COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING
The special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, February 22, 2018 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioner Clark and Commissioner Brown in attendance.
Adjustments to / approval of agenda: none
Public Comment: none
MOTION: approve the request for out-of-state travel for Bradley Nuding, April 16-20, 2018, to Massachusetts for training. There will be no expense to the county (Brown/Blasi 2-1, Clark opposed)
Deputy EMA Director Bradley Nuding explained that he had applied and been accepted to the Leadership and Crisis course with Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge Massachusetts. Commissioner Clark said he fully supported Nuding attending, but was voting against it because he did not agree that permission from the Commission should be necessary, due to the potential for needless controversy.
MOTION: enter executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) /Personnel / IT Systems Admin (Clark/ Blasi 1-1-1, Blasi abstains, Brown opposed, motion fails)
There was some discussion on whether or not to enter executive session. Commissioner Blasi said he had been involved in the interviewing process and is familiar with the candidate; he doesn’t feel that the content will be confidential. Commissioner Clark said he intended to be discussing qualifications, which he felt made this circumstance qualify.
MOTION: Enter executive session for the purpose of interviewing an applicant for the position of IT Systems Administrator (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
The Commissioners, CA Adkins, Deputy CA Knowlton, Sheriff Kane, Jail Administrator Richardson, and the applicant attended the executive session.
Commissioner Blasi brought the meeting back to regular session. CA Adkins recommended the hire of Christopher Grindle as IT Systems Administrator at $25 per hour, not to exceed 30 hours per week on average, effective February 24, 2018.
MOTION: approve the hire of Christopher Grindle, rate of $25 per hour, not to exceed 30 hours per week on average, effective February 24, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: enter executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) for interviewing an applicant for the position of RCC Director (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
The Commissioners, CA Adkins, Deputy CA Knowlton, Sheriff Kane, and the applicant attended the executive session.
Commissioner Blasi brought the meeting back to regular session. CA Adkins recommended the hire of Robert Conary as RCC Director at $60,000 per year, recognizing years of county service regarding benefits, effective March 3, 2018.
MOTION: approve the hire of Robert Conary as RCC Director at $60,000 per year, recognizing years of county service regarding benefits, effective March 3, 2018 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
There was some discussion on the process for determining the amount of exempt employee’s salaries. Commissioner Brown would like to see contracts developed for department heads. CA Adkins said that is a conversation that would begin with the three commissioners. Commissioner Brown said this was a good time to review it. Commissioner Blasi said he would like to put that on the agenda for the March 20 meeting. Commissioner Clark said he was still concerned about the salary for the RCC Director position; he said this could set the stage for what we pay department heads in the future, and this fact should be considered.
MOTION: To approve the hire of Jamie Ames of Bar Harbor as a full time dispatcher, at grade 9 step A $16.38 per hour, effective February 24, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: To approve the hire of Jamie Denbow of Harrington as a full time dispatcher, at grade 9 step A- $16.38 per hour, effective February 24, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
Spousal Health Coverage Policy Discussion:
CA Adkins explained that the intent of the policy needs to be determined, and after discussions he had with individual Commissioners, it seems that the decision made regarding coverage for Officer Frye’s spouse may have been in error. Commissioner Clark said there was simply a finding that the spouse did not have insurance with her employer, therefore she qualified for the County’s insurance; he understood that this was not in violation of the policy. Commissioner Brown said the intent of the policy was that if the spouse’s employer offered insurance, they would not be eligible for county insurance. He said it was important to apply the policy to the individual, not the individual to the policy. CA Adkins said there needs to be a distinction between “eligibility” and “available coverage”. Commissioner Clark said he wanted the record to reflect that two out of three commissioners did not believe the policy had been violated. Deputy CA Knowlton said that since she has been here, the policy had been applied in terms of coverage, not eligibility, and if the intent of the Commission was to use eligibility, that would change the way the policy would be applied; she said she simply needed to know the commissioners’ intent of the policy so that it could be applied consistently. Commissioner Brown said if that was opened up, it would create a ripple effect, and a decision should not be made in haste. Commissioner Blasi asked the commissioners what they would do with the Working Spouses policy. Commissioner Brown said the policy should be left as it is; if a change was made down the line, it should be done after research and consultation. Commissioner Blasi said he liked the policy the way it is, and he realized the error made. Commissioner Clark said we should know whether or not there was some intent to take advantage of our policy or whether circumstances led to them having to accept our policy, and without researching each individual case that may not be known. Commissioner Clark maintained that eligibility should be used as the standard in the policy. Commissioners Brown and Blasi did not agree- Commissioner Blasi said he did not agree because of the subjective interpretation that using eligibility as a standard causes. Commissioner Blasi said he would place the discussion about the decision made at the previous meeting on an upcoming agenda. CA Adkins said that he and Deputy CA Knowlton would contact legal.
At this point Commissioner Brown left the meeting due to a previously scheduled event.
There was some discussion on the potential location of the IT Systems Administrator’s office.
MOTION: to adjourn (Clark/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)
Deputy County Administrator