Commissioners Regular Meeting

Chairman, Percy L. Brown Jr., called the regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6, 2009in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Joy and Lawson in attendance.

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: to add item 6h, the approval of a transfer for the purchase of ballistic vest. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the September 1, 2009 commissioners’ regular meeting, September 14, 16 18, 23 and 28, 2009 commissioners’ budget workshops and September 21 and 25 commissioners’ special meetings. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


  • Commissioner Joy asked about the delay in receiving the H1N1 vaccine.
  • Commissioner Lawson asked if recertification was needed for NIMS training.
  • Grant funds are available to replace planner, Jeanine Neipert. Robert McKenney is qualified for the position but his time is limited.

MOTION: to accept resignation of Jeanine Neipert, effective September 12, 2009. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to authorize the chairman to execute the contract between the MDOT and the County of Hancock for the MDOT’s share of the land purchase project of AIP 28 in the amount of $8,776. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to execute the contract between the MDOT and the County of Hancock in the amount of $78,595 for the Runway Safety Area and Pavement Marking Projects, both of which are AIP 29. (Joy/Lawson 3-0,.motion passed)

MOTION: authorize the chairman to execute a Notice to Proceed, dated September 14, 2009, with Harold MacQuinn for the Runway Safety Area Improvements AIP 29. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: authorize the chairman to execute a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Department of Interior National Park Service, Friends of Acadia, and the Hancock County – Bar Harbor Airport for wetland mitigation on the AIP 29 RSA Project in the amount of $220,000. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • A discussion followed regarding timely payment for this project. This request will be paid from the general fund and be received by November 1, 2009.
  • Commissioner Lawson asked why we were not utilizing sheriff’s department employees to provide this security service as this is potential income for county employees. Several questions followed regarding scheduling and hours. The average hours worked between the current two officers is 76 hours per week. The pay for this position is $27.51 per hour. The county is reimbursed for the majority of the cost.

MOTION: to approve the Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. contract, for the period of 10/01/09 to 10/01/2010. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed.)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy would like to have a discussion with the sheriff regarding providing airport security services in 2010.

  • CFO Roy suggested signing a 6 month contract and to put the sheriffs department on notice to take over services.
  • Commissioner Joy asked if we would have to pay the current TSA wage. The answer was no. He clarified that there was no income involved and that this would be a way to keep county employees employed.
  • Commissioner Brown stated that discussions with the sheriff would be needed and in his opinion, the change would take at least a year to implement.

MOTION: to reappoint Roger Sargent to the airport advisory committee. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Interim airport manager, Allison Navia, presented the commissioners with the new airport logo depicting a larger twin engine airplane, the runway, Cadillac Mountain in the background and BHB in the center.
  • Commissioner Brown stated that the yellow pages to not contain a phone number for the Hancock County–Bar Harbor Airport.
  • The road construction in front of the airport is going very slowly. There have been several delays and telephone calls have not been returned. The original project was supposed to take 120 days from start to finish. A custom made culvert has been made to fit the stream. An American eel was found in the stream, requiring the custom culvert to align with the bend of the stream. Due to this delay, the project will not be completed on time and change orders will be requested. The affect of moving the localizer antenna, the repercussion of which is no commercial service in inclement weather, was discussed at length. They are hoping to have the localizer antenna back in operation by November 15, 2009.
  • A tax bill has been received for the recent property purchase. An appeal has been filed. A gift in lieu of taxes was discussed. The tax appeal could not be heard by the county commissioners, it would have to go directly to Superior Court. Commissioner Lawson suggested offering the town $700 in lieu of taxes. Assessor’s Agent, Gary Geagan was not helpful in the abatement request.


  • Commissioner Lawson requested that the UT expense warrant be separated from the jail warrant beginning in November.

MOTION: to approve the jail and Unorganized Territory expense warrant #10-05 in the aggregate amount of $24,494.61. $812.91 is the UT portion. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve general fund expense warrants #009-30 and #009-31 in the aggregate amount of $315,154.49. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve general fund payroll warrants #09-36, #09-37, #09-38-1, #09-38-2, #09-39-1 and #09-39-2 in the aggregate amount of $291,418.38. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed.)

  • The CFO requested to replace the fax machine in the commissioners’ office with a scanner, fax, finisher, all in one inclusive, with a life expectancy of 3-5 years. The cost would be $1,000.

MOTION: to approve an expenditure from capital reserve account 6-1-3012-20 Commissioners Copier in the amount of $1,000. (Lawson/Joy 2-1, motion passed, Brown opposed.)

Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that within this current budget pinch, he didn’t feel that the purchase of this item was prudent. He preferred to purchase a comparative priced fax machine rather than upgrade the copier. This would be a potential savings to the county of approximately $4,000 - $5,000.

MOTION: to approve a transfer from account 10-50-430 Under Age Drinking account to the sheriff’s department Overtime account 10-01-500 account in the amount of $1,412.86. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • CFO Roy requested to spend $8,859.69 to purchase a server for the district attorneys office; this represents one half of the cost as Washington County will be paying an equal amount. A 5-year plan was recommended in order to properly house and replace the district attorney’s technology equipment.
  • Commissioner Joy was not in favor of putting this equipment in a bad area. A room needs to be built to house this equipment.

MOTION: to approve expenditures for the District Attorney’s server, from capital reserve account G-1-3011-01, Courthouse Technology, in the amount of $8,859.69. (Lawson/motion failed for lack of second)

  • Commissioner Brown was concerned with the location of the servers; it has been proven to be a bad location. He was also concerned with the bid process.
  • Commissioner Joy was concerned if there was enough room in the conduit to run CAT 5 cable from the district attorney’s office to the courthouse.
  • Commissioner Lawson felt the need was great and that the commissioners have an obligation to replace the equipment.
  • District Attorney Povich stated that a justice assistance grant has been received for a Justware centralized server.

MOTION: to table the discussion to purchase a server for the district attorney’s office until the November commissioners regular meeting. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to tentatively approve an energy audit at a cost of up to $12,000, if we receive notice that we will receive the grant, funds to come from account the building capital reserve account. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Currently, there are 17 towns that have not submitted their county tax money for FY09.


MOTION: to accept the resignation of part-time employee Althea Baker, effective September 12, 2009. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • RCC Director Wellman presented the commissioners with updated bi-laws for their approval.
  • Commissioner Brown questioned whether the committee should be named the technical advisory committee or advisory committee. Commissioner Lawson thought it was more than a technical advisory committee. Commissioner Brow also thought the members should be nominated by each group, not appointed.
  • Dissolving the current board of directors was discussed. A meeting of the board of directors will be held on October 26, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. a certificate of appreciation will be presented to each member at that meeting.
  • Commissioner Lawson asked if the commissioners should vote to dissolve the board of directors, at the current time, or to accept the revised HRCC by-laws. Commissioner Brown was hesitant to dissolve the board of directors without meeting with them first. Commissioner Joy agreed.
  • The commissioners suggested accepting the bylaws with suggested changes.

10:59 a.m.: Break

11:07 a.m.: Back in session


  • Sheriff William Clark updated the commissioners on his progress in constructing the FY11 jail budget. The overall cost of administration has been reduced due to a reduction in the Assistant Jail Administrator account. The present records clerk will become the new executive assistant and a new records clerkwill be hired. Sheriff Clark is unsure as to where one of the assistant jail administrators will fall in the proposed FY11 budget, but assured the commissioners that no one will lose their job over this budget.
  • Sheriff Clark was confident that the 2010 budget will come in under the Board of Corrections required cap.
  • The FY10-11 budget presented is a first draft.

MOTION: to approve the first draft, FY10-11 jail budget, as presented. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: maintenance is included in this budget.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Kevin Fitzgerald of Orland as a part time on call cook, effective 10/06/09 at $12.00 an hour. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of April Hatch of Clifton as a part time on call correction officer, effective October 6, 2009, at $12.00 an hour. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of part time corrections officer Karen Brasslett of Glenburn to temporary full time corrections officer at 9A, $14.01. Benefits to be consistent with a probationary full-time employee, according to the personnel policy. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked if holiday benefits included her birthday. The sheriff requested benefits consistent with a tenured corrections officer of the same rank. Commissioner Lawson suggested that the sheriff word his request as such. Commissioner Brown disagreed with the sheriff’s request and asked for clarification.

MOTION: to affirm the hire Jeffrey Turcotte of Arundel as part time deputy at $12.50 an hour effective September 26, 2009. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Sheriff Clark requested reimbursement of tuition cost of Officer Benjamin Astbury to City of Ellsworth in the amount of $6,000. Commissioner Brown suggested taking the cost from the account E10-07-600 Training and to over draft the account.

MOTION: to reimburse the City of Ellsworth for Officer Benjamin Astbury’s Maine Criminal Justice Academy training, in the amount of $6,000.00, from account E10-07-600 Training and agrees to overdraw that line. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Sheriff Clark presented the commissioners with an estimate of $5,285, from contractor E. Skip Grindle, to repair the jail’s exercise retaining wall. This fix would involve sealing and should last approximately 15 years. An estimate for scaffold related equipment, rental, erection, dismantle and transportation was submitted in the amount of $10,780 from Seacoast Scaffold and Equipment Corp. The work should be done prior to the winter season. The sheriff requested to approve the request under sole sourcing and to begin work immediately.
  • Commissioner Lawson was bothered by not putting the job out to bid.
  • The top three courses of block will be replaced and waterproofing material will be included in the concrete work.
  • Commissioner Brown agreed with Commissioner Lawson’s worry about not putting the job out to bid due to the recent law suit paid out by Hancock County. Sheriff Clark disagreed and stated that the statutes allow for single sourcing.
  • Commissioner Lawson suggesting postponing the decision in order to get a legal opinion from our attorney on the validity of the sole sourcing argument.

MOTION: to purchase 13 ballistic vests for the cost of approximately $8,515 plus shipping and handling. $2,805 to come from account G1-3022 and the difference will come from account E10-50-420 Ballistic Vests. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Sheriff Clark informed the commissioners that winter uniforms need to be purchased at the cost of $1,400. Due to the spending freeze he wanted to let the commissioners know about this purchase.

12:00: Break for lunch.

12:25: Commissioner Joy excused himself.

12:30 Back in session.

County Clerk:

MOTION: to authorize the Nicatous Lodge and Camps Project Certification. (Lawson/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to renew the 2010 CBE Technologies contract in the amount of $28,639.75. (Lawson/Brown 2-0, motion passed)

Discussion: It was clarified that this was a renewal of the contract. Commissioner Lawson would like for employees to know a little more about their own computers and how to trouble shoot problems.

  • Commissioner Joy asked if Time Trak should be included in the policy. Commissioner Lawson did not think so as the policy may outlast the method of time keeping.

MOTION: to approve the revised Appointed Exempt Employee Policy regarding vacation time with the understanding that grammatical corrections will be made to the document. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown called the deliberations for the Harris v. the Town of Blue Hill. Commissioner Lawson found that the assessors’ valuation was not manifestly wrong, it was not unjust, there was not any discrimination and she did not find anything dishonest or illegal in how the town did their evaluation. Her recommendation was to deny the appeal.

Commissioner Joy stated that the appraisal service did not use an arbitrary method to appraise the Harris property. He felt that the Harris’s were treated equally and believed the Teal property was a lesser property that appeared to be different.

Commissioner Brown agreed with commissioners Lawson and Joy. He understood what the town tried to do in coming around the island. He did not find anything wrong with the methodology by which the property was valued. He found that the Town of Blue Hill did not discriminate or used an unfair methodology and understood how they viewed the salt pond in their methodology and agreed to deny the abatement.

MOTION: that we deny the Harris appeal on the basis that we did not find that the taxpayer presented credible, affirmative evidence that the assessor’s valuation was manifestly wrong, by demonstrating (1) the property was substantially overvalued and an injustice resulted; (2) there was unjust discrimination, or (3) the assessment was fraudulent, dishonest or illegal. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

The commissioners’ decision may be appealed to the Superior Court.

1:14 p.m.: Recess

2:00 p.m.: Back in session


Commissioner Brown called the grievance hearing, brought by the sheriff’s and RCC union regarding bi-weekly payroll, to order at 2:00 p.m. with Commissioners Joy and Lawson in attendance. Teamsters Business Agent Kenneth Eaton and shop stewards, Rolly Means, Troy Richardson and Corey Bagley were also in attendance. An audio tape of the hearing is available upon request.

Teamsters Union Business Agent Kenneth Eaton considered the hearing of a personal nature and requested an executive session under MRSA Title 1 ss.405 6(1).

Commissioner Brown called for a motion to enter into executive session. There was none.

Commissioner Joy asked which part of MRSA 1 ss.405 6(1) would damage the reputation of any employee. Teamsters Business Agent Eaton stated there will be three individuals speaking on the hardships bi-weekly payroll will cause. All three shop stewards wanted the hearing to be held in executive session. Shop Steward Rolly Means stated that he did not want the hearing held in open session due to negative articles in the press and held up one as an example.

MOTION: to enter into executive session at the request of people whose reputation may be in danger. (Lawson/Joy 0-3, motion denied)

Discussion: Commissioner Brown requested to sequester the witnesses. Teamsters Business Agent questioned this request. Commissioner Lawson asked if the witnesses were requesting an executive session for themselves individually or as a group. The answer was as a group. Mr. Eaton stated that the shop stewards speak on behalf of the group. Commissioner Joy stated that the case should be presented in an open session and witness testimony could be heard in an executive session. Commissioner Joy stated, an employees pay is public information, he was trying to figure out what would be damaging to the individuals that would warrant an executive session. Commissioner Lawson reiterated that the commissioners would hear the grievance in open session and their personal information in an executive session. CFO Roy stated that the press has not been notified of an executive session, under Title 1. Therefore the grievance can not be held in executive session.

2:23 p.m.: Teamsters Business Agent Eaton requested a short recess.

2:26 p.m.: Back in session.

Teamsters Business Agent Kenneth Eaton stated that the union members have agreed to participate in the hearing in open session and that the union will be seeking to rectify the issue by any means necessary. An audio tape of the hearing is available from the commissioners’ office, upon request. Commissioner Lawson asked if the union would like to continue the SO/RCC bi-weekly pay hearing to the November meeting in order to hear witness testimony. The answer was no, the union rests.

Commissioner Brown closed the hearing at 2:41 p.m., a written response will be issued in ten days.

2:43 p.m.

Commissioner Brown called the grievance hearing brought by the courthouse union regarding bi-weekly payroll to order at 2:43 p.m. with Commissioners Joy and Lawson in attendance. Shop Stewards attending the hearing were Judith Dannenberg, H. Lincoln Ehrlenbach, Troy Richardson, Corey Bagley and Ralston Means. Correction’s Officer Brad Ewing was also in attendance. An audio tape of the hearing is available upon request.

Teamsters Business Agent Kenneth Eaton requested an executive session. Commissioner Brown called for a motion to enter into executive session. Commissioner Lawson offered to stay the hearing until the November commissioners’ regular meeting in order to allow for an executive session if said testimony would cause damage to the reputation or the individual’s right to privacy would be violated.

2:46 p.m.: Business Agent Eaton asked for a short recess.

2:47 p.m.: Back in session.

Teamsters Business Agent Kenneth Eaton requested to take Commissioner Lawson up on her offer to request to stay with regard to the courthouse union bi-weekly payroll grievance hearing to the November commissioners’ regular meeting. The requested stay was granted.

2:50 p.m.

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A) in order to hear discussions in a termination hearing. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

2:59 p.m.: Recess

3:03 p.m. Back in session

3:10 p.m.

Commissioner Brown called the meeting back into session

It was determined that the pre-termination hearing will be rescheduled for November 3, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.

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

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