Commissioners Regular Meeting

Commission Chairman Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:01 a.m. on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance.

The commissioners voiced their appreciation of corrections officer Karyn McCarty on her 10 years of service with the County of Hancock.

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: to delay item 1c until item 4f is discussed, to remove item 6d,, to add item 6d, to authorize the chairman to sign change order #1 for AIP 31, to move item 6a to the end of the day and add an executive session re: a personnel matter and to add the acceptance of the resignation of Legal Secretary II, Nicole Troger of the District Attorney’s office under item 2b. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:


MOTION: to approve: minutes of the November 1, 2011 commissioners' regular meeting and November 14th and 30th, 2011 commissioners’ special meetings. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the November 13, 1999 Time Trak memo. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy suggested the continued use of Time Trak/Clock Traks when the time clocks are not working.  The following positions are exempted from punching, chief deputy, jail administrator, EMA director, patrol officers and civil process director.

MOTION: to approve the Credit Card/Travel Voucher/Employee Reimbursement form. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Sheriff Clark requested a written policy to accompany the form.  This form should be utilized for travel, employee mileage reimbursement and credit card purchases.


MOTION: that employees working 40 or more hours per week are eligible for enrollment in Maine PERS.  Employees working fewer than 40 hours per week are ineligible for enrollment in Maine PERS.  (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Legal Secretary II Nicole Troger (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to award the elevator modernization project to Pine State Elevator at a cost of $46,560. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: The proposed work would include the Controller and ADA compliance, replacement of the shaft would be considered a separate project at a later date.  There is nothing wrong with the piston rotor or the shaft at the present time.  ADA compliance work should begin as soon as possible.  This project should be funded from of the building capital reserve account.

MOTION: to authorize the fire alarm upgrade in the amount of $11,850 to Simplex Grinnell. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: this project should be funded from the building capital reserve account.


CFO Roy requested guidance regarding held checks.  Reimbursement of the airport for UT services was discussed.  Airport personnel have been utilized to help install signs in the Unorganized Territory.  A bill for the standard rate airport rate was submitted to the UT for this service..  This work was completed within the employees regular work week.

MOTION: to pay the bill as submitted. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport payroll warrants #11-43, #11-44, #11-45 and #11-46 in the aggregate amount of $194,109.36. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport expense warrants #11-41, #11-42, #11-43 and #11-44 in the aggregate amount of $708,086.73.(Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the Jail and UT fund payroll warrants #12-17, #12-18, #12-19 and #12-20 in the aggregate amount of $98,931.71. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT fund expense warrants #12-15, #12-16, #12-17 and #12-18 in the aggregate amount of $96,820.03. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Financial reports to include jail and airport update were presented.  Jail overtime was discussed.  CFO Roy requested guidance with regard to the DTF Mt. Desert officer account number 46-30-528, there is $3,210 left in this account.  Sheriff Clark acknowledged that this particular line item will be approximately $7,000 short for FY11.  Funds to pay for the shortfall is available in account 46-01-136 Drug TF Agents.  Authorization was given to over expend account 46-30-528.  The airport financial report was presented.  Percentages for expenditures and remaining balances will be added to the jail report.  $1,500 will be received from the HCFFA to be placed into the HCFFA capital equipment account.

MOTION: to approve October expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $74,822.99. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the expenditure of $1,070.07 for electrical work from capital reserve account E08-70-150 Storage Files. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the expenditure of $4,000 for the shipping of a surplus backhoe from capital reserve account E40-70-100 Equipment. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign a one year auditing contract with Runyon, Kersteen & Ouellette. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy requested guidance regarding the payment of overtime and holiday pay.  It is the opinion of the union that for employees working a 48 hour week, the employee would receive 12 hours holiday, 6 hours holiday benefit, 4 hours of ½ time for the overtime and 12 hours comp time.  The result would be triple time for the 8 hours on the holiday.  The commissioners opinion was that employees working 48 hours would receive 36 hours of straight time, time and a half for the holiday (6 hours) and 12 hours of comp time.  After extensive discussion the following was agreed upon:

  • Employees, who are not scheduled to work the holiday, but work on the holiday, will be paid only time and one half for all hours worked that day and receive a comp day.
  • The holiday benefit for an employee on his/her regular work day will be an additional "half time" for that shift and a comp day earned.
  • If a holiday occurs in a workweek that exceeds 40 regularly scheduled hours, the holiday benefit and the overtime "time-and-a-half" shall both be paid.

The SO/RCC union side letter agreement will be changed to reflect the above agreement and signed at the December 13th special meeting.

MOTION: to approve the FY12-13 Unorganized Territory budget in the amount of $157,618 of which, revenues total $29,762, expenditures total $224,298 and surplus applied in the amount of $36,918. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: this is a 2.2% increase over the FY2011-2012 budget.

New vending machines have been installed and are serviced every Tuesday.  New procedures have been added to the county’s online banking security with regard to transfers.  This additional extra step in the transfer process serves as a roadblock against viruses and worms. Unemployment should be budgeted in the FY12 budget.   Firm capital and surplus numbers should be available at the December 13, 2011 budget meeting.

11:02 a.m.: Break
11:15 a.m.: Back in session


Director Pinkham reported that the cruise line international conference was very interesting, he stated that the Hancock County EMA is the only entity in the country that has performed a live drill for cruise line emergencies.  Commissioner Joy questioned why the EMA department updates the LEPC.  Director Pinkham responded that this is done every year and a stipend is paid for this service.

EMA Director stated that 50% of the cost of a vehicle can be purchased under Emergency Management Planning Grant (EMPG) funding.  In choosing to make this purchase, $20,000 could be reduced from the FY12 proposed budget.  A "lease back" of the vehicle was discussed.  Director Pinkham stated that EMPG funds are federal funds.  Commissioner Joy was in favor of the request.  Commissioner Brown wanted to make sure the funds would be received and that the Civil Process is in agreement with the purchase of the old EMA vehicle, he expressed his concern with the efficiency of utilizing this vehicle for Civil Process.  Director Pinkham suggested selling the vehicle “on the lawn”.  Commissioner Brown and Joy were in agreement to move ahead with the concept of purchasing a vehicle.  A price for the old vehicle should be known prior to the sale.  Commissioner Brown would also like to see, in writing, that the funds will be available from the EMPG grant for this purchase.

MOTION: to authorize the EMA Director to go out to bid on a new vehicle and that written reassurance is received regarding the funding of the vehicle. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Director Pinkham stated that he monitors the planner’s bill and read aloud the compensation section of the planner's contract.  He stated that, currently $38,647 has been expended under Homeland Security Grants.  To date, $44,653 has been paid to the planner, this includes funds for mitigation planning and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) funds.  Commissioner Joy questioned who authorized spending from the mitigation planning grants and LEPC funds.  In response, Director Pinkham stated the EMA Director approves the bill submitted by the planner and the commissions approve the warrant.  Commissioner Joy stated that the contract has a limit of $40,000, the planner has not been authorized to be paid more than $40,000.  Director Pinkham stated that the additional funds that exceed $40,000 came from mitigation grants and LEPC funds.  Commissioner Brown questioned when Ms. Feury was hired by the commissioners under the LEPC.  She was not; the LEPC elects the Director and Secretary/Treasurer within the organization.  Director Pinkham stated that LEPC funds and mitigation funds are separate from Homeland Security funds.  Commissioner Joy expressed his belief that Director Pinkham's statement was in direct conflict to what was said at the February 1, 2011 meeting when discussing Homeland Security funds.  Director Pinkham answered all questions associated to this issue.  Lack of personnel was briefly touched upon.  An audio tape of the discussion is available, upon request, in the commissioners’ office.  Discussion continued below.

MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 ss. 405 6(E) to confer with counsel concerning resolution of a pending legal matter. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session, after which the following was made:

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the agreement with the suggested changes. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

12:11 p.m.: Break for lunch
1:01 p.m.: Back in session

Heather Fowler from Maine Coast Memorial Hospital presented a Wellness Program presentation that included development; kick off, health plan review and ongoing hospital support.  Her focus was cost savings, wellness and a 5 year long term plan.   Goals included engaging employees in improving their health and effectively managing escalating health insurance costs.  Confidential health care screenings was emphasized.  30 to 50% of employees are needed to participate.  Commissioner and employee cooperation along with employee responsibility is very important.  Incentives should be included in the program.  Scott McKenney, broker for Maine Coast Memorial Hospital was invited to make a presentation at the January 2012 regular meeting.  He will speak for approximately one hour.

MOTION: to engage the services of Heather Fowler of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, to develop and implement a wellness program, at a cost of $1,050. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

1:28 p.m.: Break
1:32 p.m.: Back in session


1:35 p.m.
MOTION: to enter into executive session to discuss an employee matter under MRSA Title 1, 405 6(A). (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 1:43 p.m. after which the following motion was made:

MOTION: to affirm the layoff of Shaun McVay of Waltham from the position of full-time Aircraft Rescue fire Fighter, effective November 30, 2011. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Navia stated that a recent request for back taxes was a mistake.  A letter sent from the Town of Tremont last year was presented as proof that the matter has been settled.  CFO Roy requested a release of lien on the property prior to January 3, 201.  Joy was concerned with taking care of the lien immediately, thus resulting with a discharge.  Airport Manager Navia will pursue his suggestion.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign MDOT contract for AIP 32. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: this contract secures funding for 2.5% of the cost of AIP 32: Purchase Snow Removal Equipment.  The maximum share of this project is $8,7832.38.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign change order #1 for AIP project 31 Runway 22 Safety Area. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: this item includes a motorized gate and several credits.  This change order exceeds the original cost of the project by $6,802.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the MDOT contract modification for AIP 26. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: This would extend the date of the original contract from July 2011 to December 31, 2012 and would allow the completion of the Wildlife Hazard Management Plan.  It also allows the airport more time to finish the project and receive reimbursement from the MDOT.

MOTION: to authorize the airport manager to advertise for bid, the 1963 Ford 350 2WD half yard loader/backhoe. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

EMA continued:
Commissioner Joy stated that they were still in discussion regarding the planner’s contract and funds paid.  CFO Roy asked if the administrative assistant was secretary of the LEPC would that person be paid for their services as the planner previously was.  The answer was yes, if she submits a bill to the LEPC, with permission from Maine Emergency Management and SERC, prior to submitting her bill.  Commissioner Brown questioned if LEPC funds had to be accepted by the county in order to disperse them.  Director Pinkham suggested having the county divorce themselves from the LEPC and for the LEPC to get their own checkbook, he stated these funds are separate from Homeland Security grants, LEPC funds also pay for hazmat functions.  Commissioner Brown stated that going forward a decision needs to be made regarding LEPC funds.  CFO Roy stated that the commissioners have no jurisdiction over the LEPC.  Commissioner Joy stated that this situation did not occur when the LEPC secretary/treasurer was a county employee, the problem started when the contracted employee was being paid from funds not authorized by the commissioners.  Director Pinkham stated that he has managed the funds to the best of his abilities; he has no say in the implementation of the planner's contract.  Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners need to decide if they are going to pay the final bill submitted by the planner that brought the total over $40,000.  Approximately $5,000 has been paid to the planner from account 85-30-310 Mitigation Grant.Commissioner Joy questioned who approved payment from mitigation grants.

MOTION: that we do not pay over the $40,000 agreed to in the contract. (Joy/Brown
Discussion: Commissioner Lawson stated that the contract states that we will pay for mitigation and LEPC from Homeland Security grants.  Commissioner Brown suggested giving the contract to the attorney for his opinion.  Motion and second withdrawn.

MOTION: to consult with the county attorney for his opinion. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: the last check presented will be held until the commissioners hear from the attorney.

EMA Director questioned if the commissioners wanted to have a county employee continue with the mitigation planning work.  Commissioner Joy requested that Director Pinkham suggest this at the December 13th special meeting.  Permission was granted to post the planner position in-house.

MOTION: to post the position of mitigation planner in-house. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


There were no questions regarding the RCC/E-9-1-1 monthly report.  A tower map was presented.  Best coverage was discussed.  Commissioner Brown requested that the director make up a 40 hour per week schedule for the RCC keeping the hours within the payroll week.


Commissioner Joy stated that the high speed pursuit was previously discussed in open session.  The high speed pursuit policy was read aloud.  Commissioner Joy felt that the officer causing the accident should have to pay the $1,000 deductable and that the one day suspension of the officer was not enough.  He also recognized that he, as a commissioner, cannot impose discipline on the officer.  Sheriff Clark stated that it was up to the commissioners to decide if they want to file a civil action against the officer for the cost of the deductable.  Sheriff Clark stated that he felt this infraction was subjective.  The greatest impact against the officer was the loss of a new cruiser.  Sheriff Clark spoke about objective sanctions, he believed the sanctions were appropriate and had the impact needed.  Commissioner Joy questioned what he would be penalized for exceeding the speed limit by over 50 miles per hour.  It is considered a Class E crime with a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months.  Commissioner Brown requested a copy of the Sheriff’s Department policy and procedure manual.  Chief Deputy Bishop will email a copy to the clerk.  Commissioner Brown spoke about the public image presented in a situation like this.  Commissioner Lawson appreciated and understood the sanctions applied.  She questioned if the holding off of the new vehicle had its desired effect.  The answer was yes, it was the very best thing that could have been done for this particular officer.

MOTION: to pursue getting our $1,000 deductable back from Chris Sargent. (Joy/Brown 2-1) Lawson opposed
Discussion: Sheriff Clark stated that this was penny wise and pound foolish.  This incident was devastating to the officer and warned the commissioners to stop pursuing the officer.  Commissioner Joy stated that this affects everyone and understood that the sanctions applied hurt the officer.  Commissioner Lawson questioned if the deductable could be pursued.  Commissioner Joy stated he will not minimize going 107 mph.  Sheriff Clark did not feel it was being minimized.

Signing of Town of Stonington contract was postponed.

2:56 p.m.: Break
3:03 p.m.: Back in session

CFO Roy presented a review of MMEHT quote compared to Meritain plan.  Due to the Affordable Healthcare Act the County of Hancock will have to start applying health care cost to W2’s during the 2012 fiscal year.  He suggested applying the percentage of usage to each departmental budget.  He requested guidance as to how to fund the health insurance for the FY12 budget and how to handle the shortage in the FY11 budget.  Commissioner Brown suggested funding a health care budget for the entire amount in one department.  He felt it was important for each department manager to know their departmental cost of health care

MOTION: to move the cost of health care to one department in the amount of $1,253,069.81. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to set the FY12 health insurance buy-out/buy-downs at $1,589.79 for family and $733.74 for single and $1,160.55 for employee with child. . ( Single stipend = $3,521.95, Employee with child $5,570.65 and family $7,630.99. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to allow Meritain Health to bring the Aetna Health Network as their provider. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve FY12 health insurance contributions as submitted. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed.)

MOTION: to approve the FY12 Holiday Schedule for non-union employees. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the updated Personnel Policy. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: it was made clear that this is a "liquid policy" and is constantly being updated and improved.

MOTION: to change the language of the retiree health insurance policy to reflect that spouses of deceased retirees have 60 days from the beginning of the month following the date of death of the retiree to be removed from the county health insurance plan. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: renew the self-funded health plan through Meritain Health effective January 1, 2012. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A): to discuss two employment matters. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into session at 4:17 p.m. Terms of a contract was discussed with the CFO and references will be checked on a prospective employee.  No decisions have been made with either employee.

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