Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commissioner Shea called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 11, 2008in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth with commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance.

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: move to delete the Ewing grievance hearing from the agenda and reschedule the hearing. (Lawson/ motion failed for lack of 2nd)

MOTION: move to delete the union grievance hearing and the RCC supervisor discussion from the agenda. (Shea/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

9:05 a.m.
MOTION: move to enter into executive session to discuss a Registry of Deeds issue. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

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


MOTION: move to approve the minutes of the July 8, 2008 commissioners’ regular meeting as presented. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to establish the 2009 COLA for elected/exempt and non-exempt, non-union employees at 3%. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Register of Probate, Bonnie Cousins, noted the budget advisory committee requested a scale for elected and exempt employees for 2009.  It was explained that the commissioners took the position in the July 2008 regular meeting that occasionally merit increases will be given to elected/exempt employees.

MOTION: move to ratify the signed agreement with the Department of Public Safety to purchase MDEA services; noting that next year this contract should come before the commissioners for approval.  Commissioner Lawson added that the commissioners should sign all contracts. (Shea/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea stated his concerns regarding a shortage of funding in the Outside Contract Health Insurance account 12-05-506.  Other accounts that currently may have issues are account 20-05-300-Retiree Health Insurance and 11-60-200-Jail Medical.
  • Commissioner Brown questioned the deficiency in account 12-05-506.  Commissioner Shea explained that the sheriff budgeted for two agents; the treasurer budgeted for one.
  • Commissioner Shea stated that income appears to be falling short by $100,000.00.  A meeting of the department heads will be called in September to discuss this issue.
  • Commissioner Shea suggested making a larger appropriation to the 2009 budget to cover the cost of community corrections.


District Attorney Povich explained that Jessica St. Germain has joined the United States Army Reserves and he requested that she be replaced temporarily by Andrea Nunn.  Andrea’s temporary replacement would be Brenda Breeding.

MOTION: move to approve a leave of absence for Legal Secretary III, Jessica St. Germain, effective September 13, 2008 for the duration of approximately twenty-two weeks. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve part-time clerk, Andrea Nunn, to work out of classification as a full-time / temporary Legal Secretary III, during the absence of Jessica St. Germain, at a rate of $12.00 per hour; effective September 13, 2008, benefits to include vacation and sick time. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve the temporary transfer of Brenda Breeding to the District Attorney Office to fill the position of part-time clerk at the rate of $10.00 per hour, 20 hours a week, effective September 13, 2008. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea wished Jessica well in her service to our country.


  • The monthly Emergency Management Agency report was submitted prior to the meeting.
  • Director Pinkham clarified the hire of Bob McKenney and stated he should be treated as a contract worker while working on his current LEPC funded project.
  • EMA is currently putting together grant for assistance with emergency communications planning.  While working under said grant, Mr. McKenney would be considered a county employee, but for now, he will be working as a contractual employee for the LEPC.
  • Deputy Director Feury explained that Mr. McKenney has approximately 5 weeks of work left on his current LEPC funded project.  She stated that the LEPC has always prepared a HAZMAT plan.
  • Once the LEPC project is completed the Emergency Management Agency will utilize Mr. McKenney as a temporary/part-time county employee under an EMA local capacity grant.  This grant would cover planning and training for local municipalities, communications planning and training are available.  Mr. McKinney would begin his duties with communications and evacuation planning.
  • EMA originally planned to use a soft match of approximately $16.00 per hour.  Ms. Feury explained that if Mr. McKenney worked with county employees on this project, they could use county employee’s salaries as the soft match.  Deputy Director Feury requested up to $5,000.00 from technology reserve or professional services account in soft match funding.
  • Commissioner Shea stated the commissioners have been trying to determine the cost of graveyard shift/night time dispatching throughout the county, he suggested that Mr. McKenney work on this project as well and suggested paying him from the commissioners professional services account.
  • Commissioner Shea stated that the RCC Board of Directors has made it clear that we need a stronger Regional Communications Center.  We need to determine, from an infrastructure status, what needs to be done to bring the remaining 5 larger towns onboard.  He enthusiastically endorsed the request.

MOTION: move to approve funding of the soft match as requested by the Emergency Management Agency in the amount of $5,000.00, to be paid from the professional services account 04-30-200.  (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Shea applauded the first responders, Emergency Management Agency and various fire departments throughout the county for their services during the Northeast Harbor fire incident.


  • Airport Manager Cossette spoke to the commissioners regarding a grant award from the State of Maine, Department of Transportation in the amount of $11,635.00.   This grant is the State’s match for phase 2 of the Runway 4-22 safety areas design project referred to as AIP-25.   He recommended that the commissioners vote to accept the grant and authorize the chairman to sign the agreement.

MOTION: move to accept the grant offer from the State of Maine, Department of Transportation for AIP-25 in the amount of $11,635.00 and authorize the chairman to sign the agreement. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Airport Manager Cossette requested authorization for two people to attend the FAA biannual airports conference on October 27, 28, & 29, in Bedford, MA.  The estimated cost of registration fees, lodging and meals are approximately $500 per person.  Airport Manager Cossette stated he has sufficient funds in his travel budget to cover these costs.

MOTION: move to approve the Airport Manager’s request to addend the FAA biannual airport conference on October 27-29, 2008 in Bedford, MA at a cost of approximately $500.00 per person. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Airport Manager Cossette and Commissioner Brown have been discussing the need to replace the terminal boiler.   Commissioner Brown has estimated the cost of replacement of the 30 year old boiler at approximately $15,000.  Airport Manager Cossette requested authorization to solicit proposals for installation of a replacement system and recommended payment be made from the following three accounts:
Account 40-70-110 $3,000.00
Account 40-70-440 $4,111.00
Account 40-70-800  $3,000.00
TOTAL $8,811.00

The balance, approximately $6,189.00 would be paid from the airport’s undesignated fund balance.  A draft of the request for proposal has been written and will be discussed with Commissioner Brown before distribution.

MOTION: move that we send out a request for propoals to replace the airport boiler and that if the purchase exceeds $15,000.00 Airport Manager Cossette will bring this information to the commissioners attention during the September regular meeting.  (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Airport Manager Cossette distributed a property diagram along with a draft copy of a letter to a Trenton property owner, requesting the purchase of the 3 ½ +/- acre parcel.  This land purchase would bring the airport into compliance with current regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  A significant portion of this land lies within the runway safety zone.
  • Treasurer Crowley asked if the wetlands mitigation account could be used for the purchase of this property.  The answer was yes.

MOTION: to authorize Airport Manager Cossette to contact the property owner with regard to the purchase of the property. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


Treasurer Crowley stated that she was adamantly opposed to the recently approved outside contractor position in EMA.  She has contacted the IRS and the auditor and upon hearing their opinions both written and orally, she feels the person hired does not meet the established criteria of an outside contractor.  He does not carry the proper insurance; he does not own a place of business nor does he use his own tools to fulfill the job requirements, etc.  She stated that the county was wrong in how they have funded this position in the past and will be wrong in the future should the commissioners continue on this path; adding we have been very lucky in the past but noted it is the commissioner’s decision, they are responsible for the outcome.

  • Treasurer Crowley stated that the first tax payment has been received.  County cash flow projections were discussed.
  • Treasurer Crowley stated that CD rates have been so low that the UT certificate of deposit has been closed and a money market account was opened in its place.

MOTION: move the approval of payroll warrants #08-27, #08-28, #08-29, #08-30 and #08-31 in the amount of $347,987.26. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move the approval of expense warrants #008-022, #008-023 and #008-024 in the amount of $686,820.05. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move approval of the unorganized township warrant #1 in the amount of $26,898.06. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • According to the budget summary, expenses are high and revenues are low.
  • Commissioner Shea questioned the balance in the retiree health insurance account.
  • Commissioner Lawson questioned the balance of the outside detail account.
  • Commissioner Shea stated the real revenue problem area is in the registry of deeds.


  • Judge Patterson requested approval to attend the 2008 National College of Probate Judges in Savannah Georgia.

MOTION: move to approve Judge Patterson’s request to attend the 2008 National College of Probate Judges November 12-15, 2008 at the DeSoto Hilton in Savannah, GA. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


  • Sheriff Clark distributed the July 2008 jail board report showing an increase in jail revenues.
  • The 2009 jail budget was discussed.  Commissioner Shea noted that the legislature is responsible for any cost over and above the 2008 budget.

MOTION: move to hire Darren Nadeau of Brewer and Donna Miles of Otis as part-time, on-call corrections officers, effective August 16, 2008 at $12.00 per hour and approve the hire of Alan Smith of Ellsworth as a part-time deputy at $12.50 per hour, effective August 16, 2008. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to approve the signing of the Sheriff’s, Chief Deputy’s and Deputies’ Bond as presented. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move the request to remove administratively the following employees from the Jail and Sheriff’s department employment roster: Douglas A. Ashmore, Douglas Brundrett, Willie Dhority, Florence Fregeau, Joshua Gunn, Thomas E. Keaney, Douglas Massey, Shawn W. Murphy, Jedediah A. Philpot, Terry L. Robertson, Gail Smith and Gary R. Trask. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed

  • A brief discussion followed regarding regional police and fire services.

MOTION: move to approve the law enforcement contract for the Town of Stonington. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

  • Sheriff Clark asked the commissioners to approve a temporary pay grade increase for Eleanor Truesdale while she is acting as a shift supervisor during the absence of Sgt. Amy Smith.  Crystal Hobbs was elevated to this position during the July meeting but is no longer needed.

MOTION: move to approve a temporary pay grade increase for Correction’s Officer Eleanor Truesdale to the pay grade of sergeant, while she is acting as a shift supervisor during the absence of Sgt. Amy Smith. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed) The increase is $1.80 per hour.


  • The RCC/9-1-1 monthly report was submitted via e-mail prior to the meeting.  Director Dunno distributed additional account reconciliation, monthly 911 call averages and monthly call reports.  She stated dispatcher Jennifer Grant did a great job during the Northeast Harbor fire.
  • Director Dunno stated an investigation has generated excessive tape requests.  It took approximately 16 ½ hours to make copies of the requested tapes.  The requesting attorney would reimburse the county for this effort.
  • The Cadillac Mountain contract was discussed at length.  Director Dunno brought several clarifications, corrections and suggestions to the commissioner’s attention.  We need to check our liability insurance to see if we have adequate coverage for the tower.  Most coverage’s are between 1 million to 5 million dollars.
  • The clerk was instructed to provide an addendum stating the date the contract was signed.  January 1, 2008 is the effective date of the contract.

MOTION: move to approve the Memorandum of Agreement between the State of Maine Office of Information Technology, Radio Services and the Hancock County RCC/9-1-1, with the necessary addendum changing the effective date to January 1, 2008 through January 1, 2009, for mutual use of the Cadillac Mountain radio communications site. (Brown /Shea 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to appoint the RCC/9-1-1 Director, Linda Dunno as the facility manager for the Cadillac Mountain Tower site. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

11:10 a.m.: Break
11:30 a.m.: Back in session


  • Facilities Director Richard Davis briefly discussed a biohazard event and asked if there was anything they would like to add.  Commissioner Shea stated all three commissioners should be notified should a situation like this arise.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested a round table critique or post incident evaluation of what happened and how to improve future responses.  He stated that the commissioners are in charge of this building and state employees do not make these decisions.  The court system needs to be made aware of the policies in place.
  • Commissioner Shea suggested sending a formal request to courts asking if they have completed the necessary training regarding to the emergency preparedness plan.
  • Facilities Director Davis submitted an estimate of $8,550.00 for the removal of two trees located between the jail and district attorney’s office.  He is awaiting two additional estimates.  He stated heavy pruning should be done on an additional tree located close to the courthouse.
  • Commissioner Shea stated he was willing to donate oak trees from his property to replace the maples that will be removed.

MOTION: move to obtain a price on spraying and pruning the trees between the jail and the district attorney’s office. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

  • Facilities Director Davis will look into acquiring a tree spade and planting replacement trees in September.
  • The jail fuel meter has been separated from the courthouse system.
  • The domestic hot water boiler was discussed.  Facilities Director Davis has received an estimate of approximately $3,000.00 to purchase a domestic hot water boiler for the jail. 
  • Fuel oil prices were discussed.
  • Facilities Director Davis requested adding three rooms located in the sheriff’s department to the generator.

MOTION: move approval to connect three rooms of the sheriff’s department to the generator, as requested. (Brown/Shea 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: a discussion followed regarding adding the first floor offices of the courthouse to the generator.


  • The commissioners were asked to convene the Compensation Advisory Committee to review job descriptions and wages.
  • Commissioner Lawson will reconvene the Compensation Advisory Committee as requested.

The commissioners scheduled the tax appeal hearing for Samsara Memorial Trust v. the Town of Frenchboro for the November regular meeting.


The Ewing grievance hearing was rescheduled for September 9th at 1:00 p.m.


  • Commissioner Lawson scheduled her BAC election caucus for September 11, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the Trenton Town Office.
  • Commissioner Shea scheduled his caucus for September 9th at 4:00 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room.
  • Commissioner Brown will call in his caucus dates after referring to his schedule.

MOTION: the commissioners recognized Judie Dannenberg’s 20 years of service as a Legal Secretary I in the District Attorney’s Office. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • The commissioners will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 4:00.  A preliminary budget review along with the scheduling of departmental budgets will be discussed.
  • Commissioner Lawson has met with the 3rd party donations sub-committee members and reported that this group will meet with the 3rd party donations representatives and forward their opinions on to the commissioners for inclusion in the 2009 county budget.

1:15 p.m. Recess until 3:00.
3:00 p.m.: Back in session

3:01 p.m.: Sheldon v. the Town of Trenton Abatement Hearing:
Commissioner Shea swore in the participants and testimony was heard.  The hearing was recorded on audiotape and is available upon request.

Commissioner Shea stated he would prefer to recess the hearing with the recommendation that Mr. Shelton file his 2007 appeal to the Town of Trenton in the amount of $931.80.  At that time Mr. Shelton can either ask the commissioner to continue or close the hearing.  He recessed the hearing at 4:06 p.m.  The hearing will either be continued or closed at Mr. Shelton’s request.

4:10 p.m.

MOTION: move to adjourn.

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