Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commissioner Shea called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 8, 2008in the conference room at the County Courthouse in Ellsworth, with Commissioners Brown and Lawson in attendance.

Airport Maintenance Supervisor Richard Gray was recognized for his 20-years of service to the citizens of Hancock County.  The Commissioners applauded his dedication to service.

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: Remove item 7C & D. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed.

MOTION: move to add a COLA discussion as item. 2C (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Add airport item C, a discussion regarding TSA reimbursement. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: move to appoint Kenneth R. Shea as Chairman of the Hancock County Commission for the year 2008. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to pay travel expenses for Commissioners living over 5 miles from the county seat. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to set the FY2008 mileage rate at .42 cents per mile. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to authorize the Chairman to sign warrants. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to authorize the Treasurer to issue checks up to $1,000.00 and the Deputy Treasurer to issue checks up to $500.00. (Lawson/Brown 3-0)

Discussion: The treasurer requested that the Deputy Treasurer be allowed to issue checks to up to $1,000.00.

Amendment: move to authorize the Treasurer to issue checks up to $1,000.00 and the Deputy Treasurer to issue checks up to $1,000.00. (Lawson/Brown 3-0)

MOTION: move to appoint Commissioner Kenneth R. Shea to the MCCA Board of Directors and Risk Pool. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: proposed changes to the Risk Pool Coverage for FY08:

  • Commissioner Shea requested authorization to support recommended changes as proposed in the FY08 Risk Pool Coverage Certificate.

MOTION: to authorize Commissioner Shea to support recommended changes as proposed in the FY08 Risk Pool coverage document. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

The following Department/Commissioner liaisons were set.

MOTION: move that Department/Commissioner liaisons will continue as represented in 2007. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to set the FY08 Overlay at $100,135.00. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve the minutes of the December 11, 2007 Commissioners Regular Meeting as presented. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Deferred Sentencing Program $44,000.00 “bridge funding” request:

MOTION: move to table this discussion until the conclusion of the treasurers, report. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

Report: Public Safety meeting with the City of Ellsworth.

  • Commissioner Shea reported that the Commissioners have met with a delegation from the City of Ellsworth to discuss a joint effort to create a Public Safety Building.  A grant will be submitted by City Manager, Michelle Beal to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed complex.

MOTION: move to approve the request of the City Manager to apply for a grant on behalf of City, State, and County agencies, to fund the efficient delivery of local and regional services.  The grant funds would be used to fund a feasibility study for a proposed regional public services complex. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: RCC Study for night shift dispatching to all towns.

  • Commissioner Shea asked the Commissioners to formally direct the RCC Director to study night shift dispatching to all towns.

MOTION: move to formally direct the RCC Director to start preparing a study and report back to the Commissioners in February or March 2008 on the feasibility of night dispatching to all towns throughout Hancock County.  (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion)

Commissioner Lawson would like the report to include cost analysis for installing new radio frequencies, and employee costs as well as other items.

MOTION: move to change the schedule of the Commissioners Regular Meetings to the Tuesday following the 2nd Wednesday of each month. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: move to approve the Hancock County Planning Commission and Washington Hancock Community Agency as consultants to administer the Community Development Block Grant. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: This grant will replace wells and septic systems.  A public hearing on this item will be scheduled for the February commissioners meeting.


  • As the Emergency Management Monthly Report was received prior to the meeting, Director Pinkham asked if there were any questions.  Commissioner Brown questioned the progress of the dam project.
  • Director Pinkham reported that most towns are working on their emergency operations plans.
  • Director Pinkham reported that the state proposed health officer/public health plan is running into problems.  He felt that it would be difficult to demonstrate savings.
  • Commissioner Lawson questioned software and hardware updates noted on the EMA monthly report.   Deputy Director Feury stated they are regular updates that have to be done monthly.
  • Director Pinkham noted the following results of homeland security funding: The City of Ellsworth received $45,000.00 for training and ?, the Town of Bucksport received $42,000.00, Sumner High School received $20,000.00 and the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency received $27,858.00.  These funds were used to fund their part-time employee for the next two years and to purchase a new printer.  Mr. Pinkham stated, they have enough funds to fund their part-time employee for 20 hours a week for the next 2 years.

Director Pinkham requested a COLA increase for his part-time employee from $12.00 per hour to $12.36 per hour at 20 hours per week.  He stated Homeland Security funds his part-time employee for 10 hours a week, Hancock County funds her for 5 hours a week and 5 hours a week of her pay is funded through FEMA.

MOTION: move to grant a 3% COLA to Lynn O, Kane on the basis she is primarily paid for out of grant funds, and note that this is a one time, one employee exception to the part-time pay policy. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

10:00 a.m.
MOTION: move to go into executive session to conduct evaluations for the EMA Director and Airport Manager. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

10:45 a.m.
MOTION: move to come out of executive session. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed


MOTION: move that the Commissioners continue to allow Airport Manager Cossette to pursue negotiations with the tenants of the airport as per the guidelines set forth in his memo of January 4, 2008. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Brown asked where the airport was in regard to their accounts receivable.  Mr. Cossette stated he is in the process of collecting end of year receivables.

  • Airport Manager Cossette reported that TSA is now requiring airport security officers to be fully, State of Maine, certificated in law enforcement.  He received notification on December 20th, from Washington DC, stating that the airport will not receive TSA reimbursement because current security officers do not have arrest authority or have authority to use deadly force to protect themselves or others.
  • Currently, one security officer has been commissioned as a Deputy and has the authority to use deadly force and has arrest authority.  The second security officer does not.  Airport Manager Cossette has met with Sheriff Clark and Chief Deputy Bishop and are working out details to commission the remaining security officer.  Washington has stated that due to non-compliance and the fact that our officers are not certificated, the Hancock County / Bar Harbor Airport is not eligible for federal reimbursement funds.  The total loss of funds is $29,991.00.
  • All other guidelines of the TSA cooperative agreement have been met.
  • Airport Manager Cossette has an appointment with Senator Collins to discuss the matter today.

MOTION: move to send a letter to Senators Snowe and Collins and Congressman Michaud seeking their assistance with this issue. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: move to re-open the 2008-2009 UT budget. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to adjust the 2008-2009 UT budget to reflect a total tax assessment of $164,925.00 and that we not change the LD1 Cap as voted upon by the Budget Advisory Committee. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

RCC 9-1-1 Center:

  • The RCC/9-1-1 Center monthly report was submitted via e-mail prior to the meeting.


The following monthly bills and Warrants were presented for approval:

MOTION: move the approval of Payroll Warrants #07-49, #07-50, #07-50A, 07-51, #07-51A and #07-52 in the amount of $281,032.88. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move the approval of Expense Warrants #007-039, #007-040 and #007-041 in the amount of $1,292,724.41. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown questioned the exact amount the County is paying for gasoline.  The exact price was not known but Sheriff Clark assured the Commissioners that the county is receiving a good deal.

MOTION: move approval of UT warrant #7 in the amount of $19,760.11. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Treasurer Crowley referenced a spreadsheet noting 2007 payroll transfers and 2007 YTD budget totals.  She noted that this is a document in transition and will not be finalized until the Auditor has seen the figures.  Commissioner Shea stated they would like the Commissioners to take another month to study the data.
  • A discussion ensued regarding payroll costs and the Outside Detail account.
  • The previous discussion was tabled until the February meeting.
  • Treasurer Crowley reported that reserve accounts 3015-0 – VFA Training and 3022-10 – EMA/Vehicle are overdrawn.  Treasurer Crowley will contact Chief Marshall regarding the VFA issue.  Commissioner Shea suggested transferring operating budget surplus to cover the cost of the EMA Vehicle.
  • Treasurer Crowley suggested not funding the Deferred Sentencing Project, bridge funding request and noted that there is currently $53,690.64 in DSP reserves.  She suggested that if they run out of funds, it could be paid through the FY08 overlay.
  • Treasurer Crowley stated that overdrawn accounts should be zeroed out and requested clarification as to whether she should submit requests for overdraft at the next meeting.  The Commissioners will review overdrafts with department heads and make their suggestion at the February meeting.

Sheriff Clark requested clarification regarding a shortage in the FY08 DTF benefits account.  Commissioner Shea suggested transferring funds FY08 Potential Payroll Cost reserve account to cover this shortage.


  • Sheriff Clark distributed the jail board report for December 2007 noting that revenues exceed FY07 projections.

MOTION: move to approve a grade increase for the Assistant to the Jail Administrator(s) from grade 12 to grade 14 retroactive to the first pay period in January 2008. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move the promotion of Corrections Officer Crystal Hobbs to the rank of Corporal, effective January 12, 2008 at step 10B, $14.77 per hour. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

The following cruiser bids were opened:
Quirk Auto Park            $21,335.30 per 2008 Crown Victoria

MOTION: move to accept the bid of $21,335.30 from Quirk Auto Park for two 2008 Crown Victorias and to authorize the Sheriff to sell a 2001 Chevrolet Impala. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to accept the resignation of Deputy Sheriff Jason Lepper, with regret, effective January 7, 2008. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move the promotion of Christopher Sargent to full-time Patrol Deputy, effective January 12, 2008 at Step 12A, $15.93 per hour. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move approval to authorize the Sheriff to remove five accounts, approximate value $250.00, from the Civil Process accounts receivable log and to hold these bills for payment, should the owners need Civil Process services in the future. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: State reduction in DEA funding.

  • Sheriff Clark distributed e-mail from Roy McKinney regarding proposed MDEA federal cuts.

Tax Abatement Hearing Robinson, Biskind, Cohen v. Town of Brooksville
Commissioner Shea called the hearing to order at 1:08 p.m. and swore in the participating parties.  An audiotape of the hearing is available upon request.

Commissioner Shea declared the hearing closed at 4:50 p.m.  Deliberations will be held at a later date and an Order will be issued.


  • Commissioner Brown stated the heating system in the Andrew Peters Building has been assessed by a heating professional. The heating professional, Commissioner Brown and the Facilities Director had suggested some heating repairs that would save in heating energy and to allow the system to operate more efficiently.  Verbal approval was given to have a heating engineer draw up a plan to correct the issues.

MOTION: move to hire Lynn O’Kane of Ellsworth as a temporary part-time clerk, one day a week, $10.00 an hour, for the duration of 2008. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)


District Attorney Michael Povich provided the Commissioners with the results of his research regarding the Shelton v. the Town of Trenton Infirmity Tax Appeal request.  He recommended that the Commissioners schedule the hearing and stated married income may or may not be relevant in this case.  Commissioner Brown suggested not scheduling a hearing thus moving the case on to Superior Court.  Commissioner Shea suggested giving the District Attorney time to research the issue in detail and report back during the February meeting.  Mr. Povich suggested conducting a preliminary hearing to decide if the commissioners should in fact schedule the requested hearing.  Mr. Povich suggested the Commissioners view the letter from the Town of Trenton as a denial and schedule a hearing.

MOTION: move to schedule a poverty abatement hearing for Shelton v. the Town of Trenton for the June 17, 2008 Commissioners Regular Meeting at 1:00 p.m. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to decline to hear the tax appeal of Samsara Memorial Trust v. the Town of Frenchboro due to the fact that the applicant did not apply to the Town of Frenchboro during the specified time limit. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to schedule the tax appeal hearing for Shubert v. the Town of Surry for February 19, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: move to table the department head evaluation. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

IT RFP Discussion / CBE Technologies Annual Contract

  • Commissioner Brown questioned if CBE Technologies is qualified to work on the Spillman System.  The Clerk informed him that CBE does not have an employee on their payroll that is qualified in Spillman but would outsource the work to Jim Arseneau of Waldo County to work on Spillman on their behalf.
  • Commissioner Lawson stated that Dispatcher Rolly Means has been trained to take care of Spillman software issues, not hardware issues.
  • Commissioner Brown stated he would like to see CBE Technologies assume the duties of maintaining the Spillman system for Hancock County in the event that Mr. Ashmore is unavailable.  Commissioner Shea stated he would like to continue to allow Mr. Ashmore to work on Spillman and have CBE continue to work on Administrative Network issues.

MOTION: move to authorize the chairman to sign the 2008 IT contract with CBE Technologies. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to adjourn. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

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