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 6, 2012 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioner Brown in attendance.  Commissioner Lawson joined the meeting at 9:30 am.

Andrew Sankey, of Gouldsboro, was sworn in as the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency Director.

Adjustments to the agenda:

MOTION: to add item 8j, an executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A)(1) to discuss a jail issue. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

Commission Business:


MOTION: to approve the minutes of the February 7, 2012 commissioners regular meeting. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: in recognition that the bid received for the 2008 Ford Crown Victoria, opened February 7, 2012, exceeded the insurance deductable, the commissioners are hereby rescinding our prior request.  The sheriff is no longer asked to collect the deductable in the Sargent deer accident matter and the county will no longer be seeking the $1,000 insurance deductible, as the county has been made whole.  We will not be pursuing collection through Small Claims Court. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Sheriff Clark presented the commissioners with a Consent Agreement which, if approved, would trigger the withdrawal of his Superior Court Complaint regarding Rule 80B.  The sheriff stated that he will not agree to withdraw his complaint unless the Consent Agreement is signed.  Commissioner Brown stated that the commissioners are aware that they are not allowed to discipline sheriff's employees.  He also stated that the commissioners did not attempt to discipline Deputy Sargent; they requested that the sheriff work with them to recover funds.  The signing of the Consent Agreement was delayed until the commissioners could obtain legal advice.

MOTION: funds from the sale of the cruiser will be put back into capital reserves. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the request from the Verona Island Historical Society to retain one of the two flag poles formerly located on the Waldo Hancock Bridge. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the request of the Hancock County Historical Society to remove shrubs from the front of the Old Jail. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)


CFO Roy presented financial reports to include the jail and airport updates.  Jail overtime and comp-time buy-outs are close to being overspent.  The DOC is requesting a reduction in the 2013 budget of 1% less than the 2012 budget.

MOTION: to approve January expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $79,118.77. (Brown/Joy 2-0, motion passed)

There were no capital expenditures and/or transfers.

MOTION: to approve the TIF Development Program Fund Resolve. (Joy/Brown 2-0, motion passed) Lawson abstained.

MOTION: to approve the Community Benefit Fund Resolve. (Joy/Lawson 3-0, motion passed)

The Meritain quarterly report was distributed to the commissioners.

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #12-04, #12-05, #12-06 and #12-07 in the aggregate amount of $196,196.05. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that #12-06 was exceptionally high this month.  This was due to liability insurance and other insurance payments.

MOTION: to approve General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #12-05, #12-06, #12-07 and #12-08 in the aggregate amount of $451,147.57. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #12-31, #12-32 and #12-33 in the aggregate amount of $85,915.75. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #12-27, #12-28, #12-29 and #12-30 in the aggregate amount of $119,136.28. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

CFO Roy stated that the treasurer has requested that the county provide internet service to her private residence, at the rate of $25 per month, due to making transfers from home.

MOTION: to deny the treasurers request for the county to provide $25 a month for home internet service. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to accept Change Order No. 1 to AIP 29 for the Runway 04 Safety Area in the amount of $153,816.25 and to authorize the chairman to sign the change order. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: Airport Manger Rogers stated that there will be no other changes; two other connected projects will be closed out shortly.  The airport cost of the change order is 2.5% or $3,845.40.

Airport Manager Rogers asked the commissioners to accept the offer of $9,400 from the MDOT for the taking of 0.77 acres for the purpose of constructing the intersection at Route 230 and Route 3 and to authorize the chairman to sign the Owner's Offer-Assent.  Commissioner Joy preferred to hear from a DOT representative at the April meeting.  Reconfiguring the entrance road to meet Route 230 was encouraged.  Unfortunately, the entrance was changed in 2011 therefore it is unsure if the FAA will contribute funds to the change.

Airport Manager Rogers requested to enter into a contract with Unifirst for airport uniforms.  CFO Roy was concerned with the initial setup cost being borne by the airport employees.  Commissioner Joy was concerned with how this would branch out to summer/winter wear.  The county would not have to pay for any wear and tear on the uniforms.  The airport manager stated that she will not be taking part in the program.

MOTION: to authorize the airport manager to enter into a contract with Unifirst for the purpose of providing uniform services for airport employees. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: The total cost to the county in 2012 will be $870.24, in 2013 it will be $1,077.44.  The employees will be required to turn in the uniforms upon leaving employment and an agreement for payment and turn in will need to be signed upon hire.

Airport Manager Rogers gave a brief update on AIP funding stating that it will increase from 2.5% to 7.5% in the future.

The airport will be officially be served by Cape Air and Peninsula Air in the near future.  Refunds will be issued by Colgan Air per FAA order and passengers will be assisted in obtaining tickets from the new carrier.  The approximate change over should occur within 60 days.  Mobilizing and scheduling along with a change in signage and other necessities need to be accomplished prior to start up.

10:30 a.m.: Break
10:35 a.m.: Back in session

MOTION: to approve the updated ARFF job description. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


Director Sankey suggested meeting informally, in a workshop setting, to go over financials and local intentions.  A financial dashboard was distributed noting current grants.  A comprehensive view of Hancock County financials was distributed as well.  Director Sankey stated that the LEPC is an administrative function of the EMA office and the LEPC funds its staff.  Commissioner Joy clarified that no additional funds, other than CERT Maintenance funds have been received for 2011.  The current balance in the LEPC fund is $9,899.39.  The purchase of a new EMA vehicle was briefly discussed.


Director Wellman stated that nothing further has been done with the proposed 40 hour per week schedule.  Commissioner Brown encouraged her to continue pursuing an acceptable solution.  It was reported that Swan’s Island lost telephone service for several hours last week due to line updates.

There have been two appeals submitted to the State in regard to the Next Generation bid.  Commissioner Brown stated that he has been told that the county cost to install Next Generation equipment should be “incidental” but there will be a large cost if a change in location is needed.

Director Wellman stated that the Mt. Ephraim tower site has been tested.  Commissioner Brown stated that Brown’s Communications is in the process of conducting an RF study at the Bull Hill site.  A 150 meter (297 ft) tower is proposed for the Bull Hill site located in Township 16.  CFO Roy stated that TIF funds can cover the cost of a tower placed in an organized town as long as the tower is servicing the UT.  An emergency communication tower vs. a cell phone tower was discussed.  Commissioner Brown felt it was important for the people in the UT’s to have some form of cell service and that the county may have to look into a communications tower close to the UT’s.  CFO Roy stated that there is currently wireless broadband service in the area that can be utilized.  Commissioner Joy suggested funding a consultant to work on the project.  Commissioner Brown stated that once the RF study is completed US Cellular or AT&T should be contacted to inquire as to what is required to initiate cell service coverage.  Commissioner Joy preferred to provide coverage to the most people possible.  Commissioner Brown was concerned with the cost associated with the tower peripherals ie: building, roads, electricity, generators, ect.  Director Wellman was also concerned with the financial cost incurred by the RCC due to the installation of new towers.  Commissioner Brown stated that the RF study should have been completed months ago.  CFO Roy stated that another application is being submitted to LURC for the expansion of the Bull Hill wind project.  Commissioner Brown stated that construction will begin soon.


MOTION: to accept the bid from Dell in the aggregate amount of $13,211.14 for the purchase of 9-search computers, 5-employee recording computers and 1-server for the Registry of Deeds. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the Corrections Officer, Assistant Jail Administrator and Community Corrections Specialist updated job descriptions. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTIN: to accept the resignation of part-time cook, Ashley Turner effective February 23, 2012. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the promotion of part-time corrections officer, Alisha N. Smith, to temporary full-time, effective March 10, 2010 at the rate of $13.50 per hour.  Benefits will include sick time and holiday benefits.  Her temporary full-time status will be reviewed not later than 6-months. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CFO Roy questioned if the personnel policy or the union contract would be followed with regard to this hire.  Overtime calculation was questioned.  Chief Deputy Bishop stated that the union contract was followed during the last hire for overtime only.  He also stated that there is already one employee working temporary full-time, this person should be treated the same.  The commissioners agreed.

MOTION: to approve the hire of Stormy G. Wardwell of Bucksport as a part-time, on call, as needed corrections officer, effective March 10, 2012 at the rate of $12 per hour.  No benefits included. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Sherryanne J. Kief of Hancock as a part-time, on call, as needed cook, effective March 10, 2012 at the rate of $12 per hour.  No benefits included. (Lawson/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the hire of Larry J. Fickett of Mapleton as a full-time patrolman, at Step 12C, $17.94 per hour, effective March 17, 2012. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Discussion: includes full-time benefit package.  Mr. Fickett came from Presque Isle Police Department and graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle and graduated from the academy in 2006.

MOTION: move approval to accept 80% of $2,276 in drug forfeiture in the case of State of Maine v. Davis S. Bradshaw and to accept 80% of $4,560 in drug forfeiture in the case of State of Maine v. Michael C. Vilasuso. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

12:01 p.m.: Break
12:05 p.m.: Back in session


CFO Roy stated that he and UT Clerk Nora Garland have posted all county owned UT roads as of February 23, 2012.  Needed repairs to the Back Road in Township #28, the Nicatous Stream Road in T#3 and Martin Ridge Road in Township #9 were discussed.  Commissioner Joy clarified CFO Roy’s position with regard to his duties in the UT’s and suggested that a plan be proposed and the Commissioners would choose what to implement within the plan.  CFO will begin work on a 5-year plan shortly.

12:37 p.m.: Break for lunch
1:00 p.m.: Back in session

Commissioner Joy called the MacLeod v. the Town of Trenton Tax Appeal Hearing to order at 1:00 p.m.  Parties were sworn in and testimony was heard.  An audio tape of the hearing is available, upon request, in the commissioners' office.

Commissioner Joy declared the hearing closed at 2:13 p.m.  A decision will be rendered at the April 3rd commissioners' regular meeting.

2:15 p.m.: Break
2:18 p.m.: Back in session


Safety Officer, Lynn O’Kane presented numerous changes to the Emergency Preparedness plan for approval.  Commissioner Lawson preferred to have EMA Director Sankey address the matter and would like to see the changes in the policy itself.  Commissioner Brown was opposed to removing identification badges.  He also wanted to see a commissioner sit on the Safety Committee.

MOTION: to table the acceptance of the Emergency Preparedness Plan. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff continued:
Sheriff Clark has been listed as the opposing party to the Richardson arbitration and requested approval to provide legal counsel on his behalf.

MOTION: to table the sheriff's request for legal counsel on union arbitration. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy requested that the sheriff provide an example of retaliation with regard to the civil process server.  Sheriff Clark stated that there has been a long standing tradition of utilizing a dispatcher as a civil process server with the cost being born by each department.  The second example of retaliation given by Sheriff  Clark was a request for proof of liability insurance from the sheriff’s IT provider.  CFO Roy stated that the dispatcher's Workers Compensation code is similar to a receptionist.  A civil process server Workers Compensation code is at a substantially higher rate.  His intention was to capture the correct amount in the correct department and re-categorize the individuals.  Overtime incurred while working in the RCC vs. Civil Process was also discussed.  CFO Roy explained that a blanket 1099 request was sent to all individuals who have done work for the county.  By sending out the blanket request it was learned that the sheriff’s IT provider does not have liability insurance.  He stated that he has never told anyone that an individual could not work here or to stop what they were doing.  Sheriff Clark stated that RSU 24 is also utilizing the same provider with no insurance.  CFO Roy stated that a form can be provided that would verify if the provider is a sub-contractor under the IRS standards.  Commissioner Joy stated that it is a liability to the county when we have workers working in the building without insurance coverage.  Commissioner Joy questioned if the independent IT contractor could bill for his insurance.  Sheriff Clark stated yes, CFO Roy stated that the county cannot pay for independent contractors insurance under IRS Rule.  Commissioner Joy suggested discussing the matter further at the April meeting.  At that point Sheriff Clark stated that he will provide quotes and pay the contractor the cost of the insurance.

Commissioner Brown left the meeting for a brief time and returned.

Sheriff Clark explained his reasons for filing a complaint with the Attorney General's Office regarding illegal executive sessions.

Sheriff Clark stated that, regarding the jail executive session, he was not sure if it could be held in executive session without the accused being present.  The accused and accuser have been moved to separate shifts.  He assured the commissioners that he has done everything possible to make sure the situation has been handled properly.  Sheriff Clark stated that he feels the discipline is appropriate considering everything they have and don’t have.  He felt the situation will not become inflamed during the time it takes to resolve the issue.  Commissioner Joy stated that he was concerned that a Class Action suit may follow.  Sheriff Clark stated gave the clerk his response to the grievance and stated that an appeal should be anticipated.

2:50 p.m.: Break
2:53 p.m.: Back in session


MOTION: to approve the inclusion of grandchild(ren), up to three days, under Bereavement Leave in the Personnel Policy. (Lawson/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the UT Special Projects Coordinator job description. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed) Lawson opposed
Discussion: Commissioner Lawson suggested removing “UT” from the job description.  Commissioner Joy was opposed to her suggestion stating that the job description is specific to the UT wind project.  The position is also “as assigned by the commissioners.”  Commissioner Joy stated that the position should be funded by TIF funds and that it will not affect the tax rolls.  Commissioner Lawson stated that applications should be sought for the position.

MOTION: that the pay for the UT Coordinator should be reimbursed from TIF funds, if any. (Joy/ Brown 2-1, motion passed)

3:04 p.m.
MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(A): A discussion or consideration of the employment, assignment, duties and compensation associated with the current Facilities Director and applicants of the EMA Deputy/Planner, UT Supervisor and Facilities Director positions. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 4:16 p.m. and requested a motion.

MOTION: at the request of the retiree and with commissioner approval, Hancock County will pay proportionately for retiree health care, as spelled out in the personnel policy, with Hancock County, for a different approved provider.  (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)

A discussion ensued regarding EMA Deputy Director/Planner interviews.  Director Sankey suggested re-interviewing three candidates.  Permission was granted.  Commissioner Joy suggested hiring a planner to finish the mitigation grant.

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

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