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 , January 4, 2011 in the conference room of the county courthouse in Ellsworth with Commissioners Joy and Lawson in attendance.
Sheriff Clark was recognized for his 30 years of service to Hancock County. Commissioner Brown offered his personal congratulations and a hand shake with heartfelt thanks. Commissioners Joy and Lawson congratulated Sheriff Clark on his longevity.
MOTION: to appoint Steven E. Joy of Ellsworth as Commission Chairman for 2011. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
Adjustments to the Agenda:
MOTION: to add item 9f, an energy grant update and item 9g, a request to rescind a previous vote on capital reserves. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to add an executive session under MRSA Title 1 §. 6(a) to discuss an employment issue. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to remove a grievance hearing from the agenda. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Dennis Lovely of the Department of Transportation updated the commissioners on an upcoming project that would add centerline rumble strips to a section of road on Route 9, near the Brook Ridge and the Lower Lead Mountain road. The purpose for the installation is to decrease the risk of head on fatalities.
MOTION: to approve the minutes of the December 10, 2010 commissioner’s regular meeting and December 28, 2010 commissioners special meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to reschedule a grievance hearing to the March 1, 2011 commissioners’ regular meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the Burlington Fire Contract for Township 3. (Lawson/Brown 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed.
Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned where this item was left off at the last meeting. Commissioner Lawson had rewritten the contract.
MOTION: to pay travel expenses for commissioners living over 5 miles from the county seat and to set the FY11 mileage rate at .44 cents per mile. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign warrants. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to authorize the treasurer and county clerk to issue checks up to $1,000. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to appoint Commissioner Joy to the MCCA Board of Directors and Risk Pool. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
The following are commissioner/department liaisons for 2011:
Commissioner Lawson: Airport, Emergency Management Agency, DA and Deeds.
Commissioner Brown: Maintenance, Unorganized Territory, Probate and RCC.
Commissioner Joy: Sheriff’s Department, Office of Financial Affairs, Commissioners Office.
Commissioner Brown suggested hiring an architect/planner to look into renovating the Regional Communications Center (RCC). He requested commissioner permission to speak to Rick Malm, in order to draw up an RFP for design and consulting services. Commissioner Joy suggested brining in someone from Penobscot County who has been involved in previous consulting work for RCC’s. The commissioners agreed with Commissioner Brown’s request.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY:
MOTION: to accept the EMA report. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
The commissioners discussed the different trucks utilized at the airport. Funds have been set aside in the budget, over several years, in order to purchase a new pick-up. Commissioner Brown made several suggestions to include in the RFP. Sanding of the runway was discussed along with the associated cost. The cost of this “work-in-progress” will be approximately $40,000 or more. Commissioner Joy suggested that the Airport Manager work with Commissioner Brown on this project.
MOTION: to promote Joshua George from the position of part-time ARFF to full-time ARFF at step 8C, effective January 8, 2011. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown was concerned with this suggestion and requested an executive session.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 ss. 6(a), to discuss a personnel issue. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 9:53 a.m., and called the vote to promote Joshua George from the position of part-time ARFF to full-time ARFF.
MOTION: to approve the 2011 budget change to compensate for one less part time employee and one more full-time employee. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to authorize the chairman to execute closeout documents for AIP 23 Runway 4-22 safety area design, AIP 25 Runway 4-22 safety area improvements design phase II, and AIP 27 Design and Construct ARFF facility. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Enplanements surpassed the 10,000 mark for 2010. Commissioner Joy expressed his appreciation for the airport vendors for working with the manager to “market” the airport. Year end reports should be available in the next few weeks.
District Attorney Carletta Bassano requested to fill a position in the District Attorney’s office. The commissioners requested that policy be followed in advertising the position in-house and in the newspaper and conducting interviews.
MOTION: to allow the District Attorney to advertise for two vacancies. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
DA Bassano requested to move forward 2010 part-time funds from account 03-01-300 to pay a part-time employee to fill the vacant Legal Secretary III position until the position is filled. CFO Roy suggested over drafting the part-time line in 2011.
10:14 a.m.: Break
10:24 a.m.: Back in session.
MOTION: to approve the hire of Justin St. Pierre of Ellsworth for the position of full-time janitor at step 3C, $10.85/hr, effective January 8, 2011. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy updated the commissioners on the progress associated with the Energy RFP. Woodard and Currin will be meeting with the CFO and Facilities Director on January 14th in order to go over the bids. Commissioner Brown stated that his main concern was lighting and domestic hot water heating. It is anticipated that Efficiency Maine may reimburse 75% of the lighting cost associated with the project. Commissioner Lawson thought that the county should be moving forward on a larger scale by overhauling the building. Title 5 allows this sort of project and it was assumed that we would be going forward with major projects once the current project is completed. Air exchange or AC and heating upgrades cannot begin until the roof is upgraded. The initial estimates for a hip roof with supplemental heat exchanges and air handlers were between 3 to 4 million dollars. Moving forward, the commissioners would like to see the larger projects implemented.
OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AFFAIRS:
MOTION: to approve the General Fund and Airport payroll warrants #10-47, #10-48, #10-49, #10-50 and #10-51 in the aggregate amount of $248,157.28. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the General Fund and Airport expense warrants #10-48, #10-49, #10-50, #10-51, #10-52, #10-53, #10-54 and #10-55 in the aggregate amount of $1,351,042.06. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that he found items on the last warrant that were questionable. Commissioner Lawson stated that the chairman should ask the Sheriff about a questionable purchase.
MOTION: to approve the Jail and UT Fund payroll warrants #11-22, #11-23 and #11-24, #11-25 and #11-26 in the aggregate of $117,558.64. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the Jail and UT Fund expense warrants #11-20, #11-21, #11-22 and #11-23 in the aggregate of $101,141.89. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy stated that the Registry of Deeds will no longer be bringing transfer tax to his office for processing. He stated that the segregation of duties was suggested by the auditor in 2007 and 2008 and will lead to a documentation issue because the transactions will not be reported on the warrant. Commissioner Joy stated that the Register has the right to have the account but the commissioners have made a decision to run the funds through the OFA based on the audit recommendations. This audit and minutes will be researched in order to find out when this account was moved to the OFA.
Timey reporting of accounts, reporting of financials and changing the meeting dates were discussed. CFO Roy stated that the social security rate will be going from 6.2% to 4.2% in January.
MOTION: to restore the contingent fund to $100,000 per MRSA Title 30-A §924 (1), see §922 (2). (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy questioned whether these funds rolled over and/or is funded through taxation. They are funded through taxation.
Commissioner Joy questioned the Register of Deeds as to her decision to no longer bring transfer tax funds to the Office of Financial Affairs. She stated that she will continue to take the funds to the Treasurers’ Office to be put into the General Fund. Commissioner Joy asked if there is a problem with the deposit and checks being issued, if so the problem could be addressed immediately. However, if it is a personnel issue, it can be discussed later or if she wanted, they could discuss it now. Register Curtis stated, until the commissioners address personnel issues, there will continue to be problems. The previous deposit process was discussed.
Commissioner Joy discussed the CFO’s stipend for administration of the Energy Grant for work done outside the CFO’s job description on nights and weekends. Commissioner Joy felt that the stipend should be paid for work completed in 2010. Commissioner Lawson felt it was to be issued upon completion of the project. Commissioner Brown felt the second increment was suppose to be paid when the second part of the phase was started and used the example of “when the lights are being installed,” he should be paid. Commissioner Lawson felt that these funds were not owed now, but when contracts are awarded in the future, once bids have been accepted and bills are coming in, administration begins and then he should be paid. CFO Roy was under the understanding, that after the administration of the RFP was completed, he would be paid. In his opinion, he has met his obligation. Commissioner Joy suggested discussing the issue again at the February meeting.
MOTION: to rescind the surplus vote from the December 28, 2010 meeting regarding capital account for the volunteer fire fighters association in the amount of $2,500 from account G1-3015-00 . (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to transfer $1,112 to account G1-3015-00 Volunteer Firefighters Association . (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Joy questioned the rounding of numbers vs. accurate figures. Commissioner Lawson amended her original motion from $1,110 to $1,112. Commissioner Brown seconded her amendment.
CFO Roy distributed a spread sheet proving that all 2010 accounts are balanced.
RCC Director Wellman gave a brief overview of her monthly report. Tower location and coverage was discussed at length. The addition of towers and repeaters were suggested as well as satellite access. Commissioner Brown stated that previous communications coverage utilizing Region 4 was outstanding.
The commissioners requested that ALL calls be logged from now on, whether they are incoming or outgoing, to include business calls, and calls for information not necessarily associated with the RCC.
MOTION: to approve the hire of Mary Kathryn Roundtree of Blue Hill as a part-time, on call, as needed dispatcher at the rate of $12 per hour, effective January 8, 2011. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
12:00 p.m.: Break for lunch
12:50 p.m.: Back in session
Department head evaluations will be conducted sporadically over the next few months.
Commissioner Joy would like for department heads to look at ways to save money. Commissioner Lawson stated that the union contracts need to be addressed in order to create savings.
MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the 2011 unorganized territory animal control agreement with the Small Animal Clinic of Ellsworth for stray, abandoned and surrendered animals. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §.6(A), to discuss an employment issue. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 2:08 p.m.
The Fitzgerald 2010 tax appeal hearing was scheduled for February 1, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.
Health care coverage was briefly discussed.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)