Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commissioner Shea called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 20, 2008in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth.

12:00 p.m.: Annual jail walkthrough and lunch

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: move to add item 3b, security issues. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to add 9b, executive session: contracts (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

9:00 a.m.: Airport Bid Opening: Pavement remarking project

The following pavement remarking bids were received:

Sir Lines A Lot: $25, 345.10
Hi way safety systems: $17,884.50
Markings Inc: $26, 010.30
  • Commissioner Shea requested the bids be turned over to the airport manager for review and to submit his recommendation later in the day.

MOTION: move to approve the bid for pavement remarking from Hi-Way Safety in the amount of $17,884.50. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0 motion passed)


  • Director Pinkham called for questions regarding his monthly report and updated the commissioners on the condition of the state regarding recent flooding.
  • Commissioner Shea questioned the standing of the grant request on communication equipment. Director Pinkham stated that we have until July 1st to complete the request. He also stated that the SO and RCC were aware of the grant and they are working together.
  • Commissioner Brown inquired on NIMS compliance. Director Pinkham stated that approximately 50% of the towns had a plan in place.

Commission Business:


MOTION: move approval of the April 17, 2008 commissioners’ regular meeting minutes. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0 motion passed)

Mileage Allowance Policy

Commissioner Shea stated the mileage policy has been revised for clarification.

MOTION: Move to approve the revised mileage reimbursement policy. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0 motion passed)

  • A suggestion was made by BAC member Roger Raymond, town manager of Bucksport, to utilize the services of Maine Power Options when soliciting fuel oil bids. These bids will be available on May 22, 2008 at 10:00 am. The facilities director and the deputy county clerk will review the bids to determine the best option.

MOTION: move authorization for the facilities director and either Commissioner Shea or Brown to make a decision regarding fuel bids received from Maine Power Options. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0 motion passed)


  • Facilities Director, Richard Davis, discussed a proposed parking plan to add additional parking spaces.
  • The facilities director asked for permission to stripe the upper parking lot. With the new striping, this will add 8 additional spaces. He also asked to stripe the lower parking lot in the sheriff’s department which will gain one additional space.
  • Commissioner Shea was not in favor of adding spaces in front of the old jail.

MOTION: move to approve the striping of the upper parking lot and lower parking lot of the sheriff’s department. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed

  • The facilities director asked permission to cut down the trees located near the DA’s office, at the recommendation of an arborist, due to damage caused by woodpeckers.
  • Commissioner Shea would like to replace the trees as they add to the esthetical appeal of the building. He also suggested removing one tree at a time.
  • The facilities director stated he has already requested two separate arborists give their opinion and estimates on the condition and removal of the trees. The facilities director also suggested an alternate exit be used through the DA’s parking lot in order to alleviate the “bottle neck” of traffic. The commissioners were not in agreement.

MOTION: move to authorize the county clerk to develop an ordinance with the City of Ellsworth and Ellsworth Police Department allowing them to enforce our parking policy. (Shea/Lawson, 3-0 motion passed.

Security issue

  • One of the night maintenance crew alerted the facilities director that unsupervised persons from the Deferred Sentencing Project/night court were wandering in areas that are not allowed. There have been similar issues in the past including doors being propped open and food being consumed in the Superior Court Room.
  • The commissioners discussed options that could be taken including moving the DSP to a different meeting place as they are not in compliance with the conditions set forth regarding use of the building.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested that a deputy or some type of security person be hired during their court time. Ken Mitchell stated that it would be a 4 hr minimum charge
  • District Attorney Povich feels that the issues will be resolved once the state takes over on July 1st as the courts will need to have judicial marshals on duty. He also stated that Dr. Diamond and Judge Cuddy should be made aware of the issues concerning DSP.


  • Airport Manager Cossette presented the commissioners with contracts for Hertz and Enterprise. He also suggested that the commissioners give him authorization to sign the lease renewals after commissioner approval.

MOTION: move to approve the contracts for Hertz Rent-a-Car and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0 motion passed)

  • Authorization for 2008 FAA Grant Application for two projects: continued design and engineering in the environmental permitting process on the runway safety area and pavement remarking.

MOTION: move to authorize the chairman to sign the 2008 FAA grant application in the amount of $465,400.00 with the county portion being $11, 635.00. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0 motion passed)

  • Airport Manager Cossette presented the commissioners with a land lease agreement from New England Telephone and Telegraph Company/Verizon. Due to Fairpoint purchasing Verizon, Airport Manager Cossette is requesting authorization to sign the assumption agreement to transfer the lease from Verizon to Fairpoint.

MOTION: move to authorize the airport manager to sign the assumption agreement and allow the transfer of the lease from Verizon to Fairpoint. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Airport Manager Cossette updated the commissioners on the status of Colgan Air. MDOT reported that Colgan air intends to propose an aircraft be modified for 30 passengers.
  • Commissioner Shea would like to schedule a meeting with the Hancock County Fire Fighters Association and the airport manager concerning type 1 certification.
  • The airport manager expressed his concern with Senator Kerry’s bill proposal that will require more equipment and personnel for same amount of service.


  • Kathy Tyson, auditor for Runyon, Kerstin and Ouellette apprised the commissioners of the current financial condition of the county.
  • Ms. Tyson suggested changing the 53rd pay week allotment to an accrual basis.
  • Treasurer Crowley suggested creating a line item to indicate the 53rd week to help deter questions from the BAC. Ms. Tyson stated that an explanation could be given to the BAC that a small portion of money is to be built into the budget rather than a large portion every 7 years.
  • Ms. Tyson questioned if $143,000.00 of potential use of excess funds had been voted on. Treasurer Crowley explained that $50,000.00 had been transferred to the technology reserve fund and $93,000.00 for unanticipated budget modifications.
  • Commissioner Shea questioned if we would receive any jail correction board money for 2009. Treasurer Crowley confirmed that there would be funds for 2009.
  • Commissioner Shea suggested changing the titles of two reserve accounts for the jail in order to prevent the state from claiming these funds. Ms. Tyson felt this was a legal issue.

MOTION: move to designate $50,000.00 to technology reserve and $93,000 to unanticipated budget modification reserve. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0 motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea along with the treasurer and county clerk will meet to discuss new titles for the current jail reserves.
  • Treasurer Crowley stated that the county could save approximately $15,000.00 if we do not have to have a TAN. Treasurer Crowley discussed the possibility of creating and setting up a TAN in her computer which would be a savings to the county. Treasurer Crowley would like to meet with Mr. Povich to develop a draft for the TAN.

Civil Process Officer Paul McPhail, Sheriff Clark, District Attorney Povich, Treasurer Crowley, and the commissioners discussed the misunderstanding of mileage reimbursement for actual miles traveled versus billable miles.

  • Commissioner Shea explained that, according to Maine State Statutes, the mileage reimbursement is for actual miles traveled. Sheriff Clark stated that the miles in question are civil process miles not county miles and are known as billable miles.
  • Several options were given in order to solve the misunderstanding. Option one: Sheriff Clark recommended the county purchase the vehicle from Mr. McPhail in the amount of $24,262.60 and then sign over a Ford Ranger Pickup that was seized and forfeited to replace Mr. McPhail’s personal vehicle. Option two: District Attorney Povich suggested having the county purchase the vehicle and allot a given amount of miles for personal use as in a leased vehicle. Option three: Commissioner Lawson suggested that the county purchase the vehicle, including excise tax, and also reimburse Mr. McPhail for the miles he has submitted thus far.
  • Mr. McPhail explained to the commissioners that, should he continue to receive mileage reimbursement, he would be able to have the vehicle paid off in 12-14 months and then be willing to turn over all fees to the county.
  • Commission Shea offered that the county purchase the vehicle in the amount of $24, 262.60 with the understanding that the vehicle be used for work purposes only and that Mr. McPhail will need to replace his personal vehicle as he has denied the offer of the Ford Ranger pickup.

MOTION: move to purchase the vehicle from Mr. McPhail in the amount $24, 262.60, and include $645.00 excise tax. (Shea/Brown, 2-0-1, Lawson abstained)

  • Commissioner Lawson suggested that the county purchase the vehicle with excise tax and also give Mr. McPhail the mileage that has accrued to this point which would be approximately $1,500-$1,800.

MOTION: move to purchase the vehicle in the amount of $24, 262.60, reimburse Mr. McPhail $645.00 excise tax, and reimburse Mr. McPhail the mileage that has been submitted. (Lawson/Shea 2-1, Brown apposed)

MOTION: move to approve payroll warrants #08-14, #08-15, #08-16 and #08-17 in the amount of $273,702.41. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve expense warrants #008-011, #008-012, #008-013, #008-014 and #008-015 in the amount of $749,584.37. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve the Unorganized Township Warrant #11 in the amount of $27,517.50. (Lawson/ Brown 3-0, motion passed)


  • The RCC/9-1-1 directors report was submitted prior to the meeting,

MOTION: move the following appointments to the RCC Board of Directors:

District I-Bob Webber, District II -David Carter, and District III-Bob Grindle. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


  • Sheriff Clark distributed the jail board report for April 2008, showing a decrease in revenues from the same time last year. There are currently 35 inmates and 21 empty beds.

MOTION: to reaffirm the re-hire of Glenn C. Foss of Somesville as a part-time/on-call corrections officer, effective May 3, 2008 at the rate of $12.00 per hour. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve the request of CO Amy Smith of a three month unpaid leave of absence. (Brown/Shea 3-0 motion passed)

  • Sheriff Clark would like to postpone discussion of the construction in the sheriff’s department.
  • Commissioner Shea stated that the walls to be removed will not affect the structure.

MOTION: move to accept property from a court ordered drug asset forfeiture, State vs. Stephen Rowley. (Lawson/Brown, 3-0, motion passed)

12:15 Break

1:15 back in session


  • Judie Dannenberg and Debbie Burns discussed the omitted cost of living increase in the current courthouse union contract for 2009 and if an increase could be given for 2009.
  • Mr. Eaton admitted there were errors and is not here per request of the shop stewards.
  • Commissioner Shea stated that no error was made on the part of the collective bargaining agreement.  Any error was entirely on the understanding of the agreement by the union.
  • Renegotiating of the new contract begins 120 days before the end of the current contract.
  • Ms. Dannenberg also stated that the last health insurance increase stop on January 5, 2008; nothing was allocated for 2009 increases.


  • Registrar Curtis felt it would be beneficial to have a lawyer read the contract associated with Aptitude. Commissioner Shea felt it necessary to have a lawyer in place before reading the contract. Commissioner Shea directed the county clerk to contact Mike Freedman at Rudman & Wenchell.

MOTION: move to inquire to hire Michael Freedman of Rudman Wenchell. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed.)

  • Registrar Curtis is confident they will still meet predicted revenues even if not reimbursed the $10,000.00 from MacImage.

MOTION: move to approve the advertisement of a part-time/on call/temporary clerk in the Registry of Deeds for the months of July and August. (Brown/Lawson, 3-0 motion passed

  • The county clerk and registrar will meet to discuss advertising specifics.

2:00 pm.

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

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