Commissioner Agendas & Minutes
COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING
November 26, 2014
Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Blasi and Brown in attendance.
COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING
Commissioner Percy L. Brown, Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioner Blasi in attendance.
Sheriff, William F. Clark was recognized for his 34 years of service to the citizens of Hancock County.
Adjustments to the agenda:
MOTION: to change item 1b to: approval to pay for a supplemental health insurance plan for the Treasurer and to move items 2 a, b and c ahead of item 1. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the Director of Standards & Compliance job description. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if the Chief Deputy was of higher rank than the DSC; the answer was yes.
MOTION: to approve the transfer of Chief Deputy Richard Bishop to the position for Director of Standards & Compliance effective January 3, 2015. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that it was his recollection that during the budget process, this position was a one year position, Sheriff Elect Kane stated that it was initiated for FY15 and then they will look at it in future years. Commissioner Blasi questioned if Chief Deputy Bishop understood this. Sheriff Elect Kane stated CD Bishop understands the salary, the qualifications and the requirements and that there might be discussions. Commissioner Blasi congratulated Sheriff Elect Kane.
CFO Roy requested to pay Sheriff Elect Kane and Lt. Kane their benefit accruals, vacation, sick and comp time, in one lump sum from account G1-3011-03 in January 2015.
MOTION: to agree to pay for Sheriff Elect Scott Kane and Lt. Pat Kane’s accruals in the amount of $38,887.14 from account G1-3011-03 in January 2015. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Blasi asked, for the record, if Sheriff Elect Kane planned on naming Pat Kane as Chief Deputy. The Sheriff Elect stated that a letter will be written to the Clerk and the named date will be January 1, 2015. The transfer request noting the total hours and amount to be paid was signed by Commissioners Brown and Blasi.
CFO Roy explained the payroll process for yearend 2014 and the beginning of 2015. To meet the Garcia 7K Exemption, both parties will need to be paid for their patrol deputy time. Commissioner Brown questioned if he takes office on January 3rd if his pay-date would be January 8th; CFO Roy stated yes, Chief Deputy Bishop will receive his new salary on January 15th.
MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to conduct county administrator interviews. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy, who arrived during the first interview, called the meeting back into regular session at 3:27 p.m. and stated that the commissioners have interviewed two candidates and will continue that process.
MOTION: to approve the supplemental health care plan for the treasurer. (Brown/Joy motion and 2nd were rescinded)
MOTION: to approve payment for a supplemental health insurance plan for the county treasurer. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CFO Roy stated this will show as earned income to the employee; Treasurer Eldridge understood this, adding that if the vendor were to be paid directly, it would be exempt from taxes.
CFO Roy stated that normally he has at least a day and a half to prepare for capital account recommendations. He stated that he has been receiving updated information through 2:30 this afternoon and requested that the commissioners table the airport and general fund capital reserves to the February meeting in order to have more accurate information and a better understanding of the financials. When asked by Commissioner Blasi regarding what recommendations he would have made today, CFO Roy replied nothing, I can't, adding that he was telling the commissioners that he has warned and warned and warned the commissioners that utilizing undesignated funds to offset your operations can eventually catch up to you and it's catching up to us this year; short estimates show that after that money is set aside that we will have somewhere between $80,000 and $150,000 of Undesignated money, but I can't tell you point blank what it is.. CFO Roy stated that a commissioner’s vote would allow the CFO to correctly calculate Undesignated Funds. Commissioner Brown stated that the cruiser account may be an issue if not set now. CFO Roy stated that at the first of the year there would be approximately $31,000 in the account, one vehicle could be purchased out of the budget in January/February and another could wait until late September. $310,000 has to be put into a fund for operations. Commissioner Brown stated that the county could obtain a TAN in order to keep operations going. CFO Roy stated his concern and suggested keeping a fund balance above the $310,000. GASB allows the commissioners to table the discussion until February. Commissioner Brown stated that the new audit will start in March.
Commissioner Blasi requested an airport capital reserve account report.
MOTION: to postpone setting the FY14 capital accounts for the airport and general funds to February 2015. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Jail Capital Account(s) Recommendations:
Jail Reserves Acct # Begin bal Expenditures Ending bal
Contingency 3100-00 10,000 10,000
Fed Holding Res. 3105-00 22,671 22,671
Furniture 3110-00 2,837 2,837
Equipment 3115-00 500 500
Buildings 3120-00 38,966 38,966
Vehicle 3125-00 28,000 19,537 8,468
102,974 19,537 83,442
A control panel will cost approximately $48,000, CFO Roy recommended leasing the panel.
Jail Administrator Richardson suggested that the commissioners use $22,671 in Federal Reserve funds toward the purchase of the Control Panel and pay the rest, $26,144, from the Buildings account. Opt 2. was a bid for $48,815 from the company that we already have to replace the control panel, another bid was received to replace the entire system in the amount of $225,000. Jail Administrator Richardson suggested staying with the company that we have for $49,815. CFO Roy stated that if it were to be leased with $22,671 down the monthly payment would be approximately $400 a month. CFO Roy stated that if you took the $22,000 there is no tax relief, he suggested doing a lease to buy purchase and putting $30,000 down. Sheriff Elect Kane questioned the life span of the equipment should it be leased, the answer was 20 years. He voiced his concerns regarding a roofing concern and draining the building account.
Commissioner Brown stated that within the next 6 months there will be a bill in the legislature that may change everything we do. He preferred to pay for it now rather than going to the tax payers for more money. Commissioner Blasi requested Administrator Richardson’s interpretation of the statutes. He stated that the jail is not a factor in the BOC with regard to the 25/75 split. His recommendation was what he was told at the BOC, that was to spend the money. There are no other accounts that would apply to this except for buildings, equipment and federal holding. CFOP Roy stated that the debt service payment needs to be paid on January 2, 2015. If the $17,000 were applied to the debt service, the tax relief would be directly in FY16. There are currently no funds in the budget to lease the equipment. A simple term lease for 60 months with $26,000 down is $480 a month. CFO Roy recommended financing it on a yearly payment plan. Commissioner Brown could not see financing the purchase. CFO Roy stated that he was heavily involved with a bill that is headed to the governor and that "this jail is going back to the county." Commissioner Joy stated that he was not sure that he could jettison the jail in this environment.
Commissioner Joy stated that he believed that the commissioners were in agreement that the panel needs to be purchased; they just need to figure out how they were going to pay for it. If you borrow the funds you will need BOC approval, leasing is different. Commissioner. Blasi stated "you just take the funds out of reserves, it’s a safety issue, and contingency can be used on a safety issue." Commissioner Brown suggested taking $22,671 from account 3105-00 and the remainder out of Buildings 3120-00 to purchase the control panel. Commissioner Joy stated that the BOC has consistently not kept their word. CFO Roy discussed the reduction in inmate population.
MOTION: to take $22,671 from account #3105-00 and the remainder of $26,144 out of Buildings account #3120-00 to purchase the control panel. (Brown/Joy motion and 2nd rescinded.) Discussion: CFO suggested taking the funds out of account 3105-00 and move it to 3120-00, Commissioner Brown agreed.
MOTION: to move $22,671 from account #3105-00 to account #3120-00 and pay for the entire panel from account #3120-00. (Brown/Joy 1-2 motion failed, Blasi and Joy opposed.
Discussion: Commissioner Joy questioned the vehicle account for the jail and stated that now there is only $27,000 remaining in the building account. CFO Roy suggested that the Jail Administrator seek funding alternatives as $38,000 is not enough to fix a roof and the retaining wall. Commissioner Joy suggested adding the discussion to the January agenda. Commissioner Blasi requested more information on funding reserves. A discussion followed regarding the roof and the console. Currently, there are no issues with the roof. Commissioner Joy was leaning toward leasing but Commissioner Brown was not, stating "if we have the money buy it." Commissioner Blasi suggested that if we have the funds in the reserves, we should transfer them.
MOTION: to move $22,671 from account 3105-00 to 3120-00 and pay for the entire panel from account 3120-00. (Brown/Joy 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed)
Commissioner Joy stated that the telecommuting discussion will be postponed to the January 6, 2015 CRM.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING
Commissioner Percy L. Brown, Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, December 12, 2014 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioner Blasi in attendance.
Adjustments to the Agenda:
MOTION: to add approval of the Unorganized Territory FY15-16 budget directly after the Time Warner discussion and to add item 2b regarding warrant issues. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, 1-1, motion failed) Discussion: When asked by Commissioner Blasi about the warrant issues, CFO Roy stated that preferred to disclose this information during the meeting.
MOTION: to approve the promotion of part-time corrections officer Jodi Bickford of Winter Harbor to the position temporary full-time corrections officer at the rate of $13.50 per hour, effective December 20, 2014. This position includes sick time and holiday benefits. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy arrived at 8:33 a.m.
MOTION: to add approval of the Unorganized Territory FY15-16 budget under item 2b and to discuss three warrant items. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: When Commissioner Blasi asked again about the warrant issues, CFO Roy stated that one of them is questions that were asked about the warrant, the other was to release a check and the third was that warrants are leaving the county property and he wanted to discuss that.
CFO Roy stated that normally when a holiday falls on a pay day, employees are paid the Wednesday prior to the holiday. Due to January 1, 2015 pay date falling on a Thursday, CFO Roy suggested keeping the January 1st pay date and the Federal Reserve would automatically make the deposit on Friday January 2nd. He stated that a union representative has spoken to the Business Agent and has stated that the union preferred to be paid according to union contract. Commissioner Blasi requested comments from attending managers. Director Walls suggested doing what is in the best interest of the employees. Commissioner Brown stated that this cannot be the first time this has happened; CFO Roy stated that previously employees have been paid the Wednesday prior to the holiday. Commissioner Brown did not want to run into issues with a 51 week pay period during 2015 and couldn’t see one day making a difference. CFO Roy was concerned with tax implications for hourly employees. Commissioner Joy questioned the pay week, which in this case, it would be the 52nd pay week. Commissioner Joy stated that would like employees notified that checks will be deposited on January 2nd and that this will be the only time in 2014 or 2015 that we will do this.
MOTION: instead of paying on the 31st that we pay on the 2nd which will be the 1st pay day in 2015 and that we notify employees today. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Employees we will be paid the Wednesday before Christmas as usual. Sheriff's Administrative Assistant, Michelle Cote questioned if employees would be paid normally for the rest of the year. CFO Roy stated that all but 2 days will be paid in 2014.
MOTION: to approve FY16 UT budget expenditures in the amount of $259,130 and revenues in the amount of $35,978 for a total amount to be raised by taxation in the amount of $223,152. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy stated that G1-3011-65 Pine State Vending Account, to include all vending machines on the courthouse campus, was questioned during the warrant process. Commissioner Joy stated that by making this donation, the committee is now making policy for the use of these funds; it is not taxpayer dollars and that is why the commissioners are not involved in the spending of the funds. Commissioner Brown stated that the committee may want to have some kind of policy regarding how to spend the funds in order to address commissioner concerns. Commissioner Joy wanted to make attendees aware of how the funds were spent. The balance in the fund is $1,980.86. Director Wellman thanked the committee for making the decision that they made.
CFO Roy stated that the advertising account in the commissioner's office has been overdrawn due to advertising for the County Administrator and that there is no need to move funds to cover this as the overall budget in this department is in the clear.
There was a question regarding account 3505, this is the NAPA account number. This account was set up separately for tracking purposes.
CFO Roy stated that there was a question regarding a bill from a local attorney for the Registry of Probate in the amount of $2,500 in the latest warrant. In the past, attorneys have been paid more than $500 for services. Attorney payment is solely at the discretion of the Judge of Probate. Commissioner Blasi questioned $800 in research included in the bill and asked if it could be broken out more. Commissioner Joy questioned the sporadic amount of payments approved by the judge. Usually there is a $500 cap and payment may depend the length of the case and continuances. Register Cousins stated that she and the Judge of Probate negotiated the cost down from $2,500 to $1,500 and it is an ORDER/Ruling solely from the Judge of Probate. This particular case has been ongoing for two years. Commissioner Blasi reiterated his question regarding the cost breakout of research. Register Cousins explained the probate process of this particular case. Commissioner Blasi stated that he liked how the rest of the bill was broken out but did not like how the research was listed.
MOTION: to release the check. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi noted that in looking at the expense account, the funds are available.
CFO Roy stated that he has been made aware that warrants left the county building. Once they leave the campus, we have no control over them; he asked the commissioners make a motion to keep warrants on campus. Commissioner Blasi stated that he took the warrants down to the first floor to work on them and objected to CFO Roy's statement. CFO Roy requested to please keep the warrants in the building.
Time Warner Cable Broadband Presentation:
Mr. Harland Williamson of Time Warner Cable presented the commissioners with information regarding Broadband communications for Fletchers Landing Township (FLT). Commissioner Blasi asked, “what is the question to Time Warner.” We are trying to get internet into Fletchers Landing Township. Time Warner has interest but someone would have to pick up the cost. Commissioner Joy questioned the quote. Currently services ends at the junction of 180 and Mariaville Road that turns toward Kids Peace. The Ellsworth portion is just over 10,000 ft and FLT would be another couple of miles. The limit is 250 feet of the road; building down driveways longer than 250 ft would cost more. The infrastructure would be built but customers would be responsible for the cost of homes on private driveways. Figuring is done per foot and there is an estimated cost that Time Warner uses; a license is required to attach to the poles and there is a charge to connect to electric poles. The make ready cost is approximately $72,000 for the power and phone company. The main road has been mapped out, some offset roads can be looked at. Commissioner Blasi stated that Rt. 180 does not exist now, it is a fork now.
City of Ellsworth Manager, Michelle Beal stated that this is the first time she has heard of the county's plan to bring Broadband to FLT, she had no comment. Even though the county would pay for the infrastructure, users will have to pay for the cost of the service; Time Warner will pay for a part of it but the customer will pay part as well. The County has funds to do the work in FLT but cannot spend the funds outside of FLT. Jason Ingalls, IT Director for the City of Ellsworth stated that as part of their Franchise Agreement, the City has asked to extend Time Warner service to the end of Routs 179 and 180. The City proposal does not include Graham Way. A change in density would have to be requested through Time Warner Government Relations. The total estimated cost of the FLT project is $135,000. Permits would have to be applied for, poles would need to be replaced and work would start prior to Time Warner being able to attach to the poles. An item list reflecting charges for work is available. The numbers quoted today are estimates, but may go up within a $10,000 range.
Commissioner Brown questioned how much of Rt. 179 would be included in the 18 houses per mile; approximately 2 miles and a low density of homes. If the county purchased service from the City Line down to FLT, that would help the City with the cost of their project. Commissioner Brown questioned if the City would be charged less if the County built from their line to the end of FLT. The answer was unknown. If the City builds, there would be less cost for the FLT install. Currently service does not go past the dam. Mike Edgecomb and Shelley Linchenbach of Time Warner Cable are the primary's working on the project. There is an annual payback from Time Warner to operate within the UT. The payback for the town of Hancock is used to establish their municipal cable channel. Commissioner Joy stated that this is done through the TIF and taxation, he suggested that the county would pay for it and move forward as a service to the people. Commissioner Joy questioned if a Tentative Agreement with Time Warner Cable would help with implementation of the project. This was out of the representative’s range of discretion.
The City of Ellsworth made their request through Shelly Linchenbach and did not speak to any other vendors other than Time Warner Cable. Commissioner Joy stated that this was a good use of the TIF Funds, it is a high priority for him and that in this day and age high speed internet is necessary for all kinds of reasons and he would like to see it going into the TIF District down Rt. 179. We cannot do this without the City of Ellsworth being approved for their project as we cannot spend TIF funds outside of the TIF District. FLT is 2.7 miles long. The distance is 21,660 ft from the pole at the Waltham Town Line. It was clarified that the discussion centered around the old Rt. 180, not the new 180. Commissioner Brown asked if the county decided to make an agreement for the UT, does it make the City proposal more intriguing for Time Warner. Shelley Linchenbach would have to answer that question as this is a Government Relations question. Commissioner Joy stated that we would like to do this and we can fund our end of it, if the City of Ellsworth can get their portion, we can offer the service. He encouraged participants to move forward in the process. The county will have to pay for the string to get through Ellsworth and the fiber optic system. County funds would be needed to be spent outside of the UT. FLT would need fiber optics and the homes would utilize coax cable. Fiber optics would be for UT only. The representative will contact Shelley Linchenbach in order to let her know that the County would like to move forward with this project. The $135,000 quoted cost would be the number needed to make the feed for FLT, it would not feed any homes on the Ellsworth side but the Ellsworth proposal does not meet the 18 homes per mile criteria. The cost of the project (the make-ready cost) up to FLT would be borne by the City. Commissioner Joy encouraged Supervisor Billings to find out if TIF Funds could be used in the make-ready cost even though it was not in the TIF District. Supervisor Billings will speak to the DECD regarding this question as the Hancock Wind permit has not been approved yet. Supervisor Billings stated that the cost to go from the old Rt. 180 to FLT is $135,000. Commissioner Brown encouraged Time Warner to drop the 18 houses per mile stipulation. Most franchise agreements do not include private roads.
9:50 a.m.: Break
10:00 a.m.: Back in Session
Kathleen Tyson, of Runyon Kersteen Ouellette presented the 2013 Audit Report for the General Fund and the FY14 Audit Report for Jail & UT. She thanked the commissioners and stated that this was a long, drawn out year, items were taken back to research and there was turn-over of a partner within the firm. When Ms. Tyson took over, the process began again. There were in-house challenges due to absences which accounted for the delay between May and August. During the months of August-September there was daily contact regarding the audit. There was a good turn around for the June 30 year of less than a week. The County draft audit was sent on October 8, the final was issued on October 31st and mailed on November 5th. There were two financial statements, one for UT and one for Jail and one Letter of Communication. The Letter of Communication mentioned 8 Journal Entries; 2 were past Journal entries and 6 were posted. There were 4 UT Journal Entries and 1 was passed upon. The Jail an UT are not stand alone entities. The UT technically is part or a component of the State of Maine. The Jail is part of the County as a whole.
The County Audit had a clean opinion with the exception that the jail was not included. The County Audit was a single audit that included an A133 Audit, the County Audit, A Management Letter and a Letter of Communication. The reason the county has a single audit is because it receives over $500,000 in Federal Funds, there are 14 compliance elements which are due to Airport Grants. There were no findings in respect to the Federal Compliance. The Management Letter listed two Significant Deficiencies; Preparation of Financial Statements and Audit Adjustments and Account Receivable Reconciliation and Airport Project Balances. The Management Letter may offer suggestions in order to improve processes. There were no Material Weaknesses noted in the County Audit. There were 33 Audit Adjustments/Journal Entries in this audit, two of which were past. In order for it to be past, it has to be immaterial individually and in the aggregate. Most Journal Entries get posted, typically there are only five Journal Entries that need to be posted. These entries were attached to the letter of Communication. Thirty-one of thirty-three were posted and two were past. Both Significant Deficiencies were mentioned in past audits. Regarding Preparation of Financial Statements and Audit Adjustments, which has been repeated in times past, the auditors did a significant amount of work which results in a deficiency; ie they are doing the financial statements that the county should be doing. Currently Cumberland County is the only County Government that prepares their own financial statements; it is very common to have the auditors involved in this step. She requested to get the number of Journal Entries down. This was due to absences and not being able to prepare as in prior years. Auditor Tyson would like to see this cut in half by next year. Commissioner Blasi asked how much of the $18,007 (of the bill) was for that work? His question was answered later in the presentation. The next deficiency was also noted in the Jail. Historically the county has not had Accounts Receivable (AR) tracked, in 2013 a new process began which tracks AR. This was booked at year end, the federal, state and local shares of airport projects should have been tracked and should come out to zero. Once the transition to AR happened in 2014, it became clear that AIP tracking was needed. The deficit listed could have gone back for several years. Previously, the Local Match was not transferred in a timely manner. Ms. Tyson stated that she likes the current method of tracking due to implementation and utilization of the AR. It is highly likely that the answer to the problem will be an adjustment to Fund 2 (Airport Project Fund). Other Comments included Department Checking Accounts, checking accounts held in other departments are not being subjected to internal controls, which weakens internal controls; these accounts include the Inmate Account, Civil Process Account and Restitution Account which is a State of Maine account. The types of things that those accounts are not being subject to are check signing by the treasurer which is an important control, warrant approval by the commissioners and in some cases, the posting into the General Ledger. These were not up to the level of a Significant Deficiency but it is something that the commissioners should be aware of. A Significant Deficiency listed as the Vending Account (repeated) is due to the Sheriff’s Vending account, the funds have not been moved to the OFA and the commissioners should not lose sight of this. There is a healthy set of reserve accounts in the amount of almost $400,000. The fund balance is low but reserve funds could be used. Auditor Tyson stated that if the commissioners have questions on the Financial Statement, she would be glad to answer them at any time.
Commissioner Blasi asked the following questions:
How much of the $18,007 Professional Courtesy Adjustment was due to Journal Entry Adjustments that the auditor had to make that appeared on the final invoice? There was a not to exceed fixed fee agreement, RKO tried to stay within 85% of that agreement. Normally $9,000 to $12,000 is written off each year. There was a new partner working on the audit, therefore more time was taken and Ms. Tyson was brought in late and had to restart audit work.
- Please clarify Fund Balances on page 17 of the Notes, particularly the General Fund unassigned (undesignated) fund balance of $101,344. On December 19, 2013 the after-budget-transfer total Undesignated Fund balance was $506,527, also the Airport Capital Projects Fund had unassigned fund deficits of $36,070, which you have commented on (in your recent memo). The unassigned balance is not measured by “cash in the bank” it is a mix of what is left over. 2012 is slightly over $300,000, the 2014 Fund Balance declined from the prior year. Ms. Tyson did not know where the $506,000 number came from. Journal Entries would result in a change from the December 19th date to the final number. She would have to know where the numbers came from prior to being able to answer the question correctly. Estimated Fund Balances are just an estimate. The auditors opinion is based on a snapshot in time.
- Please explain Adjusting Journal Entry #2 in the Jail. This involved correction of AR. In this case a check was received from the FEDS, it was posted to AR but AR had not been set up and it was moved to revenues.
Commissioner Blasi read the following statement into the record: “The Commissioners should not tolerate poor performance which leads to financial misstatements. This is a governmental department, in which the law entrusts the public's confidence. Yet management, County CFO Roy, has determined on page 2 of your UT letter that the effects of uncorrected misstatements of the financial statements "are immaterial.... to the financial statements as a whole." The CFO takes the same approach on page 2 of the Airport letter. Under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the CFO is responsible for the financial statements. Does GAAP allow the CFO to determine what needs to be adjusted and what auditor's recommended adjustments can be ignored? The Journal Entries are brought to the CFO by the Auditor, it is their responsibility to propose changes, which is a matter of mathematical formula “how much can we tolerate, how much they can be off” The auditor would go to the CFO with a proposed Journal Entry and he would decide if it would be posted or not. It is a joint process, if it is a Material Difference, the Auditor would require it to be posted. The past adjustments are considered immaterial. Most County’s want to post all Journal Entries. A trivial Journal Entry is close to a rounding issue. Most of the journal entries in this audit were determined to be insignificant, but was suggested to make something correct.
The Materiality Level of tolerable misstatements in the General Audit is up to $51,000, individually. The Airport Operations Material Level of tolerable misstatements is $20,000. Treasurer Eldridge questioned a letter regarding the Treasurer signing warrants. Auditor Tyson stated that this was an important part of internal control. Treasurer Eldridge also questioned the signing of the warrant, adding that when she was first treasurer she was approached by Roger Raymond regarding checks, he stated that a treasurer never signs checks without a majority of commissioners signing off on the warrant. Auditor Tyson stated that she was happy to give her thoughts on Internal Control but it was up to the commissioners to make policy. She suggested sitting down with the parties in order to help with the process, as a team. Auditors are not supposed to set policy but they know a great deal about internal control. Treasurer Eldridge stated that nine treasurers have all their commissioner’s sign warrants prior to signing checks. Commissioner Blasi stated that the Treasurer has stated her preference that two commissioners sign the warrant prior to her signing checks. Commissioner Joy stated that we have a policy that has been voted upon and it works. Normally the chairman signs the warrant in order to issue checks in a timely manner and the remainder of the commissioners sign the warrants at the regular meeting. Commissioner Brown questioned when the audit should actually take place. Ms. Tyson stated that she was actually going to start today but Parker could not make it today adding that the 2nd goal should be to cut the time of when the county is audited, they would like to come in March to begin the audit, the draft would be issued within 30 days and the final copy would be issued in another 30 days. The end of March is a good starting date and they would be done by the beginning of June. Most Adjusting Journal Entries were balance sheet items. Ms. Tyson will be leading the Audit team again in 2015. Commissioner Brown did not want to fall into the late auditing timeline again and wanted the audit to begin in March. Commissioner Joy stated that the health account should not hold up the audit as it can be estimated. By March most of the accounts should be reconciled for the previous year. Commissioner Brown stated that Hancock County utilized TRIO and asked if TRIO fits us. Ms. Tyson stated that TRIO is not the system that caused issues within the audit; it is a good product for a reasonable price. Ms. Tyson was thanked for her time.
The following language was proposed for elected official health insurance:
These elected officials: County Commissioners, Judge of Probate and Treasurer, assuming office on or after January 1, 2015 will be eligible to receive paid single subscriber health insurance or a single subscriber buy-out/buy-down, upon proof of outside coverage.
These elected officials: Register of Probate, Register of Deeds and Sheriff, assuming office on or after January 1, 2015 will be eligible to receive up to a family plan at contribution rates set by the county commissioners or a qualifying buy-out/buy-down, upon proof of outside coverage.
MOTION: to accept this policy as written. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) (It was discussed and understood in a previous meeting, that the county would cover the cost of the Commissioners, Judge of Probate and Treasurers health insurance, if the elected official should choose to add their family members, it would be at the cost of the elected official.)
MOTION: to nominate Commissioner Steven E. Joy as commissioner representative to the Maine County Commissioners Association and Risk Pool. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Airport FY15 Budget Presentation:
MOTION: to approve airport revenue for FY15 in the amount of $648,770. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Manager Madeira presented the following changes for Airport Expenditures:
Increase account 05-300 to $80,000
Increase account 10-405 to $4,000
Increase account 20-005 to $2,400
Increase account 20-200 to $13,900
Commissioner Blasi requested to decrease account 60-400 to $14,000. Manager Madeira stated that the Cost Allocation Formula comes out to approximately $16,000 but it will come down to whatever the actual number is. Commissioner Brown questioned why we would go to the tax payers for the funds when the airport can actually pay for it.
MOTION: to approve airport expenditures in the amount of $687,479. (Joy/Blasi 2-1, motion passed, Brown opposed) Discussion: there is a $38,709 difference between airport revenues and expenditures.
12:15 p.m.: Break for lunch
12:45 p.m.: Back in session
CFO Roy stated that currently, the BAC proposed budget showed an amount to be raised by taxation at $5,338.559 which is $178,275 over the FY14 budget or 3.45%, this utilized $40,000 in Community Benefit Funds and $250,000 in Undesignated Funds. Total expenditures, including the jail bond, is $7,401,886, less revenues of $2,063,327 equals an amount to be raised by taxation of $5,338,559.
The estimated total in the Undesignated Fund is $560,000. A decrease of $75,000 would bring the budget down to 2%.
Commissioner Brown suggested raising the Undesignated Fund to $300,000 and increase Community Benefit funds by $50,000, which puts an additional $100,000 towards the budget to reduce taxation to 1.52%. Registry of Deeds revenues could also be increased.
MOTION: move to use all Community Benefits money as revenues in the 2015 budget. (Blasi/failed for lack of 2nd)
MOTION: to reduce RCC revenue by $2,500 because Trenton did not join the RCC. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy suggested increasing the Communications revenue account #14-100 by $1,000 to $2,648. Commissioner Joy stated that the Cell Phone account is now expended at 109%, he was struggling with this as it appears that anyone who wants a phone, gets them. CFO Roy stated that a $1,500 credit is due this account and we have never budgeted for taxes for Fair Point Communications, we cannot get out of paying for these but we can file with the State and Federal Government to recoup these funds. We cannot recoup the 9-1-1 surcharge costs. Commissioner Blasi agreed with Commissioner Joy regarding general cell phone usage in our government. Commissioner Joy questioned the difference in cell phone costs from 2014 to 2015. CFO Roy stated that not everyone has the same cell phones as they began with, cell phones have been upgraded. Five phones have been added in 2014, when asked by Commissioner Blasi if all phone purchases have been approved by the commissioners, CFO Roy responded yes. A large credit should come in November/December. The accounts will be consolidated after the credit is received. Commissioner Blasi asked how long it normally takes for US Cellular to adjust for credit. CFO Roy stated that it has been two months. When asked by Commissioner Blasi if this was the normal turnaround time, CFO Roy replied, this was a large credit because we sent back Lifeproof cases and went to Otter Box cases and they all had to be received by the corporation. It was too big of a credit for the local representative so she had to wait until corporate issues the credit. The amount of $$27,080 was given by the US Cellular Representative as the projected cost for cellular services in 2015. Commissioner Joy suggested increasing account 14-15-115 Cell Phones.
Increase account 14-100 to $2,658
Increase account 14-15-115 to $30,000.
MOTION: to increase Department 14 Communications expenses to $49,500. (Joy/Blasi 2-1, motion failed, Blasi opposed.) Discussion: Commissioner Brown questioned the existing costs in 2014 and why they are so high. Commissioner Blasi questioned if CFO Roy noticed this during BAC discussions. Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners need to be aware that this account is growing and needs to be monitored. Sheriff’s phones typically have been replaced every 2 years, all smart phones are insured. Commissioner Joy stated that if we know the number is higher for 2014, why would we lie to ourselves and budget less? Accounts will be consolidated down to two in January. Commissioner Brown requested more information regarding how many phones are out there and who they are assigned to; he also questioned if there was unlimited texting on the iPhones. The answer was yes from iPhone to iPhone.
MOTION: to increase department 14 account 100 revenues to $3,648. (Blasi/Joy 2-1 motion failed, Joy opposed) MOTION an Second rescinded.
MOTION: to increase Department 14 Communications expenses to $49,500. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to increase Department 14 communications revenues to $3,650. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Brown suggested increasing revenues in the Registry of Deeds and we could pick-up some money in fuel.
MOTION: to apply $300,000 in Undesignated Funds and $50,000 in Community Benefits Funds to the FY15 County budget for an increase in revenues of $100,000. (Joy/failed for lack of 2nd) Discussion: CFO Roy suggested using Community Benefits until necessary. CFO Roy stated that proposed expenditures totaled $7,404,806, revenue totaled $1,771,829, transfers totaled $390,000 or 1.6% which is $82,693 over the FY14 budget.
Commissioner Blasi brought to the attention of the commissioner’s job descriptions for a part-time clerk in the commissioner’s and treasurer’s office as a potential cost savings. Commissioner Joy stated that he felt that he could ask for more from a person if he offered more. He preferred to leave the position at full-time in order to get a more qualified person. Commissioner Blasi was concerned that the full-time person could not keep up with the duties of both positions. Commissioner Brown stated that Commissioner Blasi may be right but we may not be able to find someone to fill that position at 40 hours, if that happens then we would get two 20 hour people. Commissioner Joy stated that the position will not be filled by January 1st. Commissioner Brown stated that the $82,693 increase in the budget is because of the inclusion of the county administrator. Commissioner Joy suggested adding an additional $10,000 in revenues.
MOTION: to take $310,000 from Undesignated Funds, $50,000 from Community Benefit Funds that came in this year's check in October or November and then $40,000 out of the one that came in earlier in the year, so $90,000 from Community Benefits Funds $310,000 from Undesignated Funds for a total of $400,000. (Joy/Brown 2-1, Blasi opposed, motion failed as a unanimous vote was needed to overturn the BAC vote) Discussion: there will be $151,001 left over in Community Benefit funds. $72,693 over last year or 1.41%.
MOTION: to apply all the Community Benefit funds that came in October toward the budget. (Blasi/Brown 1/2 Joy and Brown opposed, motion failed)
CFO Roy stated that what has already been approved by the commissioners and BAC includes $250,000 in Undesignated Funds and $40,000 in Community Benefit Funds.
MOTION: to apply $310,000 Undesignated Funds, $90,000 Community Benefit Funds, of which, $40,000 would come from the previous year and $50,000 from this year. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve FY15 expenditures in the amount of $7,404,806 and revenues in the amount of $2,171,829 making the amount to be raised by taxation $5,232,977. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Blasi suggested scheduling a meeting on Tuesday, December 30, 2014. The meeting will begin at 3:00 p.m.
Discussion: Telecommuting Agreement.
Commissioner Joy asked the following questions of CFO Roy:
1. Do you still desire to telecommute. Yes.
2. Commissioners are you open to a discussion with this employee about telecommuting? Blasi- yes ,Brown- I'll listen to it.
CFO Roy asked if the discussion was going to be held in open session. Commissioner Joy stated that if medical issues arise they will have to go into executive session but the idea of having a Telecommuting employee is perfectly public.
3. Have you been cleared to work? Yes. I would like to be in executive session. Commissioner Joy stated that this is a public discussion about one of our employees. CFO Roy responded you just asked me if I was cleared to work medically. Commissioner Joy stated, no I did not, I said are you cleared to work. CFO Roy stated that the question gives the assumption that (he did not finish) Commissioner Joy clarified that he asked if he was cleared to work and then asked if he was cleared to work again. Yes
4. Have you been cleared to drive? I have not. The County Clerk was asked to confirm the answer given.
5. Are there any restrictions on your work hours? There are none other than I may need time off.
6. Are there any restrictions on your work like type of work, length of work, working days, anything like that? No. The County Clerk was asked to confirm the answer given.
7. Are you asking for any equipment so that you may telecommute? I utilize the county's laptop, other than supplies.
8. How many days are you asking to telecommute? I'm asking to telecommute up to 40 hours a week with the hope to try to be in the office at least one day a week. It is not for indefinitely.
9. Is there an end date for you working 40 hours or more within this building? The answer to the question is yes. Do we have it? The answer is yes and no. According to CFO Roy, this question could not be answered in open session.
Commissioner Joy stated that even when CFO Roy worked here, he was not open to work schedules that began at 5:00 a.m. or ended at 10:00 at night, county offices are open from 7:30 to 4:00, he believed that the work dealing with the employees in the building, some employees worked after 5:00 but most of the work is here (in the building) during business hours. He proposed to set CFO Roy's telecommuting schedule from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., that way there is the ability to communicate with employees and the commissioners.
10. Is there any reason that this schedule either shouldn’t be used or couldn’t be adhered to? There is a lot of work done outside that schedule, a lot of work, sometimes it depends on when the health insurance comes in and when the warrant is done. Commissioner Joy stated that all that work is being done between 7:30 and 4:00. CFO Roy replied, no it's not, not at all, sometimes we don't get the health insurance run until 3:00 in the afternoon and so I get it done so that the warrant can be done the next morning. Commissioner Joy stated that if the warrant is not signed until Thursday, there is no schedule that say's that the warrant has to be done on Tuesday or it has to be done on Wednesday, we try to pay our bills every two weeks, is that correct? Sure
Commissioner Blasi asked if #2 could address scheduling as there might be another one. Commissioner Joy stated that it was bullet #11 that addressed scheduling. Commissioner Blasi clarified and stated that items that addressed scheduling are #11 and #12, the last bullet.
Commissioner Joy stated that our work that our work that needs to be done for this building, he was not seeing that there were things that needed to be done outside of those parameters, he was still listening to CFO Roy, Commissioner Joy has told him what he thinks, CFO Roy gets to tell the commissioners what he thinks and that this is an agreement between the commissioners and the employee, if we can't reach that agreement, we can't reach it, he was willing to hear CFO Roy's opinion on things that he didn't want or like as this agreement either will be worked out or it won't, that was what he, personally, was trying to find out. CFO Roy questioned if the commissioners were telling him that he couldn’t work Saturday or Sunday as it is his practice to do so. Commissioner Joy stated that the work schedule is 7:30 to 4:00 and he is not asking the CFO to work more than 40 hours. CFO Roy questioned if he would be able to take time off during those hours and make it up on Saturday's and Sundays. Commissioner Joy asked if he got sick and vacation time and questioned what that was supposed to be used for. CFO Roy stated that it is used what is above and beyond what is not worked there is a difference between an hourly employee and an exempt employee; if an individual puts in 40+ hours per week you do not have to use your sick or vacation time by Fair Labor Standards. Commissioner Joy questioned if CFO Roy's work schedule was 24 hours a day 7 days a week. CFO Roy stated that it doesn't happen that way but he has received phone calls at midnight on a Sunday that are not logged and he deals with it on a Sunday morning. Commissioner Joy questioned if that was not what an exempt employee was submitted to. CFO Roy stated that the problem was that the commissioners were asking him to document all of his time. Commissioner Joy stated that it was because they were setting up the telecommuting type situation that was not you in the building, when CFO Roy is in the building he can be seen, he can talk to him, he can see that he is talking on his phone, he can watch him on his computer, the commissioners can sit with him and communicate. This is a different situation, this is something that is suppose to help the employee but also help us. CFO Roy agreed. Commissioner Joy stated that he is not open to this outside of those parameters, he did not know how the other commissioners felt. CFO Roy stated "then I will work under those parameters and again I think it hog ties my hands in getting some of the work done." Commissioner Joy stated that we have a schedule, this schedule is not for you to decide 24 hours a day and stated that he was coming up with a decision of what he thinks is a work day adding that when he was here, he could see his picture when he checked in, he could sit with him if he wanted to come in at 5:00 but he cannot do that now. Currently, Commissioner Joy can send him an e-mail and reiterated that this was one of his suggestions, he was not saying that it was a board decision.
Commissioner Joy stated that he would like to have the commissioners copied on every e-mail sent by CFO Roy. He used the current weekly report as an example of a poor example of reporting and asked that specific detail be included in CFO Roy's weekly report. Commissioner Joy stated that he did not think the CFO job is one for telecommuting as the position is that of a supervisor, but he did was willing to help accommodate him and understood. Regarding CFO Roy's statement that there is an end date, Commissioner Joy stated that he was looking forward to hearing when that is as he did not feel that the current situation is healthy but was willing to accommodate and stated that he wanted to find some parameters that they can work in and then go forward from there.
Commissioner Joy stated that this is a different situation from when CFO Roy is working in the building; the Telecommunications Policy speaks to it and this is very different, it is not like CFO Roy is an employee working within this building. Commissioner Joy requested a more complete phone log to include who is called, the length of time for the call, who he dealt with and what was the resolution. This was requested because while working in the building, other employees may know about conversations and they can communicate the information to the commissioners, he does not have that ability when the CFO is at home and he does not run into him. CFO Roy stated that Commissioner Joy does not get that information while he is here. Commissioner Joy stated that CFO Roy, while in a supervisory roll, it is not a job for telecommuting adding that CFO Roy has sick time and is expected to use it, he has vacation time and he is expected to use that.
Commissioner Joy stated that 12/5 CFO Roy listed "appointment" on his weekly report at 1.5 hours and vacation for 8 hours. After a brief comment regarding that appointment, Commissioner Joy stated that that does not work for him, they are going to get this out in the open and talk about it, Commissioner Joy reiterated to the commissioners that they cannot talk about medical and all that he talked about was accommodation adding that if either one of them (the commissioners or CFO Roy) wanted to talk about medical he did not mind going into executive session, but not just about work hours as he did not feel that those were confidential. CFO Roy stated that he wanted the record to show that he disagreed because of the insinuation of the situation that they were in and that he believes Commissioner Joy violated his rights, and to just make sure that Commissioner Joy knows that. Commissioner Joy asked CFO Roy that in order to answer or talk to any of the things that he spoke to, if he needed to enter into executive session to answer any of Commissioner Joys concerns. CFO Roy stated I think you know the answer to that because you've asked questions that I can't answer unless we were in executive session. Commissioner Joy responded, of course you can answer work hours and schedule. CFO Roy responded I told you about that and we disagreed. Commissioner Joy stated that CFO Roy could talk about that, that there is nothing confidential, CFO Roy agreed. Commissioner Blasi stated that "according to policy, we can tell you to use all of your accrued leave". CFO Roy replied you're more than welcome to and the work will not get done. Commissioner Joy stated that that was okay, that was fine, and re-asked his question of whether CFO Roy would like to go into executive session. CFO Roy responded if you want me to answer the questions, yes some of them are medical. Commissioner Joy gave Commissioners Brown and Blasi the opportunity to ask any non-medical questions in open session. There were none. Commissioner Joy stated that if they can reach an agreement there will be a live document that everybody agrees to so that it will be memorialized and there will be a record of it.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to discuss a personnel matter. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CFO Roy was asked if he wanted the Clerk in this executive session, his response was she knows everything, when asked if the answer was yes CFO Roy replied yes.
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 3:13 p.m.
CFO Roy asked when the agreement will be ready to look at, and that he will be here on December 22nd. Commissioner Joy stated that he would love to see it done by the end of the day. Commissioner Joy stated, for discussion coming out of executive session, was that the commissioners are going to try to offer CFO Roy a telecommuting agreement that would allow him to telecommute two days a week and be here three days a week, we would like to have a set schedule a week in advance and it would include set working hours. The agreement would be written from what was said today and given to the commissioners, if they agree with it, it will be offered to CFO Roy. The agreement would contain set working hours. Commissioner Blasi stated that he heard it differently, stating that the days in the courthouse would be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Commissioner Joy said that Commissioner Blasi said that but he couldn't say that all three commissioners agreed to that, we did say three days a week there was no consensus on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Commissioner Joy stated that he was still willing to accommodate to some extent but he would really like for CFO Roy to have a set schedule. It was understood that this could be done much easier in a month from today rather than in the next two weeks due to currently scheduled appointments. Commissioner Joy stated that he was not asking CFO Roy to cancel currently scheduled appointments adding that in January, CFO Roy should have a set schedule and make this work. Commissioner Joy stated that he still has interested in having CFO Roy carbon copy all commissioners on telecommuting days and he wanted his schedule to be 7:30 to 4:00 on telecommuting days as he has never like the 5:00 a.m. to 10 :00 p.m., we have office hours and people that are working during those times. Commissioner Joy reiterated that this was his thought and he would have to get consensus from the other commissioners, he was letting CFO Roy hear what was said and the document will say what they (the commissioners) all agree to. CFO Roy stated that the document will go to his attorney prior to him signing it and if it could begin the first week of January, it would make it a lot easier. Commissioner Joy stated that the agreement will outline the commissioners expectations. Commissioner Blasi stated that most likely the commissioners would be interviewing candidates and suggested that the agreement be put on the agenda if they were so inclined, to finalize the agreement.
MOTION to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to review of County Administrator resumes. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 3:50 p.m. and stated that Clerk DePrenger will be contacting some of the applicants for January interviews.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
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, December 2, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.
MOTION: to approve the minutes of the November 7, 2014 commissioners' regular meeting and November 14th, 19th and 26th commissioners' special meetings. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Continuation of RCC Tower/Propagation Study and replacement console discussion: RCC Director Renee Wellman stated that current coverage consists of Cadillac Mt.-south tower, North Ellsworth-north tower, Bull Hill-east tower and Blue Hill-west tower. The RCC frequency is located on Cadillac Mt. and Bull Hill. Though there are problem areas of coverage throughout the county, the northern and western parts are more lacking in coverage with the current towers that are in place. To improve the coverage for the western side of the county, propagation maps show that installing a directional antenna on Mt. Waldo would enhance the coverage immensely. The cost of a structural analysis would be up to $2,000 and there would be a $400 monthly charge to add RCC/HCFFA and EMS channels. Commissioner Brown stated that car repeaters should be researched and questioned why Mt. Waldo coverage has changed from 20 years ago; this is due to equipment changes from analog to digital, interference to include an increase in garage door openers, cell phones, increased usage of radio waves and FCC rulings. Commissioner Joy questioned how to get coverage everywhere; this would need an unlimited budget per Director Wellman. Commissioner Joy was looking for the best coverage for our buck and questioned if there was anything better than Mt. Waldo. The western mountains interfere with Cadillac Mt. coverage for Deer Isle/Stonington. A new tower, to be placed in Stonington, is in the works. The Grant St. and Jackson St. towers have been researched without any contact being made so far, a propagation study has been made on these towers but does not help the Deer Isle/Stonington area. The Grant St. tower study was done from the 100 ft mark; it covers Ellsworth but does not cover the western part of the county as much. After checking with Chief DeLeo in the past, Director Wellman stated that there was no space on the North Ellsworth tower but have since revisited and may have another solution. Upon checking on holding space on Mt. Waldo, Director Wellman’s request was denied but, no one is looking to add a frequency to the tower. The Mt. Waldo tower would need to be inspected prior to adding frequencies. Commissioner Blasi stated "if Waldo looked good, we would still have to set up and start broadcasting and see what it actually did, is that the point?" Director Wellman stated that it would help improve the coverage area and stated that she would like to initiate the first step. A tower located on Caterpillar Hill would improve Deer Isle/Stonington coverage. The equipment cost, for the Mt. Waldo tower, would be approximately $100,000 to $115,000 and it would have a directional antenna. Caterpillar Hill would require a structural study and the addition of a building to house a generator; public safety can be added to the tower at no cost. The cost of the structural study would be approximately $2,000 and building would be approximately $15,000 (to include the generator.) When asked if she could have what she wanted, Director Wellman stated that she would like to have the ability to put towers up everywhere they are needed in addition to possibly satellite coverage which may be an exorbitant cost. Rick Henion of the Forestry Service discussed the cost of satellite service and recommended moving on the Mt. Waldo location. Due to the curvature of the earth, Cadillac Mt. is unable to reach Deer Isle/Stonington. Commissioner Brown requested that Director Wellman continue to study the cost, locations and satellite usage and would like to hear from the Sheriff Elect regarding is thoughts. Commissioner Joy encouraged the director to look into Mt. Waldo and Caterpillar Hill locations. The annual cost associated with the current towers and console is approximately $10,000 plus the additional cost of the Bull Hill tower to the UT. Commissioner Joy stressed the need for an exact cost for the entire project in presentation form to the commissioners. Commissioner Blasi agreed.
Commissioner Blasi asked what plan is in place if the console were to go down. Director Wellman stated that she would come to the commissioners and ask for funds replace the console if she could not get it fixed to operational status. Commissioner Blasi stated that it sounds like a weak plan and voiced his concern with the time it would take to fix the consoles. Commissioner Joy stated that if one of the computers go down, you either fix it or get a new one, that's what you do.
Recently, due to weather conditions, three of the consoles went down; the back-up console was used to talk on the RCC channel; the other radio channels did not go down, it was just the RCC channel that went down on three consoles. The City of Ellsworth is the RCC’s back-up. EMA could set up a mobile station in cooperation with forestry and the PSAP would be forwarded to the State Police. An upgrade to the current console is scheduled for this month. A new console will be budgeted overtime through the budget process. Money was requested in the budget this year for the improvement to the radio infrastructure but was removed by the commissioners and the director was told the commissioners would find the money for the tower. Commissioner Blasi questioned if all of the contingencies that were mentioned cover everything that can be thought of to keep the service to where the public needs it. Director Wellman responded by saying "as best as it can be, yes." Commissioner Blasi stated that the budget does not appear, to him, to include a new console. Commissioner Joy stated that funds would need to be built in smaller increments rather than $150,000 in one request. A new console costs approximately $100,000; funds will be requested, in smaller increments, over the next few years.
Discussion: Elected Official health insurance proposal: The following language was proposed: "These elected officials: County Commissioners, Judge of Probate and Treasurer, assuming office on or after January 1, 2015 will be eligible to receive paid single subscriber health insurance only, or a single buy-out/buy-down, upon proof of outside coverage." Commissioner Brown agreed with the proposed language. Commissioner Joy questioned if these employees should be allowed to purchase a family plan. Commissioner Brown stated that elected officials should be able to purchase a family plan. Commissioner Blasi suggested removing the word "only," thus allowing the elected official to purchase an employee with child or family plan at their own cost. Register Cousins questioned if this included the Registers and Sheriff; it does not.
Commissioner Joy read the following language in response to Register Cousins question. "These elected officials: Register of Probate, Register of Deeds and Sheriff, assuming office on or after January 1, 2015 will be eligible to receive up to a family plan at contribution rates set by the county commissioners or a qualifying buy-out/buy-down, upon proof of outside coverage."
It was consensus that the word "only" would be removed from the above proposed policy and a final vote will take place at the December 12th Special Meeting.
Commissioner Joy stated that there has been a previous discussion regarding removing the part-time line from the OFA budget, there has been discussion regarding splitting “Kelley” between the OFA and Commissioners Office and that there will be a new County Administrator coming on board. With the addition of the County Administrator, an office will be needed. There has also been discussions regarding splitting the OFA, Renee’s area, into two pieces. Register Curtis stated that she is always willing to help any department and that she appreciated being asked about use of the Mylar room. Register Curtis stated that she was not sure if the commissioners were putting the cart before the horse when other things need to be done first and questioned if two bookkeepers were needed in the OFA rather than a CFO, she was not sure that additional space was needed when there is an empty office at the end of the hall. Register Curtis suggested moving the UT maps to her office, for research purposes. Commissioner Joy thanked Register Curtis for her comments and stated that the commissioners are open to discussion.
Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners’ office and the OFA are shorthanded and questioned if part-time help was needed. Commissioner Brown suggested bringing in a Kelley Girl. Register Curtis volunteered two of her college students in the interim. Commissioner Joy suggested utilizing Velma Jordan in the OFA due to her previous registration training. Commissioner Joy stated that if an acceptable solution is found, the OFA and Commissioners’ employees may take time off.
Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners reached a consensus to not enter into a telecommuting agreement, but this has left them at a status quo with no action taken. Commissioner Brown stated that he agreed on to the Telecommuting Policy but did not agree on entering into an agreement with an employee. Commissioner Joy stated that he thought they were going to take the next step. Commissioner Blasi voiced that he didn’t agree with the policy. Commissioner Brown agreed that a policy was necessary, which has been vetted extensively by the attorney, but he did not agree on the particular case they had in front of them.
DA Bassano stated that the email agreement for the DA’s office expires at the end of next week. An e-mail migration request, through Maine.gov, was requested during the budget process and she permission to move forward with the migration to Maine.gov.
MOTION: that we allow the DA to merge her email to Maine.gov as soon as possible. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the current domain @da7.org was maintained at the Ellsworth American. At one point the DA's office utilized @co.hancock.me.us but there was not enough space available for all employees. Archival requirements would be met through Maine.gov. There is a $50 onetime set-up charge per account.
Office of Financial Affairs:
Commissioner Blasi questioned if the managers could be notified regarding when the transitional reinsurance bill. CFO Roy stated that this is an annual cost of $67 per individual that the county insures which has to be broken out to the DTF, Jail, Airport and EMA. CFO Roy stated that this will happen every year prior to the end of October. The jail AR for the US Marshall Service should be zero as this has been double posted and needs to be corrected; the Marshall Service was billed $11,000 today. Small Claims items are being worked on by the sheriff's office and probation/parole officers. MDOT pays their portion of funds due at the end of the project. Closeout for the terminal building will be in the summer of 2015. There is an outstanding Airport AR for Pen Air in the amount of approximately $7,500 for August and September, October has yet to be reported. By the end of the year, if there is no action on Pen Air's part, Manager Madeira will suggest pursuing the Pen Air balance through Small Claims. Commissioner Joy suggested sending a Registered Letter to Pen Air stating that the airport will be pursing the debt and to give them 14 days to pay the debt. Commissioner Blasi questioned the “Aurora Assessors”, the Town of Aurora has stated that the check is in the mail; the check is usually received during the last week of the fiscal year. Commissioner Blasi questioned a 120+ day old Lambert and Coffman bill for $105, this is through the SO. The MDI Yacht item deals with a sheriff’s department transport. Commissioner Joy suggested developing a letter, with our attorney, to collect debt by 120 days.
MOTION: to approve November General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #14-44, #14-45, #14-46 and #14-47 in the aggregate of $203491.91. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve November General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #14-48, #14-49, #14-50, #14-51, #14-52, #14-53 and #14-54 in the aggregate of $772,045.02. (Brown/Joy 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not approve Warrant #52 for the purposes of an overdraft on the General Dynamics invoice; the felt that there was another account in that department (04) that "could pay that". When questioned by Commissioner Brown as to what it was, Commissioner Blasi responded "General Dynamics, I'm not sure but the description on the warrant is a subscription and there is a subscription line in that department that is well under and why not use that?" CFO Roy stated that this is being applied to the correct line. In trying to catch up, Commissioner Joy asked if it involved individuals that we cannot talk about. Deputy Treasurer Atwater stated that it was a specific account that is overdrawn that Antonio would like for us to take it out of another account just so it looks" (Atwater did not complete her sentence.) Commissioner Blasi stated that there are funds in the subscription line in that department. Commissioner Brown requested further clarification other than "just that department." Commissioner Blasi stated that it was subscription. CFO Roy stated that the bill does not fit the subscription description and that the bill is being paid in the correct line to show more funds need to be budgeted in that line. This is a bill for service that is provided to make sure that our 125 Plan is in compliance. Commissioner Blasi suggested using the work "registration." CFO Roy stated that this was not a registration, it was for a professional service, not a subscription. Commissioner Blasi was not in favor of over drafting the line due to the overdraft policy. Commissioner Joy stated that the Professional Services account was reduced in 2014 intentionally with the idea that funds could be transferred from the Professional Services capital account to cover over expenditures.
MOTION: to approve October Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #15-18, #15-19, #15-20, #15-21 in the aggregate of $93,849.92. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve October Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #15-18, #15-19, #15-20, #15-21 and #15-22 in the aggregate of $79,918.72. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve November expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $109,147.55. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CFO Roy stated that currently health insurance costs are at 1.1 million and that the county may have a small surplus in the health account at the end of the year. Full funding is at 1.38 million. We are on track for 1.2 million for this fiscal year and 1.3 in final expenses. The employee contribution is approximately $140,000.
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve accountG2-3030-20 in the amount of $1,092.10.for 50% of the Local Share of furnishings. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: This is for 50% of the Local Share of furnishings.
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of $933.29 for AIP37 Invoice 53731 (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of 5,825.38 for AIP37 Local Share Only. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Blasi stated that the commissioners did not receive the Special Reserve Account printout in the meeting books today.
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G11-3125-00 in the amount of $649.95 for a cage partition for the 2015 Dodge Caravan. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: The 2 jail vans will have cages.
This requisition captures almost all of the ineligible work on the project, which is part of the Nickerson O’Day project, this amount was scoped in from the very beginning and approved.
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of $42,495.30 for Requisition #2 non AIP eligible. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi said “ticket counter eligibility adjustment.” Manager Madeira stated that originally Hoyle Tanner believed that all the millwork, ticket counters, rental car counters, was ineligible. The ineligible portion when the project began was thought to be approximately $97,000+. After hearing this, Manager Madeira approached the FAA to find out why certain public space common items were ineligible for funding, after having this conversation the FAA stated that the items were in fact eligible for FAA funding and the ineligible amount was reduced. Commissioner Blasi thanked Manager Madeira for his indulgence because the request had just been handed to the County Commissioners.
Break: 10 minutes
CFO Roy requested a reconsideration to the previous vote involving a payable to Hoyle Tanner in the amount of $933.29 from account G2-3030-20 and revise it to $1,400.44. Manager Madeira stated that this is for the Local Share of the Hoyle Tanner bill. Commissioner Joy questioned if the Hoyle Tanner bill will be increasing due to meeting the MDOT Cap. An adjustment will be made from what MDOT owes and the Local Share will be increased.
MOTION: to approve $467.15 for Hoyle Tanner, the Local Share of AIP37 from account G2-3030-20. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this was partly approved in the amount of $933.29. Commissioner Blasi asked “will we be getting any more notices from MDOT for this project.” Manager Madeira replied, no, we didn’t on this one, we have reached the limit.
MOTION: to retain the firm of Runyon Kersteen Ouellette as auditor for 2015. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Commissioner Blasi read the following question: "Why is RKO scheduled to begin auditing on December 12th?" CFO Roy stated that "we actually requested it because they are going to be here to discuss the prior year's audit with the commissioners, to start the 2015 audit so that we don't have any glitches as we have this year in the audit. In prior years they have not done that but under normal circumstances they usually do come in to gather some information prior to actually arriving to do the audit. This is not unusual, but it is unusual for Hancock County because of the distance that they travel, but they are going to be here to 1) bring extra personnel to be able to discuss the 2014." Commissioner Joy questioned why the audit was completed so late this year. CFO Roy stated the change in principal, communications, Kathy Tyson coming out of retirement to complete the audit and therefore she had to do the work again all contributed to the lateness of the audit.
Commissioner Brown stated that Runyon Kersteen Ouellette is #7 in the state, has 29 employees, does about 4.9 million dollars worth of business a year and is well respected within the State. He added that he is "feeling confident about using RKO as our auditor. They specialize in municipalities etcetera, etcetera."
Commissioner Joy harkened back to Cathy Planchart’s questions, through Kathy Tyson and asked the following adding that he understood that this cannot be done on a one month basis: Does our trial balance balance as of 10/30/14? CFO Roy responded "it does." Gave all county checking accounts for the prior months, which would be, through the end of October been reconciled without error? CFO Roy responded "no they are not." When asked by Commissioner Joy "when do we expect they will be," Deputy Treasurer Atwater responded "as soon as I can get to them." Commissioner Joy asked if it was the Deputy Treasurer doing that job, the response was yes. Are the Due To, Due From accounts are in balance? CFO Roy responded "yes they are." Do revenue and expense accounts reconcile to the control accounts? CFO Roy responded "yes they do, the AR has one issue which I think I have described to you and the jail (in audible) but the revenue and expenses do."
Manager Madeira stated that the first item on his list was to request a motion to approve the Acadia Air Tours Lease Amendment #2, which was discussed at the last meeting. Commissioner Blasi asked "do you know if, what that does to the county's assessment value or holdings in general, if anything?" Manager Madeira stated nothing that he is aware of, we are just simply reducing the amount of square footage for Parcel 1 that we are leasing to Acadia Air Tours.
MOTION: to sign the revised lease with Acadia Air Tours. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi asked if he had any items or property on that particular area. The answer was no.
Manager Madeira requested a compromise with regard to $6,118.47 that would make Mr. Collins, of Acadia Air Tours whole. The original intention was to build a larger building on the larger space, to which Mr. Collins found out afterward that the space was impossible to build on due to wetlands. The property was not used at all by Mr. Collins. Manager Madeira stated that the amount of time taken to get back to the commissioners should be taken into consideration when discussing a compromise. A credit could be applied to the regular monthly payments until the credit is used up. Commissioner Brown stated that he does not like to spend money that has been paid to him but, he thought there was a breakdown in communications and that there is enough blame to go around; he thought that the former manager probably fell down on this one and that the commissioners are the employer of the airport manager so, we have to take some responsibility here.
MOTION: to split the difference with Mr. Collins of Acadia Air Tours in the amount of $3,059.24. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy would like the credit applied within the next 5 to 10 months in order to get it off the books.
A meeting with the MDOT and FAA will be held next week to go over the 5 year plan. The 5 year plan is dependent on the 10,000 enplanement threshold. Manager Madeira stated that the reduction in enplanements is due to Pen Air reducing their schedule by 25% and cutting out night flights. Manager Madeira suggested hiring a company to research air carriers and the possibility bring in a new carrier. Commissioner Brown stated that he thought it was time to pressure Pen Air or meet with the commissioners to have a serious talk. Approximately 728 enplanements were lost due to Pen Air's 25% reduction and flight cancellations. The overnight flight is a necessity for BHB. This reduction reduces funding eligibility from 1 million dollars to $150,000. Commissioner Joy questioned spending our 5% in FY15 while FY16, FY17and FY18 enplanements are questionable. He suggested finding a 34 seat provider with a bathroom. A larger EAS agreement would be needed to provide this service. We are currently out of contract with Pen Air; the Cape Air contract expires in June 2015.
Manager Madeira discussed the 5 year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) which included an AIP 37 Grant Amendment, pavement remarking and crack sealing (every year markings are scraped and need to be remarked and cracks need to be filled), runway 4/22 analysis (this is a requirement by the FAA), generator enclosures including fuel tanks (the generator would cover the entire complex), replacement of airfield lighted signs (Commissioner Blasi questioned the sign material, they are usually made up of plastic with electrical components. Commissioner Blasi questioned if we should get plastic again or should we get some other material. Manager Madeira stated that there are only a set number of manufacturers that make these signs and it would have to go out to bid.), itinerant apron EA, design and permitting, Snow Removal Equipment (SRE) building/expansion EA and construction/expansion of the SRE building. Manager Madeira stated that if BHB consistently falls short of 10,000 enplanements, the 139 Certification should be let go. If enplanements get better, the county could reapply for 139 Certification. Commissioner Joy stated that lack of enplanements is a death sentence for BHB and that Cape Air can help or hinder the airport. Less than 1 million dollars closes our ability to provide larger commercial flights. The cost of 139 Certification is “very expensive” and can push BHB out of the certification. Commissioner Joy suggested contacting a professional company to find a solution to our carrier issue; he reiterated that he likes Cape Air but needs them to work with us. Commissioner Brown asked when the Hoyle Tanner contract is up, Manager Madeira stated that we will be tied to Hoyle Tanner until a new RFP is put out. Commissioner Joy brought up the cost of remarking the airfield. Commissioner Brown stated that his point was, maybe now is the time to put out an RFP.
Manager Madeira stated that the sidewalk project will probably not be completed until spring 2015. The commissioners need to determine what they want to pay Nickerson & O’Day, Inc. for retainage. A complete punch list has been requested. Commissioner Brown would like to see a breakdown of who what paid what as he thought there was a lot more to blame here than Nickerson & O’Day. Manager Madeira will provide a complete list as soon as he can. Commissioner Joy would like to receive confirmation from Hoyle Tanner and Nickerson O’Day that projects have been completed. The question of retainage to Hoyle Tanner and Nickerson & O’Day needs to be determined, once the commissioners receive a progress report and notification on the delay claim, a decision on retainage can be made.
The FAA inspection has been rescheduled until next week. An RFP for a café build out will go out next week. The full scale exercise after action review is also available.
Break for lunch: 12:10 p.m.
Back in session: 12:30 p.m.
Registry of Probate:
MOTION: to approve a Leave of Absence Without Pay for Velma Jordan for the week of December 26, 2014 through January 2, 2015. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request to remove administratively from the employment rolls: Steve Barnes, Michelle Hammond, Chris McDonald and Jessyca Newenham. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request to hire Robert Olekszak of Mt. Desert as a part-time/one call/as needed cook at the rate of $12 per hour, effective December 6, 2014. No benefits included. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this is a part-time cook that will not exceed 29 hours weekly.
Discussion, Replacement of the jail control system: Jail Administrator Richardson requested, of the Board of Corrections, to fund the purchase of a control console for the jail, so far he has not heard back from the Board of Corrections. The back-up system has been down for the past 6+ months. The present system is maintained through upgrades. A proposal in the amount of $48,815 was distributed to purchase a jail MTI upgrade, a lease quote was distributed in the amount of $1,024 per month from Simplex Grinnel. Commissioner Brown questioned where funds would come from for this purchase, it was originally understood that the BOC would fund the purchase. Currently there is $83,000 in the jail capital account. Commissioner Joy stated that that is not the BOC's money to which Administrator Richardson replied "yes, but I think that is the reason they are going to deny us." Commissioner Joy stated "I don't think they can deny us under the law." The Federal Holding Reserve does not belong to the State, it is funds that were generated by the Hancock County Jail through Federal Board, last year. Commissioner Joy stated that the law did not change until this year, we changed our formula, once they (the State) changed, but those funds are not theirs; Richardson agreed and stated the if we had to come up with the funds, that's where we would have to go. Commissioner Brown stated "you'd delete almost all of your capital reserves." Administrator Richardson stated that they are at a safety issue now, if one goes down we are down to keys. Commissioner Joy stressed the importance of this item being included on the December 16th BOC agenda. There is an e-mail floating around to give the jails back to the county, funds would be distributed to the counties and CCA money would be distributed as well. Commissioner Joy stated that the law says that they (the BOC) will pay for the maintenance of the building, this needs to be reinforced to the BOC. CFO Roy stated that on December 12th he would be happy to separate 75% of the $22,371 from the Federal Holding Account and transfer it to debt service. Administrator Richardson stated that he would request that the commissioners deny CFO Roy's request.
EMA has received grant funds that have become available to purchase radios for the jail staff. The radios were needed because the current radios are not narrow banded and several of the radios were not in safe working order. Knowing that that the purchase was not funded in the FY15 or 16 budgets, EMA has graciously made the funds available for the purchase. Commissioner Joy stated that it was okay with him that the jail made this purchase, it was a good use of the funds, but the process in which it was done could have been better. The commissioners agreed that seeking grant funds for jail needs is acceptable. Commissioner Brown cautioned Administrator Richardson to know what is in his capital accounts. Administrator Richardson would like to see smaller capital accounts rather than one large one.
Lt. Kane requested authorization to advertise the hire two patrolmen. Commissioner Joy questioned the reimbursement cost of hiring a trained officer. It costs more to hire someone who is not trained than to hire someone that is trained. Delayed payments have been arranged, in the past. Lt. Kane explained the payment process for hiring a trained officer. It has not been budgeted to purchase/pay a town/city for new officers. The cost to attend academy is under $10,000. Commissioner Brown asked if there would be an in-house posting prior to outside advertising; the answer was yes.
MOTION: to approve the request to advertise for two patrolmen. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned what happens if someone in-house moves up. Lt. Kane stated that most reserve officers do not want to work full-time.
The Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant, Michelle Cote asked what is going on with storage for the Law Library. This will be addressed by the Facilities Director.
MOTION: to accept the resignation of full-time Deputy County Clerk Kelley Tupper effective December 5, 2014 and move her to the position of part-time clerk at the rate of $12 per hour, effective December 6, 2014, no benefits included, not to exceed 29 hours. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy suggested utilizing Kelley at the OFA and Commissioners and to update the webpage when needed. Kelley would report to the County Clerk.
MOTION: to approve the 2015 Buy-Out / Buy-Down Policy. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the 2015 Holiday Schedule. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to adjourn. (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING
November 19, 2014
Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioner Blasi in attendance.