Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2011in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth, with Commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance.

The following adjustments were added to the agenda:

MOTION: to add item 6a- a discussion regarding mail, to add item 6b- a discussion regarding representation at the March 2, 2011 LURC meeting.  to add item 2b-a discussion regarding DA parking issues, to add item 3f to discuss additional land lease and hanger development and a request to move item 7e to item 1b: cell phone discussion. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Bid opening-RFQ's for RCC project.
A4 Architects, Architectural/Engineering Services, Sealander Architects, Oak Point Associates, Lewis + Malm Architecture, SMRT Architecture, Northeast Reprographics.  Further discussion will take place at the March 16th special meeting.


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the February 1, 2011 commissioners regular meeting. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the February 4, 2011 commissioners’ special meeting. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed) Lawson abstained.

MOTION: to formally accept the cell phone plan. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: In 2012 the communications budget lines will no longer show in the individual departmental budget lines, with the exception of EMA, Jail and UT.


MOTION: to affirm the hire Anneliese Morrison of Hancock for the position of Legal Secretary III at Step 5A, $10.84 per hour, effective February 12, 2011. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

District Attorney Carletta Bassano requested marked spaces for DA and courts parking behind the District Attorney’s Office.  Commissioner Brown stated that a parking policy was created and tickets were created in order to deter violators.  Sheriff Clark and CFO Roy reminded the commissioners that county parking lots are considered public parking.  Sheriff Clark suggested designating parking as Monday through Friday parking for the DA and Courts.  It was agreed that Commissioner Brown and the Facilities Director work together to solve the problem.

Commissioner Brown asked the District Attorney her opinion regarding a memo sent from Sheriff Clark regarding Freedom of Access and executive sessions.  Sheriff Clark stated that no one is under investigation and that the memo was given as an informational document.


MOTION: move the MDOT cooperative agreement. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to allow the chairman to execute the MDOT cooperative agreement modification. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to execute the AIP 25 closeout documents. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

The following capital improvement projects are planned for 2011: Design and permitting Runway 17-35 parallel taxiway phase 1, install perimeter fencing and pavement markings.

CFO Roy and Airport Manager Navia presented proposed capital transfers from airport surplus.

MOTION: to authorize the transfer of $110,000 to the various accounts presented. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Equipment Overhall G2-3010-30 $8,200; Pick-up-truck G2-3010-60 $4,800; Paving G2-3010-20 $3,000; Crack Sealing G2-3010-40 $4,000; Loader Repair new account number to be assigned $5,000; Terminal Building new account number to be assigned $50,000; Lawn Mower G2-3010-70 $10,000; Equipment Over hall G2-3010-30 $10,000; Pavement Marking Machine G2-3010-90 $5,000; Terminal Repairs: G2-3010-50 $10,000.

Airport Manager Navia requested to cancel a cell phone used at the airport and to be reimbursement for use of her personal cell phone for county business.

MOTION: to authorize reimbursement to the airport manager for her cell phone at the rate of $20 per month. (Lawson/ failed for lack of 2nd.)
Discussion: CFO Roy suggested making reimbursement $50 per month as previously requested by the District Attorney and approved by the county commissioners.

MOTION: to reimburse the airport manager for cell phone usage, up to a $50 per month maximum. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Navia has received a request to build a hanger at the airport.  She requested advice as to whether she should send a letter of intent to include airport restrictions.  Commissioner Lawson suggested asking for a letter from the interested party.  Airport Manager Navia suggested having a code enforcement officer and/or Fire Marshall accompany her while visiting hangers to inspect them for improper usage.  Commissioner Lawson suggested giving leasers a reminder of permitted usage for airport hangers.  Annual hanger inspections were discussed.  Commissioner Joy suggested checking the leases for right of entry and other rights afforded the airport.

The airport entry way sign and enplanements were discussed.


Sheriff Clark requested permission to purchase a new commercial dish washer for the jail.  A new commercial dishwasher would cost approximately $10, 195.  The Department of Corrections has to be notified when spending over $5,000 from a capital account.  The commissioners suggested inviting companies to view the area and submit proposals prior to making a decision at the March 16th special meeting.

MOTION: to accept the resignation of part time jail cook Jynes Albee, effective immediately. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Bid opening: Sheriff's Office pick-up truck
Morrison Chevrolet: $25,685, trade in $14,600, total $11,085
Darling's: GMC $28,844, trade in $12,500, total$16,344
Darling’s : Ford F150 Crew Cab, to be ordered: $24,944, trade in $12,500, total $12,444 plus tax
Darling’s: Ford F150 to be ordered, $25,844, trade in $12,500, total $13,244
Darlings: GMC $27,944 Crew Cab, trade in $12,500, total $15,444 with trade.
Darlings: Ford F150 – 5.0ltr does not meet the bid specs.
Hight Chevrolet: $25,986, trade in $10,500, total: $15,486

MOTION: to award the bid to Morrison Chevrolet at a cost of $25,685, with a trade-in of $14,600 for a total amount of $11,085. (Lawson/Joy 2-0, motion passed) Brown opposed.

Discussion: The trade in is a 2007 Chevrolet pick-up currently being driven by Lt. Cote.  Commissioner Brown asked where the payment of the vehicle is coming from and suggested using the trade-in vehicle as a Civil Process vehicle and suggested purchasing the vehicle out right.  Payment for the vehicle will come from capital reserve account number G1-3014-60 which has an available balance of $30,750.  Payment will be made April 1, 2011.

10:46 a.m.: Recess
10:50 a.m.: Back in session

Sheriff Clark stated that he is planning on purchasing another cruiser in September, the lead time to purchase the new Chevrolet Caprice can be up to 6 months.

Sheriff Clark stated that the supervisor position in the Drug Task Force has been offered to Special Agent Corey Bagley, this leaves a Special Agent opening in the DTF.  Patrol Deputy Christopher Thornton is currently going through the MDEA application process to fill the Special Agent position.  Sheriff Clark requested to replace Deputy Thornton’s patrol deputy position.  Commissioner Brown stated that he was under the impression that we had a Hancock County DTF, he stated that it is actually the Downeast District Task Force, in which Washington County agents are being fully funded by MDEA.  Sheriff Clark explained the origination of the Hancock County DTF and its reimbursement policy adding that there is no such thing as the Hancock County DTF.  Commissioner Brown asked why MDEA pays for the Ellsworth officer in full, but Hancock County officers are reimbursed at a much lesser rate.  Sheriff Clark explained the replacement costs for Hancock County officers.  DTF Agent vehicles are provided by the MDEA.  The cost of replacing the patrol deputy creates another position within Hancock County government.  Officer Bagley and Thornton will have sheriff’s vehicles assigned to them for patrol use.

Commissioner Brown stated that Sheriff Smith of Washington County has criticized the DTF and asked if this was the reason for the open supervisor position in the DTF.  Sheriff Clark stated that the MDEA assigns supervisors; he could not speak for the former supervisor as to why he left the supervisor position.  Sheriff Clark explained that the “last in first out” rule would still apply should Officer Bagley or Thornton be merged back into a patrol slot.

Sheriff Clark explained agency reimbursement for academy trained officers and requested to accept applications for employment for the proposed patrol position.  Commissioner Joy suggested requesting reimbursement for the interim trial period for Special Agent Bagley.  Commissioner Brown did not have any issues with the promotion Special Agent Bagley and Officer Thornton but did not want to fill the open patrol slot created by Officer Thornton.  Sheriff Clark stated he could not supplement the DTF at the cost of his patrol division.

Commissioner Lawson wished Supervisor Bagley well in his new position.

Sheriff Clark presented a signed agreement to utilize Carl Stecher of Ellsworth to provide IT services to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.  Mr. Stecher has some Spillman experience from working with Jason Ingalls.  Commissioner Brown stated that if the cost of services is above $2,500 the service should be bid out.  Sheriff Clark explained that he would be hired on an as needed basis for specific work.  According to Sheriff Clark, Mr. Stecher would do non-Spillman related work for the sheriff’s office and Mr. Ingalls will provide his services for no charge from now on.

MOTION: to allow the sheriff to use Carl Stecher in an IT position at the rate of $50 per hour during the hours of 7a.m. to 9 p.m. on an as needed basis. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Register of Probate, Bonnie Cousins requested law enforcement coverage for the Registry of Probate and expressed her concern with its associated cost.  Sheriff Clark stated that the sheriff’s department has agreed to charge the actual cost of the deputy serving the registry.  Commissioner Brown stated that this is a service that the sheriff’s office should provide, just like any other complaint.  "If we can’t do a couple of hours every few weeks for our own people, what are we doing?"  Register Cousins explained the judge has requested law enforcement coverage for specific cases.  Chief Deputy Bishop stated his concerns with utilizing patrol overtime for other departments.  Commissioner Brown reiterated that" we should take care of our own."  CFO Roy requested to set up an account for the Registry of Probate for law enforcement purposes and to be allowed to overdraw said account.  According to Sheriff Clark, a part-time officer could be utilized to fill the law enforcement need in the Registry of Probate without conflicting with the union contract.

MOTION: to authorize a law enforcement security account in the Registry of Probate with authorization to overdraw said account in 2011. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

11:57: Break for lunch
12:34: Back in session


MOTION: the following appointments were made to the RCC Advisory Committee: to reappoint Mike Walsh of the Winter Harbor Police Department to a 3-year term; appoint Darrell Fowler of Brooksville to fill the elected official vacancy for a 3-year term and Sam Friend of Brooklin as a fire fighter association representative for a 3-year term. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA 1 ss. 405 6(a) to conduct an evaluation on the RCC Director. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 12:58 p.m. with nothing to report.

Commissioner Joy called the tax appeal hearing: FitzGerald v. Town of Swan’s Island to order at 1:06 p.m.  Participants were sworn in and a discussion followed.  An audio tape of the hearing is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office.  Commissioner Joy stated that the reassessment information was important to him.  He stated that in having the reassessment information the commissioners could then hear the 2009 and 2010 appeals.  It was anticipated that the reassessment would be completed in 2011.  The FitzGerald property will include a 2009 and 2010 reassessment.  It was suggested that the commissioners continue the hearing until July or August or until the reassessment is completed.

MOTION: to continue FitzGerald v. Swan’s Island to August 2, 2011. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Deliberations for the Eaton v. Town of Castine tax appeal began at 1:29 p.m.  An audio tape of the deliberations is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office.  Commissioner Lawson refused herself from deliberations as she was not present for the hearing.

MOTION: that we deny the Eaton 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. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed) Lawson abstained.

Discussion: Either party

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 1:35 p.m.


Commissioner Joy expressed his concern regarding the opening of mail.  Currently the clerks' office opens commissioners mail, Office of Financial Affairs mail and Unorganized Territory mail.  Commissioner Lawson stated that she had no issue with the established process.  Commissioner Joy asked that his mail not be opened.  The auditor has asked that the clerk’s office open the Office of Financial Affairs Office mail in order to maintain checks and balances.  The commissioners agreed with this process.  The Unorganized Territory office is under the county commissioners and UT mail is currently opened in the clerk’s office.  The previous UT Supervisor was in the office every day and processed his mail daily.  The current E-9-1-1 Addressing Agent is in sporadically and mail is processed intermittently.  CFO Roy stated that this has created ongoing problem with the processing of UT bills and explained the warrant notification process.  The commissioners were in agreement that the UT mail should be opened by the clerk's office.  The bills will be copied and the originals will be forwarded to the Office of Financial Affairs for processing.  The E-9-1-1 Addressing Agent should review the bills prior to processing, when available.  Commissioner Brown stated that the Unorganized Territory needs an individual in the office at a certain time on a specific day, every week.

Commissioner Joy stated that is was not necessary to send attorney Erik Stumpfel to the March 2nd  LURC meeting.  Commissioner Lawson expressed concerns with filing intervenor status.  Commissioner Joy stated that his reason for filing intervenor status was to make sure the public had an opportunity to speak prior to implementing the project.  It was agreed that Commissioner Joy will attend the March 2nd hearing.


MOTION: to approve Payroll Warrants #11-04-, #11-05, #11-06 and #11-07 in the aggregate amount of $209,353.38. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Expense Warrants #10-58, 310-59, #11-05-, #11-06, #11-07 and #11-08 in the aggregate amount of $487,198.04.(Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Payroll Warrants #11-31-, #11-32, #11-33 and #11-34 in the aggregate amount of $88,623.34.(Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #11-29, #11-30 and #11-31 in the aggregate amount of $122,716.34. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy distributed the financial reports to include the jail update.  Jail overtime is now over expended and funds should be transferred from the part-time account to the overtime account.  He suggested adding three employees rather than budgeting the overtime.  He suggested changing the schedule to a more manageable one.  Commissioner Joy suggested moving the proposed funds and directing the department head to manage the overtime, once expended there will be no more overtime funds available.  Commissioner Joy stated that a meeting needs to take place regarding overtime with the sheriff, jail administrator and RCC Director.

Commissioner Joy suggested discussing jail overtime at the March 16 special meeting.

MOTION: to approve January 2011 expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $117,833.12. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

There were no capital expenditures and /or transfers.

CFO Roy requested for guidance with regard proposed energy grant projects.  It was agreed that the drinking fountains would be discontinued.  Commissioner Brown questioned the Deeds AC units.

MOTION: to authorize to expend up to $150,000 from the energy grant and up to $50,000 from the Courthouse Capital Reserve account toward the proposed energy project. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that the 2.4 million dollar jail bond will be paid off tomorrow (3-2-11).

MOTION: to postpone the Ewing grievance hearing to April 5, 2011. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy asked if there was a need to enter into executive session. The answer was yes.

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA 1 ss. 405 6(a) in order to hear a grievance hearing regarding April Hatch. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 3:39 p.m.

MOTION: grant April her sick day leave because she filled the contractual obligation by giving proper notice. (Lawson/Brown 2-1, motion passed) Joy opposed.

Discussion: One of the requirements is to be sick, whether it is pain or not, in this case it was not, but still meets the requirements.  Commissioner Brown stated he did not really know who the obligation of proving who was sick belonged to.

Commissioner Joy called the grievance hearing of Ralston Means III to order at 3:42 p.m. and asked if the hearing should be held in executive session.  Mr. Eaton responded yes due to wage discussions.  Sheriff Clark stated that the hearing was on the interpretation of the union contract, not a personal matter

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 ss. 6(a). (Brown/Lawson 0-3, motion failed)

Teamsters President Kenneth Eaton spoke on behalf of the grievant and testimony was given by Dispatcher Means and CFO Roy.  An audio tape of the hearing is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office.

Commissioner Joy declared the hearing closed at 4:27 p.m. Deliberation followed.  Commissioner Lawson stated that the way the pay was calculated previously was incorrect.  She stated that previous contract language was “fuzzy language.”  Commissioner Brown stated that it was important that we think this through.  The commissioners agreed that the question at hand needs through deliberation.  Commissioner Joy stated he preferred to sit down and negotiate something that works going forward and questioned the liability going backward and forward.  Commissioner Lawson agreed.  Commissioner Brown suggested continuing the hearing for further discussion.

MOTION: to continue the hearing in order to allow the commissioners and union to assemble more facts. (Brown/ died for lack of 2nd)

Discussion: Commissioner Lawson wanted to go forward in a non adversarial way and work toward a goal that is amicable to both parties.  Teamsters President Eaton stated that his opinion was crystal clear and that new information should not be accepted.  The hearing will resume during the April commissioners regular meeting.  Commissioner Joy wanted more time to study the information given.  Teamsters President Eaton requested to remove the statement “to assemble more facts.”  Commissioner Joy suggested negotiating a settlement for the problem.  Commissioner Joy wanted department head input as well.  Sheriff Clark stated that what was done in the past is what they are talking about now, what is done in the future can be discussed in the future.

MOTION: to continue the hearing until the commissioners meet on April 5th. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


Commissioner Lawson stated that she was appalled that the commissioners were considering rebidding the IT bids and that CBE’s proposal should have been thrown out because it was incomplete.  Commissioner Brown stated that the whole thing was a mess that needed to be cleaned up by rebidding.

4:48 p.m.: Break
4:52 p.m.: Back in session

Commissioner Joy preferred to honor what was done at the last meeting.  It is a one year contract and if we are unhappy after one year, the service can be rebid.  Commissioner Joy stated that, in his opinion, as soon as a contract is dropped in the mail it is considered as a contract.

Commissioner Joy requested a motion to reconsider the information technology motion from the February 4, 2011 commissioners special meeting, hearing no motion to reconsider, the previous motion from the February 4, 2011 special meetings stands.

MOTION: to reject without prejudice, all new bids received, and to destroy said unopened bids. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

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

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