Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown, Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1, 2009in the conference room of the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioner’s Lawson and Joy in attendance.

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: to add item 8-A: to schedule a tax appeal hearing for the February commissioners meeting. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: move to add item 7-H: a discussion on purchasing a new battery back up for the sheriff’s department server. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve minutes of the November 3, 2009 commissioners’ regular meeting and November 4, 9, and 20, 2009 special meetings. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Time Trak

  • Commissioner Joy stated that the purpose of the discussion was for those department heads who would like to discuss Time Trak.
  • Sheriff Clark stated that they should have to ability to make changes. Federal Labor laws state that employees have to declare hours worked which includes a signature.
  • Sheriff Clark stated that if an employee is late leaving work, depending on the time of the punch, the clock will default the number up 15 minutes which will create overtime. He would like permission to change the punch so that it does not indicate overtime or add a punch if the employee was not able to punch in on time due to a delay in helping another department.
  • Commissioner Joy stated that a policy needs to be developed to limit the frequency of the changes.
  • Interim airport manager Navia stated that an asterisk notes when a change has been made and a space is available to comment on the change that was made.
  • CFO Roy stated changing an employee’s punch is a violation against FLSA.
  • Commissioner Joy feels that a policy needs to be developed and stated three major concerns: 1. the need to have photos taken. Time Trak is the adopted program and the photo option is part of this system 2. The memo should have indicated that employees may not be paid rather than will not be paid. The department heads need to help enforce this. 3. Can the department head change the punches? Commissioner Joy feels the department head should be able to change punches, but limit the frequency.

MOTION: to approve the appointment of Julia Ventresco of Ellsworth for a three year term to the Washington Hancock Community Agency Board of Directors. (Lawson/Joy, 3-0 motion passed)

Emergency Management Agency:

  • Director Pinkham asked the commissioners if they had any questions as he had submitted the Emergency Management Agency monthly report prior to the meeting.
  • Seasonal flue and H1N1 flu shots are in short supply. School children and pregnant women have first priority.
  • Commissioner Lawson asked what the winter field day is. Director Pinkham will research and report back to the commissioners with more information.


  • Interim airport manager, Allison Navia, discussed a situation regarding vessels being stored in the parking lot or near the seaplane ramp and boat launch. She has requested that the commissioners vote to accept revisions that have been made to the seaplane ramp regulations in order to have them become part of the BHB Operations, Procedures, and Policies Manual.
  • Commissioner Brown stated that a public meeting had been held in the past to discuss this issue. If these persons wish to use the ramp, rules need to be made. Commissioner Brown suggested holding a public meeting to inform those who may be unaware of these rules before a new policy is put in place. Commissioner Brown suggested advertising the meeting in the Working Waterfront newspaper.
  • Interim airport Navia stated that permission needs to be granted along with a monthly fee for boat storage.
  • Commissioner Joy suggested speaking with the Sheriff to see if he would be able to enforce trespassing laws.
  • Interim airport manager Navia apologized for not requesting permission to attend a scoping meeting in Burlington, MA regarding the safety area on runway 22. She also requested approval to attend an ANE compliance workshop in Burlington, MA. This workshop covers new FAA orders that set policies for grants and assurances from the FAA.

MOTION: to approve out of state travel to Burlington, MA on December 9, 2009 in order to attend an ANE Compliance Workshop. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Interim airport manager Navia explained that two tests performed on the drinking water has found arsenic in the water which is above the acceptable level for drinking and a filtering system will need to be installed.
  • Commissioner Brown requested that another test be performed by North East to dip the well directly.
  • Commissioner Joy feels the water filter should be installed since there have been two failed tests.
  • Commissioner Brown was curious about the liability for not treating the entire building if a person should drink from a non potable source. Interim airport manager Navia has stickers prepared to indicate the water as non drinkable.

Office of Financial Affairs:

MOTION: to approve the jail warrant #10-07 in the amount of $103,554.85 and the Unorganized Territory expense warrant #10-08 in the amount of $4,562.75 for a combined total of $108,117.60. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the request for transfer of budgeted funds from account E10-50-700 DARE program to account E10-01-500 Patrol OT in the amount of $321.15. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the request for transfer of budgeted funds from account E10-50-430 UAD Planning commissioner to account E10-01-500 Patrol OT in the amount of $228.24. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve general fund expense warrants #09-33 and #09-34 handwritten warrants in the amount of $126,483.08. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve general fund airport expense warrant #09-35 in the amount of $533,205.83. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve general fund warrant #09-36 in the amount of $639,220.89. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve general fund payroll warrants #09-44 and #09-47 in the aggregate amount of $284,213.63. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed.)

  • CFO Roy recommended that funds in account 3010-20 unanticipated governmental budget modifications be split by transferring $100,000.00 into account 3011-00 county building renovation, $40,000.00 into account 3011-06 professional services, and $42,123.00 into account 3011-01 technology reserve.

MOTION: move to divide funds from account 3010-20 unanticipated governmental budget modifications in the amount of $182,123.00 by transferring $100,000.00 into account 3011-00 county building renovation, $40,000.00 into account 3011-06 professional services and $42,123.00 into account 3011-01 technology reserve. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Joy questioned the need for funds in the technology reserve account. CFO Roy stated that an upgraded phone system is needed.
  • The commissioners received the six month jail audit and Unorganized Territory audit.


  • Director Wellman asked if the commissioners had any questions regarding her monthly report.
  • Director Wellman stated she has received seven applicants for the part time position.
  • Appreciation certificates have been mailed.
  • Tremont is considering joining the HCRCC if Southwest Harbor comes on board.

Registry of Deeds:

  • Register Curtis will present an update on the in house copy fees at the budget workshop.
  • The month of November recorded the largest collected revenue this year.
  • Material has been received to issue passports. Register Curtis stated that a camera will need to be purchased. She will contact Aptitude to have a report generated to account the revenue received.
  • Because the Register of Deeds charges a zero fee for copies, CFO Roy and Register Curtis will consider the best way to reimburse people who have unused balances on their website accounts.


  • Deputy Chief Bishop was present to discuss a seminar designed for law enforcement executives and supervisors. Sheriff Clark requested approval of $550.00 to send Tim Cote to this seminar in Connecticut. The fee needs to be received by December 31, 2009. His concern is how the training will be funded.
  • CFO Roy stated that the county will be receiving $12,000.00 from the town of Milbridge for reimbursement of training due to hiring a past officer. These funds will be placed intothe miscellaneous revenue account for the sheriff’s department.
  • Commissioner Brown recommended overdrawing the training account with the understanding that funds will be received to offset the amount.
  • Sheriff Clark would like to place the unused portion of the $12,000.00 into a training reserve. CFO Roy confirmed that a training reserve is in existence.

MOTION: to approve the executive development seminar training for Tim Cote in Connecticut in the amount of $550.00 to be paid from the training account with the understanding that this account will be overdrawn. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the resignation of full-time corrections officer Debra Z. Jones, effective November 22, 2009 and remain as a part time/on call corrections officer at $12.00 per hour. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to promote part time corrections officer April Hatch of Clifton as a full time corrections officer effective December 5, 2009 at step 9C, $14.87 per hour. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Warren Dowling of Ellsworth as a part time, on call corrections officer effective December 5, 2009 at $12.00 per hour. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Roger Smith of Clifton as a part time, on call corrections officer effective December 5, 2009 at $12.00 per hour. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Sheriff Clark discussed the possibility of abolishing one of the assistant jail administrator’s positions and replacing the position with an administrative assistant.
  • AJA Wayne Cross has agreed to accept the sergeant position, reducing his hourly wage and becoming a union employee. Corrections Officer Truesdale, who has been acting as a sergeant, will return to her previous position of corporal. Records clerk, Frank Shepard, will become an administrative assistant causing the need to advertise for a jail clerk.
  • The county clerk stated that she would like a job description for the new position of administrative assistant. Sheriff Clark stated he would have a job description ready by the end of the week.
  • The commissioners will wait to see the description of this position before acting on the sheriff’s request to fill it.
  • Sheriff Clark questioned the commissioners need to have copies of the sheriff’s department operating policies and procedures. Commissioner Brown stated that the commissioners did not have a copy of them and asked the sheriff to provide a copy of them to have on file with the rest of the county policies and procedures. The sheriff stated that the sheriff’s policies and procedures are not a public access document due to information that could breach public security. The policies and procedure that are on file are required by the academy. Sheriff Clark stated that the policy and procedures will be made available if the commissioners would like to look at them in the sheriff’s department.
  • Administrative Assistant Michelle Cote explained the need to purchase a new battery back up that backs up the Spillman system. Presently, the Spillman system is using the phone system battery back up.

MOTION: move to approve the purchase of a battery back up in the amount of $1,252.00 to be taken from account E10-30-325. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

New Business:

MOTION: move to set a tax appeal hearing for Henderson v. Town of Penobscot for February 2, 2010 at 1:00pm. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

11:30 recess

11:40 back in session

Old Business:

  • DA Michael Povich was present to discuss the replacement of the server at the DA’s office. He stated that a $65,000.00 grant was received from the Justice Assistance Council. A server tree to which everyone will be connected will be housed in Augusta. A server is needed for non Justware business. A fiber cable needs to be run from the DA’s office to the courthouse server room for direct connection.
  • Washington County will no longer be connected to the Hancock county server. They will connect to the Augusta server.

District Attorney:

  • District Attorney Povich stated that Jessica St. Germain will move temporarily to the VWA position. Interviews for the Legal Secretary III position have been conducted. The Legal Secretary III position will be considered temporary full-time.
  • District Attorney Povich stated that Rosemary Campbell’s part-time hours will be increased from 20 hours per week to 24 hours per week.


MOTION: move to go into executive session under title 405 6-A to discuss a union issue. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

12:25 back in session

12:26 break

12:54 back in session


  • Commissioner Brown called the deliberations for the Lawrence v. the Town of Auror. Commissioner Joy stated that Mr. Lawrence did not present a credible case against the Town of Aurora and feels the commissioners should deny the appeal.
  • Commissioner Brown stated that Mr. Lawrence said the land was not suitable for building but the land has two buildings on it as well as a gray water draining system.

MOTION: move that we deny the Lawrence tax appeal against the Town of Aurora 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 either (1) that the property was substantially overvalued and an injustice resulted; (2) that there was unjust discrimination, or (3) that the assessment was fraudulent, dishonest or illegal. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed0

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

County Clerk:

MOTION: to approve the FY2010 non-union employees’ holiday schedule as presented. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405-6(A), for the purpose of conducting two department head evaluations. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

2:55 back in session

The commissioners scheduled a budget workshop on December 14, 2009 at 9:00 AM to finalize the budget.

3:10 pm

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

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