Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commissioner Percy L. Brown Jr. called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 6, 2010in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Lawson and Joy in attendance.

The commissioners presented Emergency Management Director Ralph Pinkham with his 10 year service award.

The commissioners opened the following RFQ’s for airport consultant services. They will be reviewed by the airport advisory committee and recommendations will be presented at the May commissioners regular meeting. Sebego Technic from Westbrook Maine, Fay, Spoffard & Thorndike, Inc., Stantec Consulting, Inc. and Hoyle Tanner and Associates


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the March 2, 2010 commissioners’ regular meeting as presented. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • CFO Roy stated that he had no change from what was discussed at the March meeting. He has not been able to meet with the sheriff’s administrative assistant to discuss gas cards. Dead River Company is still planning on closing their pumps.
  • New credit cards have been distributed to courthouse credit card users.
  • Implementation of gas cards was discussed. Sheriff Clark preferred utilizing Shell gasoline at Friends and Family Market once they obtain their Shell qualifications.
  • EMA Director Pinkham has used the new Comdata card once. He felt that if the card user practiced discipline, the card would work well.
  • Segregation of bills, reporting, daily cost of gas, and federal and state taxes was discussed.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested, once again, that the stakeholders get together to discuss this and report back to the commissioners at the May meeting.
  • CFO Roy stated that auditor Kathleen Tyson of Runyon Kersteen and Ouellette conducted an audit of the county financials on March 29-April 1, 2010. She will be returning on April 26 and 27 to finish her assessment.
  • A Cafeteria 125 plan is being worked on and will be presented at the May meeting.
  • A 6.9 million dollar liability was brought to light, due to the actuary process, relating to retiree health insurance. This situation will be discussed when the auditor presents her final report.
  • Clerk DePrenger stated that 5 employees and Malcolm Ulmer have volunteered to sit on the health insurance advisory committee. The first meeting is scheduled for April 23rd at 9:00 a.m. Commissioner Joy discussed topics to be discussed at the meeting. Complaints will be heard but the goal is to make the existing company/plan work better and to assess the cost, if necessary, to change companies and or health care policies. Retiree benefits will also be assessed and discussed.


MOTION: to table the signing of the courthouse union collective bargaining agreement until the May meeting, due to ongoing negotiations with the SO/RCC unit and issues that have been brought to light in negotiations. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

It was Commissioner Joy’s intention to make the .50 cent night differential retroactive to the April meeting.

  • The definition of full-time, for the purpose of qualifying for benefits, was discussed. I was agreed that a workweek was standard hours worked within a 7 day period.
  • Commissioner Lawson stated that full-time is defined in the union contracts.
  • Currently, the personnel policy defines full-time as 32.5 hours per week. The commissioners would like for all employees to work a minimum of 37.5 to 40 hours per week to qualify for benefits. If less hours are requested or required a contract would be negotiated.
  • Sheriff Clark and Airport Manager Navia felt that the current 32.5 hour policy should not be changed.
  • Commissioner Joy stated that a 32.5 hour work week was a low threshold. He would like to see employees work at least 37.5 hours per week in order to receive benefits.
  • Sheriff Clark suggested making the definition of full-time 35 hours per week. Commissioner Lawson agreed with him.
  • Commissioner Joy stated that the current 35 hour a week employee could be exempted and the commissioners could make 37.5 hours per week full-time.
  • Airport Manager Navia suggested a lower threshold than 37.5 hours due to the additional cost of having employees work 5 extra hours per week.
  • Regular part-time hours were discussed.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested sending the information back to the clerk for more research, he stated that the policy needed to be fixed, not patched.


  • Commissioner Brown inquired about an issue involving the Moose Island causeway in Stonington. The state mitigation office has been contacted for assistance.

MOTION: to hire Linda Feury as a contractual planner in the Emergency Management Agency, effective April 10, 2010 at the rate of $28 per hour, not to exceed 120 hours a month with no benefits. Said wages will be paid through a grant. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy wanted to clarify that this position would be paid, fully, with grant funds.


  • Representatives from Hoyle Tanner and Associates updated the commissioners on the progress of the 04 Safety Area project and presented the design and plans for the Runway 22 project. A diagram was presented for visual clarification.

  • Commissioner Joy was concerned with how the timeline would impact the project. He suggested moving the project to later in October or early November.

MOTION: to authorize the airport manager to negotiate and enter into a contract with Hoyle Tanner and Associates for the construction phase of Runway Safety Area 22 project. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: the chairman would sign the contract. Commissioner Brown requested clarification as to how the airport manager would negotiate the contract. Commissioner Joy requested a copy of the last page of the agreement.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the grant application for the Runway Safety Area 22 project. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • The airport manager is currently in negotiations with Loomacres for the Wildlife Hazard Assessment.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign a contract with Loomacres for the Wildlife Hazard Assessment. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the Notice to Proceed with the Wildlife Hazard Assessment. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Airport manager M. Allison Navia stated that Mr. Keeney has moved both of his barges onto moorings. The Missing Link is still beached. She requested guidance to remove The Missing Link and to further prevent a situation like this from reoccurring.
  • Signs have been erected along the beach stating that no parking on the beach is permitted.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested that a certified letter with return receipt be sent by the commissioners asking for the Missing Link to be immediately removed from county property. The Department of Lands would provide final notice of eviction.
  • Airport manager Navia requested to charge the barge owner while the vessel is beached. Her request was not addressed.

MOTION: to continue to pursue Mr. Smith to remove the Missing link and to pursue all avenues to do so. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to establish the airport manager’s salary at $50,000. (Lawson/ motion died for lack of 2nd)

MOTION: to establish the airport manager’s salary at $48,000. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed) Lawson opposed.

Discussion: Commissioner Lawson felt that $48,000 was low, she was not in favor of the motion. The increase is retroactive to the February 2010 commissioners’ regular meeting.

10:51 a.m.: Recess

10:57 a.m. Back in session


MOTION: to move item 6g into the maintenance discussion. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Facilities Director Richard Davis discussed the five-year plan and requested authorization to seal the exterior of the building and replace the roof membrane over the sheriff’s department.

MOTION: to authorize the facilities director to put out an RFP to seal the exterior envelope of the building (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the facilities director to put out an RFP to replace the roof membrane over the sheriff’s department. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Due to financial reasons, CFO Roy requested that this project take place during the fall.

  • The five year plan will be updated shortly.
  • Facilities Director Davis requested authorization to install a security gate by the superior court clerks’ office.

MOTION: to have the facilities director investigate the cost of installing a security gate, to be installed by the superior court clerk’s office. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Director Davis requested authorization to install a security lock on the lobby door of the sheriff’s department

MOTION: to authorize the facilities director to look into installing a security lock on the lobby door of the sheriff’s department that incorporates an electric buzzer to open the door. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • The tile in front of superior court has been removed.
  • Facilities Director Davis stated that bricks are hanging off the back roof of the Old Jail, thus creating a hazardous situation. Linda Grindle of the Ellsworth Historical Society will be contacted and asked to rectify the issue as soon as possible.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested inviting her to the May commissioners meeting to discuss the problems with the building.
  • The Energy Grant RFP’s have been received and reviewed. Interviews have been conducted with the top three companies. CFO Roy recommended that the commissioners approve the recommendation of Woodard and Curran as energy auditors utilizing option B, at a cost of $45,500.
  • Commissioner Lawson requested verification that Option B included funding support.
  • Commissioner Joy requested clarification involving grant writing benefits and the cost associated with them.
  • Commissioner Brown stated that most of the Woodard and Curran presentation was boiler plated language. He requested exact language regarding specific assistance.
  • The commissioner Brown suggested inviting representatives from Woodard ad Curran to make a presentation at the May meeting.

MOTION: to initially select the firm of Woodard and Curran to conduct the energy audit and to request a full scope of work provided. (Joy/ motion withdrawn for lack of second)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy stated that this motion is pending the full scope of work.

MOTION: accept the recommendation of the energy grant committee and to invite the firm of Woodard and Curran to speak about a more comprehensive plan as soon as possible. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to disqualify the late Energy Grant bids from EMG and Applied Energy Management. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the general fund bi-weekly payroll warrant #10-10 and #10-12 in the aggregate amount of $276,244.50. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve general fund expense warrants #10-10 through #10-13 in the aggregate amount of $416,149.42. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve jail and UT expanse warrants #10-25-10-28 in the aggregate amount of $114,012.78. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Financial reports were briefly discussed. There were no capital expenditures or transfers.
  • Commissioner Lawson requested timely notice, from the sheriff, with regard to personnel matters. A discussion ensued regarding suspension and administrative leave. This was a misunderstanding that resulted in an unfortunate circumstance. Sheriff Clark expressed his discontent with the situation. Commissioner Brown took responsibility for the misunderstanding.

MOTION: to affirm the final pay for Corrections Officer Kevin Megno while out on administrative leave. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • CFO Roy requested clarification with regard to paying a corrections officer out of the transport officer pay line. The union contract designates the position of transport officer/CO. He requested permission to include transport officer transfers on the Time Trak time clock.
  • Commissioner Lawson stated that when the transport officer is working as a transport officer he or she should be paid out of the transport officer line. When working as a corrections officer, the transport officer should be paid out of the corrections officer line.
  • Jail Administrator Dannenberg explained the current staffing issues that allow him to utilize the transport officer in a correction officer slot. By utilizing the transport officer as a corrections officer it allows him to have full shift coverage.
  • Sheriff Clark explained that this was a temporary management decision that the union and employees are not concerned with. No decision was made regarding the CFO’s request.
  • CFO Roy distributed a jail budget schedule for FY 11/12 and 12/13. Commissioner Lawson asked if the FY 11/12 budget has been submitted. The answer was yes. Approval of the FY11/12 and FY12/13 budget should be included for approval on the May agenda. Sheriff Clark will be prepared to preset his budget as requested by the commissioners.

MOTION: to approve the Transco maintenance agreement. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

12:28 p.m.: Recess for lunch

1:02 p.m.: Back in session


  • Commissioner Lawson expressed her concerns regarding a recent issue affecting the Friends of Hancock County Jail Residents program and asked if this is a permanent change. Sheriff Clark assured her that this was not a permanent change and that once staff is at 100% he will consider reinstituting the programs.
  • Commissioner Joy requested an update regarding the current jail budget. Sheriff Clark addressed his concerns with specific emphasis on overtime and regular staffing.
  • Sheriff Clark expressed his displeasure with having to pay for professional services cost without having budgeted for these items. He requested removing the $8,000 charged to the jail budget and charging it back to the commissioners Professional Services account.
  • CFO Roy explained that the BOC is now requiring these expenses to be show in the jail budget.
  • Commissioner Brown reminded the sheriff that county policy does not allow department heads to sign contracts without commission approval.

MOTION: to approve the MorphoTRAK maintenance and support agreement. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the resignation of corrections officer Kevin Megno effective March 12, 2010. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Joy asked for clarification as to whether a crime was committed and if an investigation was ongoing. Sheriff Clark stated an investigation is still ongoing and would be happy to speak to Commissioner Joy in private about the situation.

MOTION: to remove administratively the following employees from employment rolls: Andrew Leeman, Kevin Fitzgerald, Lance Hutchins, Jon Delima, Shawn Bigger, Jeremy LeClair, Debra Jones and Amy M. Smith. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the transfer of a drug task force forfeiture ,in the portion of any or all of $7,750 and video surveillance equipment, in the case of James M. Moore v. the State of Maine. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant Michelle announced that the sheriff’s office has received a Homeland Security Grant in the amount of $15,350 for narrow band frequency. Patrol Deputy Tim Cote was responsible for obtaining said grant.


  • The commissioners recognized dispatcher Nikki Dennison for her efforts in applying for and receiving a STK Foundation grant to improve the RCC work area and purchase new work stations. Through Ms. Dennison’s efforts, new work stations, shelving, flooring and monitors will be purchased for the Regional Communications Center.
  • RCC director Renee Wellman answered questions associated with her monthly report.
  • Commissioner Brown suggested that the RCC enter into a per hour agreement with Jason Ingalls for IT services.

MOTION: to accept the $50,000 award from the STK foundation, beautifully and eloquently prepared by Nikki Dennison. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to not grant the request for leave submitted by dispatcher Jason McFarland. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

  • Including dispatch and PSAP services on the tax bill was discussed. Commissioner Brown suggested inviting all the towns to a meeting to explain the proposal.
  • Remodeling of the dispatch center was discussed.
  • The commissioners agreed to authorize the creation of a capital account in the amount of $50,000, in the RCC, for funds received from the STK Foundation grant.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to pay for items included in the STK Foundation grant from the newly created RCC capital account (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

  • Commissioner Brown suggested researching funds/grants to facilitate the purchase of a building or space for the RCC.

Office of Financial Affairs continued:

  • CFO Roy stated that a representative of Woodard and Curran could not attend the meeting this afternoon. He read an e-mail addressing some of the questions that were raised earlier in the day.

MOTION: to move forward with Woodard and Curran, Plan B, as energy auditors with emphasis on grant writing. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy stated that, going forward, he would like to reward employees for their services in writing grants. He suggested funding an account with $10,000 in order to reward employees for going above and beyond their regular duties by obtaining grant funds for the county. A policy should be developed to go along with this suggestion.


  • Clerk DePrenger stated that she has received 6 proposals from 4 different telephone vendors. She was instructed to throw out the two obvious bids. The next step in the process is to invite the vendors in for demonstrations. Demonstrations will be held on May 17th beginning at 2:45 p.m. Department heads and their assistants are encouraged to attend the demonstrations.

3:00 p.m.

MOTION: to enter into an executive session under MRSA Title 1 ss.405 (6) in order to conduct a department head evaluation. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

3:44 p.m.

Commissioner Brown called the meeting back into session with nothing to report.


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

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