Commissioners Regular Meeting

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

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: move to add discussion under EMA regarding hiring Bob McKenney in the EMA. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: move to approve the minutes of the June 18, 2008 commissioners’ regular meeting as presented. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to schedule the next commissioners’ regular meeting for August 11, 2008. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)


  • Director Pinkham has been utilizing the services of Bob McKenney on a project funded with State, SECRC and LEPC funds. The state has offered additional planning funds for this project at no cost to the county. The funds would flow through EMPG and will have a soft match with no funds required from the county. Mr. McKenney would be classified as a temporary part time employee.

MOTION: move to approve the hire of Robert McKenney of Ellsworth as a part-time/temporary employee of the Emergency Management Agency. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • As the Emergency Management Agencies monthly report was submitted prior to the meeting, Director Pinkham asked if there were any questions.


  • Commissioner Shea questioned the payoff of a motorcycle that was recently sold. Sheriff Clark explained the lien on the vehicle had to be paid upon sale and that the county made $5,600.00 on this sale.
  • Commissioner Brown questioned the cost per gallon of gasoline paid by the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Clark explained that Dead River Company is billing weekly due to the volatility of pricing.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested asking for bid pricing for fuel oil. Commissioner Shea suggested soliciting various fuel companies for better pricing but also stated that at one time the Bucksport Town Manager solicited for fuel oil and no one would give him a price.

MOTION: move the approval of payroll warrants #08-23, #08-24, #08-25 and #08-26 in the amount of $267,036.94. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move the approval of expense warrants #008-019, #008-020 and #008-021 in the amount of $682,925.71. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea questioned if a TAN would be needed this year. Treasurer Crowley said it will be close, but we will make it.

MOTION: move approval of the unorganized township warrant #12 in the amount of $11,447.85. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Treasurer Crowley stated that the county has hired the spouse of an employee who already carries a family health insurance policy. In preparing for the 2008 county budget the treasurer suggested that the cost of the health insurance plan be split between their two departments. This practice has been questioned.

MOTION: move to table the treasurers’ report in order to participate in a scheduled conference call. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

9:25 a.m.

MOTION: move to go into executive session to discuss an issue at the Registry of Deeds. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

10:30 a.m.

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

10:31 a.m. – Break

10:40 a.m. – Back in session

Treasurers’ report continued:

  • Treasurer Crowley stated that the sheriff would prefer to continue splitting the cost between the departments but the district attorney would prefer to follow the policy and have the cost reflected in one departmental budget. Treasurer Crowley asked the commissioners for guidance in the matter.
  • Commissioner Lawson would prefer to let common sense prevail and allow the situation stay as is.

MOTION: move that when a husband and wife are on one health insurance policy and work in different departments, the cost will be split by each department. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Treasurer Crowley stated that DA Povich has received $1,400.00 from the Wal-Mart Corporation and has requested that a special reserve account be created in his department budget for this money. Treasurer Crowley suggested placing the funds in the DA’s technology reserve account.
  • The commissioners agreed that the funds should be placed in the current DA technology reserve account.
  • Treasurer Crowley reported that most accounts are in line for the end of the year. The only exception is revenue accounts scattered throughout departments.
  • Community Corrections funds should be received in July 2008. Normally they will be carried forward to the next year. Commissioner Shea stated that it should be entered in the minutes that the community corrections funds received in 2008 will be used to offset the expenses of the 2008 jail and community corrections budget.
  • Treasurer Crowley reminded the commissioners that the county budget has to be locked down by November 7th.


  • Sheriff Clark distributed the June 2008 jail board report. There are currently four boarders in the jail.
  • As of July first, the board of corrections may be filling the county jails’ empty beds with state inmates.
  • Sheriff Clark explained that patrol deputy Christopher Sargent was hired as a temporary patrol officer in September 2007 and has been employed full time since January 12, 2008. A brief employment history followed.
  • During January a form should have been generated updating Mr. Sargent’s status. Unfortunately, this form was not completed and Mr. Sargent was not charged for his portion of health insurance or his Maine State Retirement contributions.
  • Sheriff Clark suggested having Mr. Sargent pay $1,290.00 to Maine State Retirement and asked the commissioners to disregard the $420.00 owed in back health insurance payments as this amount should cover the post tax difference in his Maine State Retirement.
  • After much discussion Commissioner Shea suggested that the county pay the $1,290.00 owed to Maine State Retirement on behalf of Mr. Sargent. Mr. Sargent will be required to pay these funds back to the county by the end of the year. If there is a tax liability the commissioners will re-visit the issue. The Treasurer will research the issue with the Maine State Retirement System and the IRS and report back to the parties involved.
  • Mr. Sargent will continue to pay $40.00 per week for his health insurance until he has paid the $420.00 owed.
  • The commissioners preferred to leave the health insurance deduction at $40.00 and keep the MSRS issue separate.


  • The RCC/9-1-1 monthly report was submitted via e-mail prior to the meeting. A report was distributed showing call data totals and Director Dunno explained the meaning of unaccounted for, landline calls. She went over each section of the report highlighting wireless call procedures.
  • Director Dunno submitted a Memorandum of Agreement between the State of Maine and the County of Hancock regarding communications at the Cadillac Mountain site.
  • Director Dunno requested that the commissioners wait a month before going forward with this agreement. She has several questions and needs more specific information as to responsibilities and detailed information; her focus is with the RCC and EMD frequencies only.
  • Commissioner Lawson was concerned with who would be responsible for the antennas.

MOTION: move to table the MOU regarding the Cadillac Mountain communications site for one month. (Lawson/Shea 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: move to reschedule the Ewing grievance hearing to 1:00 p.m. on August 11, 2008 and to reschedule the Shelton v. the Town of Trenton abatement hearing to August 11th at 3:00 p.m. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


  • The clerk presented the commissioners with three draft proposals for an exempt/elected wage scale, as requested by the 2007 Budget Advisory Committee members.
  • The commissioners were not convinced that the county needed a detailed formal policy.
  • Commissioner Shea was concerned with including the word occasionally in the policy.
  • Commissioner Brown inquired as to the average longevity of an employee.

MOTION: move the following exempt/elected pay policy. Salaries for exempt and elected employees will be negotiated at rates comparable to those positions at other counties in the state of Maine. Pay increases will include an annual COLA and occasionally a merit increase, if deemed appropriate by the commissioners in exceptional cases. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • The clerk requested approval of the assistant airport manager job description.

MOTION: move to accept the assistant airport manager job description the with the following modifications to section III: Four year college degree in aviation management or business administration, or in a related field plus three years aviation management experience or an acceptable equivalent combination of training and experience. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • The Clerk updated the commissioners on the budget timetable.

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

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