”
Yi brings more than two decades of experience in local government and organizational improvement.
He most recently worked with the City of Charlotte as the director of organizational innovation. Before that, he was assistant city manager, overseeing engineering, water, storm water, sewer, solid waste and environmental sustainability services.
He also served as Mecklenburg County’s director of management and budget, responsible for strategic planning and organizing the county’s $1.5 billion budget.
“I think Hyong brings us some strategic planning that we think will be very important to how we move forward with public works,” Assistant County Manager Brian Matthews said.
TV reporter joins county staff
Liz Cooper, known by television audiences as Liz Foster, left WSOC-TV to become public relations manager for Union County.
“One thing we don’t do in Union County well is we don’t communicate our achievements out to the public,” Helms said, noting Cooper will play a crucial role in disseminating information.
Cooper has been a journalist for 11 years. Four of those years have been spent in the Charlotte region.
She told county commissioners on July 16 that the county is implementing new practices to its public communications approach, especially when it comes to storytelling.
“We’re very excited to show some of the awesome things, people, places, events, programs, services in Union County,” Cooper said. “I’m very blessed to be here.”