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, February 1, 2011 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth with commissioners Lawson and Brown in attendance.

Adjustments to the Agenda:

MOTION: to add item 5k, a drug task force forfeiture. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to add item 1a, a request for out-of-state travel by the Probate Judge. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to reschedule the FitzGerald tax appeal hearing to the March 2011 regular meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to add a discussion regarding the Law Court ruling. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to table item 10f and to reschedule it for the February 4 meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to table item 10g to the March regular meeting. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: The airport manager would like to go forward with the funding of the pick-up truck.


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the January 4, 2011 commissioners regular meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve out-of-state travel for Judge Patterson to attend the Probate Judges Conference in May, amount not to exceed $1,900 from the training and travel accounts. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to add under 3h, formally approve the bid process to send out bids for the airport pick-up truck. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to move the airport pick-up bid opening to item 3i. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize/pay the CFO the money for the administration of the Energy Grant as promised him in the contract. (Brown/Joy 2-1, motion passed) Lawson opposed.

Discussion: Commissioner Lawson stated that the actual energy conservation grant is not completed; another grant is to come and should be administered. The survey is done, but the process has not ended. CFO Roy stated that the funds have been received and work has begun. Commissioner Brown stated that it is not the CFO’s job to see that the construction is completed. The grant was the conduit in which to pay him with.

CFO Roy gave a brief overview regarding the consolidation of communications accounts. Commissioner Joy stated that the maintenance department could verify the OTT bill but the cellular bills need oversight, which the maintenance department is not set up to do. Belief points were discussed. Airport Manager Navia requested to have the airport completely separated out of the cellular portion of the consolidation. Commissioner Joy suggested further discussions regarding the cellular accounts continue at another time and explained that the commissioners are utilizing the CFO as a conduit in these discussions. He encouraged department heads to discuss their cellular issues and ideas with the CFO.

MOTION: to approve the consolidation of the OTT/Mid-Maine bills into one account, to be overseen by the commissioners’ office and to table the cell phone question to the next meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown explained the RFQ process for renovation/new construction of the RCC. Commissioner Lawson suggested removing the sentence “to review the qualifications, not proposals.

MOTION: to approve the RFQ for a renovation vs. new construction study for the RCC if we delete “submit 3 copies of proposals.” (Lawson/Joy 2-1, motion passed) Brown opposed.

Commissioner Lawson was unhappy with the letterhead submitted by the planning consultant. She stated that Ms. Feury is an independent contractor, not an employee and asked the CFO why he thought the planner fit the employee category rather than independent contractor. CFO Roy distributed the “20 Questions” as required by the IRS and explained his reasoning.

MOTION: to table the Independent Contractor Agreement discussion to the end of the meeting. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that the Law Court ruling has been handed down and requested approval to pay individuals who were defined in the decision and one other individual who filed an associated grievance. One individual will receive $260.04, another individual will receive $200.67 and the third will receive $405.81 but there is a past due, he requested approval to take the past due funds from the amount leaving $261.11.

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

Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that garnishment of wages cannot happen without the employees permission.


Commissioner Joy encouraged the department heads to consider collective purchasing stating that there will be further discussion over the next few months.

The commissioners agreed that all decisions should held in a public forum. Commissioner Joy stated that although he discusses information with department heads, he nor any other commissioners has the authority to approve things outside of public meetings. Items cannot be acted upon without formal approval. Tentative approval, by the chairman, for the hiring of new employees or to obtaining tentative approval via e-mail from all three commissioners for hiring purposes was suggested. Affirmation of said tentative approval would follow at the next regular meeting. Commissioner Brown did not have a problem with obtaining preapproval but thought all three commissioners and the county clerk should be included when seeking approval. He disagreed with singular approval of purchases.

Commissioner Joy stated that budgeted line items do not represent what is spent in overtime. He stated that from this day forward, actual overtime should be reflected as the budgeted amount. He also stated that the State (Board of Corrections) would prefer the commissioners to oversee problems at a local level, rather than having the Board of Corrections address issues. He would like the budget to reflect what is spent during the previous year and encouraged the Sheriff to find ways to NOT spend money on overtime. Sheriff Clark felt this would be a great item to discuss at a department head meeting.

MOTION: to reimburse the Unorganized Territory the correct amount for cell phone usage. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)


Airport Manager Navia explained Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, Inc’s long term business plan. Commissioner Brown was concerned that the commissioners have seen no proof of insurance, clean up abatements/bond/provisions for the site in case of spill or need for clean up. This information is included in the actual lease, not today’s amendment.

MOTION: to authorize the chairman to execute Amend No. 1 to the Lease and Operating Rights Agreement between the County of Hancock and Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, Inc. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Navia updated the commissioners on proposed MRSA Title 6 changes that govern aeronautics.

Airport Manager Navia requested permission to add another internet connection in the terminal building for the purpose of providing free wireless access for customers.

Airport Manager Navia stated that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has removed the “Missing Link.”

MOTION: to accept the MEMA grant in the amount of $27,069 for a new security camera system. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to allow the airport manager to go out to bid for a new security camera system. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to formally approve going out to bid for an airport pick-up. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

The following airport pick-up truck bids were opened:

Darlings: $32,826 to include a trade in of $2,000

Darling’s Auto Mall: $34,004 to include a trade in of $2,000

O’Connor GMA: $32,090 to include a trade in of $588.

Morrison Chevrolet: $31,986 to include a trade in of $1,200.

CFO Roy stated that payment could be made from the truck replacement account #G2-3010-60 and more funds could be put into the capital account in the March meeting.

The bids were given to the airport manager for review and recommendation.

MOTION: to award the airport pick-up bid to Morrison Chevrolet in the amount of $31,986, to be paid from account G2-3010-60. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


EMA Director Pinkham stated that the emergency management department has obtained $109,099 in Homeland Security grants for 2010. $14,089 of which went to the sheriff’s department for radio equipment.


Sheriff Clark stated that there is still $71,000 in the overtime/part-time accounts in the jail. Commissioner Joy stressed that the overtime budget should be budgeted for overtime, not include part-time. The overtime budget was discussed further.

Commissioner Joy stated that he agrees that putting vehicles on the lawn incurs a better price than going out for bid and wanted to discuss the policy of purchases over $2,500. Sheriff Clark suggested reworking the policy to meet today’s demands. It was suggested that this item should be discussed at the next department head meeting. Commissioner Brown stated that we need to show the public that we are transparent. Bid process scenarios were discussed.

MOTION: to approve the signing of the Equitable Sharing Agreement by the chairman, as presented by the Sheriff. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to remove administratively Jon Delima and John Weaver from the employment rolls due to not working. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Christopher Baez effective 1/4/11. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire Alisha N. Smith of Southwest Harbor as a part-time, on-call, as needed corrections officer effective February 5, 2011 at the rate of $12 per hour. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Clark requested to dispose of a county owned, used 2004 Dodge Intrepid. Commissioner Lawson stated that the policy should be followed. The vehicle will be put out to bid or put on the front lawn for sale. Commissioner Brown stated that the vehicle could be auctioned if a minimal price could not be reached.

MOTION: to put the 2004 Dodge Intrepid out for bid. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Clark requested approval of specifications for a new pick-up truck and to go out to bid for said truck. He asked to be allowed to send two bids specifications, one for a clean sale with no trade-in and the second quoting a trade in of a 2007 Chevrolet pickup. The number of vehicles purchased last year and proposed vehicle purchases for 2011 was discussed along with vehicle funding options. Commissioner Joy suggested e-mailing specifications to interested parties.

Sheriff Clark requested to review public offers to purchase a county owned 2007 pick-up truck.

MOTION: to approve the specifications for a new pick-up truck as presented and to go out to bid as requested. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Commissioner Brown requested that the bids also include a Ford product and requested to add side impact airbags specifically to the bid specifications. Sheriff Clark agreed to put the ad in the weekend edition of the Bangor Daily News newspaper.

MOTION: to approve the Mechanical Services maintenance contract. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the transfer/forfeiture in the amount of $1,722 in the case of State of Maine v. George E Forni. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Clark stated that the MDEA has selected Corey Bagley as the field office supervisor, leaving the agent position open in Hancock County. Staff applications have been posted throughout the county and Chris Thornton has been selected. MDEA will begin their selection process soon, which means there will be an opening in the patrol division. The state will be paying all of Corey’s cost although he will remain a Hancock County employee. Mr. Thornton’s pay will come from the DTF budget. Sheriff Clark stated that the state always pays for overtime for the agents. Payment for the officers was discussed. Once Deputy Bagley is a supervisor, he will follow the State rules and regulations, not the union contract. Sheriff Clark asked for the commissioners’ support and requested that the item be added to another agenda.


MOTION: to promote Nicole Troger to the position of Legal Secretary II, effective February 5, 2011 at Step 8C, $13.45 per hour.(Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: qualifications were discussed.

12:16 p.m.: Adjourned for lunch
12:46 p.m.: Back in session


A grievance hearing was scheduled for the March regular meeting.


MOTION: to approve Payroll Warrants #10-52, #11-01 (H/B), #11-01, #11-02 and #11-03 in the aggregate amount of $226,050.15. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Expense Warrants #10-56, #10-57, #11-01, #11-02, #11-03 and #11-04 in the aggregate amount of $767.461.11. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Payroll Warrants #11-27, #11-28, #11-29 and #11-30 in the aggregate amount of $102,196.46.(Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Expense Warrants #11-24, #11-25, #11-26 and #22-28 in the aggregate amount of $103,992.90. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy distributed the financial reports to include the jail update.

MOTION: to approve December 2010 expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $175,243.38. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

There were no capital expenditures and/or transfers.

MOTION: to approve the refinancing of the 2.4 million dollar jail bond with Raymond James & Associates, Inc. for a TCP of 2.08% at 2.00% for the first four years and 3.00% for the last four years. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy suggested meeting with Woodard and Curran at 12:30 on February 4, 2011.

CFO Roy encouraged the commissioners follow county policy with regard to following bid procedures due to how it could affect cash-flow and the overall financial health of the county.

CFO Roy requested that the commissioners change their monthly meeting date in order to accommodate the Office of Financial Affairs. Several dates were suggested but the commissioners decided to keep the meeting date as the first Tuesday of the month.


Commissioner Brown stated he could not find anyone to serve on the Advisory Committee and asked Director Wellman to work with her contacts. The Region 4 tower, along with coverage areas was discussed.


Register Curtis stated that the Registry is currently ahead in revenues for the year.

Register Curtis distributed information on obtaining a post office box.

MOTION: to have the CFO contact the post master to see if the postal route for the courthouse can be changed and if not, allow the Register of Deeds to retain a post office box for the Registry. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Register Curtis presented a proposal to renovate the first floor break room to incorporate shelving for the Registry of Deeds books currently located in the basement vault. This will be further discussed at a later time.


MOTION: to table the IT discussion until the clerk has the opportunity to speak with the vendor. (Brown/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve an employee repayment agreement between the County of Hancock and Nikki Dennison. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Executive sessions and the type of information discussed in executive sessions were discussed.

The independent contractor agreement for the Emergency Management Agency was discussed at length. Commissioner Joy asked if Ms. Feury will be returning to Maine in March and expressed his concern about her time spent in Maine. CFO Roy was concerned with the submission of Ms. Feury’s recent bill which contained hours from December 25, 2010 through January 14, 2011. Commissioner Joy proposed a supplemental W2 to include the 2010 amount or asking her to change the bill to reflect her time beginning January 1, 2011. The CFO agreed with Commissioner Joy’s proposal.

MOTION: to make the proposed changes to the independent contractor agreement, sign it on Friday and to send Ms. Feury the corrected contract. (Lawson/Brown 3-0 motion passed)

Discussion: The commissioners requested that the planning consultant change her letterhead to reflect that she is a consultant, not the Chief Planning Officer for Hancock County.

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

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