Commissioner Agendas & Minutes
COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING
June 3, 2014
Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 8:59 a.m. on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.
Thomas Martin, Director of the Hancock County Planning Commission (HCPC) was present to discuss current services provided county wide, potential services that HCPC could provide and opportunities for collaboration with county departments such as EMA the UT and the airport. Current countywide services include; transportation, mapping, solid waste management and assessment and clean-up of various brown field sites. Jim Fisher, Senior Planner of HCPC stated that there are several ways that the county could develop the UT with a very low impact, to increase the economy, economic growth and encourage a healthier lifestyle for people in Hancock County. In pursuing this, HCPC has worked with the DOT on the Sunrise Trail which is an 85 mile multi-use trail. Mr. Fisher has been involved with the Scenic By-Ways Program and the Black Woods By-Way that runs through Townships 9 and 10. Signs and new boat ramps have been created throughout the Black Woods By-Way in the UT. Geo tourism signs have been created and distributed among local hiking trails which, if used in conjunction with a GPS System, are very helpful. Improvements have been made to include a privy at Tunk Lake and a privy and parking areas have been created at Spring River Lake and Tunk Mountain. New boat ramps have been installed at Spring River Lake, Tunk Lake and Long Pond.
Mr. Fisher stated that he assisted Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) with the TIF Finance District definition and created maps that helped to define the acreage around the wind towers, he has also responded to various requests such as Commissioner Blasi's request for a map of the UT Islands. Five metal signs have been ordered for the Black Woods By-Way which will be placed at trail heads and boat ramps highlighting recreational activities in the area. A back-packing trail will be forthcoming that will connect with the Sunrise Trail to Black, Schoodic and Catherine Mountains and Spring River Lake, eventually creating a loop trail that would thus allowing for a 3 or 4 day backpacking opportunity. Commissioner Joy questioned the signs that are being distributed as there are no directions included on the signs. Mr. Fisher explained that they are “when you get there signs.” Signs are placed on poles, a radio tower and other various sound objects. Director Martin stated that these are examples of what HCPC is currently doing. HCPC is also interested in collaborating with EMA, the UT and the Airport.
Commissioner Blasi stated that he would like to see the HCPC continue its work on septic, failing septic tank remediation and to move that up to a higher priority; he would like to see the HCPC act as a regional planning commission. As he brought up in the annual meeting two years ago, Commissioner Blasi stated that the commission could serve as the planning commission for state zoning, Land Use Planning Commission, Unorganized Territory as a Regional Planning Commission.
Commissioner Brown stated that the County currently collaborates in a number of different areas with HCPC and encouraged a continuing relationship between the entities. HCPC has the potential to work with law enforcement by utilizing its data and mapping services. Senior Planner Fisher stated that he was asked by the EMA Director to serve as a regional representative on the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), he has also met with the airport manager to discuss the entrance signage and interpretive signs that would be posted in the terminal area.
Commissioner Joy stated that the County is trying to finish a communications component in the UT that would improve radio communications in Hancock County. The County has a commitment, on paper, for projects that would take place in the UT. Funds have been committed to UT trails, he suggested working on those types of UT projects. Director Martin closed the discussion by stating that communication between the two entities is key and that he appreciated the commissioner’s support.
The following bids were opened regarding the District Court Roof Project.
GR Roofing Co., Inc.: $36,747
Roof Systems of Maine: $68,940.
Bids were turned over to the facilities director for review and recommendation.
Jail Grievance Deliberations:
Stanley Grievance: Commissioner Joy read out loud Article 20 Section B and Article 36 Section 3. Commissioner Brown stated that it was his understanding that according the testimony heard, no one signed up for the shift other than Cpl. Stanley and that the shift was filled with part-time employees rather than Cpl. Stanley. Commissioner Joy stated that the argument was that Cpl. Stanley had already worked a 12 hour shift and management thought an additional ½ shift, which would put him at 18 hours, was too much. It was established that 18 hour shifts are common within the jail. Commissioner Brown stated that he did not see why Cpl. Stanley was denied the shift. Commissioner Blasi concurred with both statements and said that the grievant should be redressed, paid and made whole. Commissioner Joy stated that the employer retains the option of filling or not filling the shift, but in all cases heard, the shift was filled. The union contract speaks to these situations. It is not uncommon to work 18 hour shifts in the jail, the question is, would we like jail employees to have 6 hours off and then work another 12 hour shift. He believed this should be looked at by the jail administrator and sheriff when awarding that overtime shift because the last thing that you want is to have a tired corrections officer working 30 hours in 48. Commissioner Joy did not want to take away the option to look at it to see or say that it is ineffective scheduling. He also did not want to see administration use it as a means to shut out employees from getting an overtime shift. Commissioner Brown agreed with Commissioner Joy and stated that he would not like to see an employee work a long shift with only 6 hours of rest, but it is not up to the commissioners to make that choice as the sheriff has full authority over the schedule.
Commissioner Joy stated that in an ineffective scheduling situation, the contract states that the person working the shift would be “required” to split the shift equally with another employee. That is what Cpl. Stanley signed up for, was to split the shift. The contract says he would be required to split the shift equally with another employee if it were ruled ineffective scheduling, not necessarily that he could not have the shift, but he would be required to split the shift. Commissioner Brown read the following from the CBA: "If working the overtime by a full-time employee constitutes ineffective scheduling, that employee may be required to split the shift equally with another qualified employee." Commissioner Joy stated the in the ineffective scheduling realm, it doesn't say you can't work it, it says you have to split it. Commissioner Brown stated that it goes on to say "if no other qualified employee is able to split the shift and no other employee is able to work the entire shift, the employee who constitutes ineffective scheduling will be cleared to work the entire shift." The employer retains the option of filling or not filling any vacancies.
MOTION: that Cpl. Stanley be redressed, be paid and made whole. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy stated that this was ruled ineffective scheduling, that was the reason he was not given the overtime shift. But, the contract speaks to this and says that he may be required to split the shift, not necessarily that he would not get the shift and the employer retains the option to fill or not fill the shift but, all of these have been filled.
Sheriff Clark requested guidance on how to apply the previous motion. He went over the process currently used in the jail and questioned “allowing or forcing” someone to split the shift. Commissioner Joy read the ineffective scheduling language from the contract. He stated that we do not want an employee working 24 hours straight. Commissioner Blasi stated that he arrived at this conclusion because he felt it was ineffective scheduling, and he did not like that the language in the contract to where an 18 hour shift is normal practice. Sheriff Clark stated that you cannot take the contract verbatim, it’s how it has been interpreted and applied by both management and labor for the past 10-12 years. Sheriff Clark stated that if we cannot find someone to fill the entire shift, the previous employee or incoming employee cannot work more than 1/2 of the shift. It's not the shift that makes it ineffective, it's his involvement in the shift that makes it ineffective. His involvement in making it ineffective is what disqualifies him from getting first crack at openings.
Due to the commissioners decision today, Sheriff Clark questioned if he was now suppose to give Cpl. Stanley first crack from now on. Commissioner Joy checked his understanding by repeating that Sheriff Clark stated that the first thing he does is try to fill the shift with part-time help and questioned where it specifies this course of action or if this can be done, in the contract. Commissioner Joy clarified that he understands the cost and likes that the sheriff is handling it in this manner but needed to see the reference in the contract that allowed filling shifts in this manner. Sheriff Clark stated that there is nothing in the contract that specifies the course of action taken to fill a shift, except for certain conditions, 10-day notice for vacations and so on and so forth. The commissioners need to consider how the jail operates because that is what has been accepted by the union for the past 10-12 years. He requested a clear understanding of the commissioner’s intention, if it was to offer work to the previous and/or incoming shifts.
Commissioner Blasi stated that he was looking at the safety of the employees. Sheriff Clark stated that the management decision not to allow Cpl. Stanley to work was based on the safety of the employee and the inmates, in his opinion the motion goes against that. Commissioner Joy stated that the jail compels employees to work 18 hours on a regular basis, this was not disputed in testimony. Sheriff Clark stated that the first course is to take the safest route you can. Commissioner Blasi suggested that the sheriff offer a motion. Commissioner Joy stated no, we are not going to do that. The Commissioners are looking at the contract and making a decision, what the sheriff will do beyond this is what he does. Commissioner Joy agreed with the sheriff but he couldn’t find anything in the contract that supported the sheriff’s position. Sheriff Clark questioned if past practice meant anything. Commissioner Joy clarified that the sheriff could not complain safety in one area and then compel people to work extra on a regular basis. Sheriff Clark stated that he respectfully disagreed and stated that at times, there is just no choice. Commissioner Joy stated that it appears to be done on a regular basis, approximately four times a month. Sheriff Clark stated that the decision made today will force jail management to compel employees to work every time. Commissioner Blasi stated that the sheriff should use his judgment with regard to ineffective scheduling and the safety of all parties. Sheriff Clark suggested looking at past practice rather than the union contract. Commissioner Blasi stated to Sheriff Clark, if you look at what I stated at the last meeting, I suggested changing the contractual language. Sheriff Clark stated that the contract says what it says but you still have how it's been interpreted and how it's been complied with by both labor and management, for years and all the sudden you are changing that by this decision you are making today and ignoring past practice. Commissioner Blasi stated "I don't see that, this is one decision."
Commissioner Joy clarified, in the Stanley case, this was a vacation day that was posted for several days. It is spelled out in the contract how these shifts will be filled. Male and female shifts were discussed. Commissioner Joy stated that in this 10 day posting situation, I think you have to give him this shift. Compelling is different than offering.
Grievance #1 Union & all affected employees – Commissioner Joy read aloud Article 20 Section 5A3 and Article 5. Commissioner Joy stated that in the case with of Sgt. Richardson, the arbitrators stated that he could not take overtime out of classification, if someone in that classification wanted an overtime shift, they get first dibs. Bidding is the first person in classification gets the shift, applying is a sergeant can apply but someone in that classification can bump him out. Commissioner Joy clarified that this is a grievance where they moved a corporal up to take Sgt. Sullivan's position. By using Sgt. Richardson as an example, he questioned "when can he get an overtime chance if the corporal is always moved up." He questioned whether Sgt. Richardson could get an overtime shift within his classification or can management just move the corporal up and not offer it to a sergeant. In his mind, that was the crux of the grievance. The union contract states that the corporal acts in the absence of the sergeant, but in his interpretation that is only when the sergeant is unavailable, he’s left the area or he’s been called away. Commissioner Brown stated that a sergeant should be able to fill a sergeant’s vacancy. Commissioner Blasi stated that he could not make a decision on this case and that he was interested in hearing the other commissioners view points, he also stated that the answer may not be found in the contract. Commissioner Brown re-read the complaint aloud. Commissioner Joy stated that by posting the opening, procedure was followed. It was uncertain that employees had to be "asked," as the procedure is to "post" the opening. Commissioner Brown read the sheriff’s response aloud which contained the statement "the jail corporal shall act as the shift supervisor when the sergeant is absent." Commissioner Joy stated that in this situation it was posted, he did not see where Sgt. Richardson applied or bid for the shift. The complaint was that he wasn't asked. The idea was to post it, which they did. If no one signed up for it and they fill it with a corporal, why wouldn't they have the ability to do that. Commissioner Brown stated that he did not think that management was obligated to ask someone, the contract does not say that, you just have to post it. Commissioner Joy stated that he was not seeing where Sgt. Richardson signed up for the shift and then was denied, he was seeing that they filled it with a corporal because they have that ability. Commissioner Brown agreed and stated that a corporal apparently signed up for it.
MOTION: to deny the grievance in the first case based on the fact that it was posted, I’m not seeing where anybody signed up for it and then they chose to fill it with a corporal, which I believe they have the ability to do. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that part of the grievance is actually based on "nobody asked him if he wanted the shift." According to the contract, you don’t have to ask, all you have to do is post it. Commissioner Joy stated that he was not seeing in the minutes or anywhere that Sgt. Richardson signed up for the shift, adding that if he does sign up for it, he believed it was a sergeants line and as a sergeant, he would have been given the opportunity to get it. Commissioner Brown agreed
Grievance #2 Troy Richardson – Article 20 Section 5 and Article 5 were referenced. Commissioner Joy stated that in this grievance an open shift was posted 2 weeks prior to April 28th, the open shift was for a corrections officer. Sgt. Richardson signed up for the shift within the 2 weeks, Cpl. Hobbs also signed up for the open shift, the open shift was assigned to Cpl. Hobbs on April 28th. The open shift date was May 5th.
Commissioner Joy stated that, for him he believes that the only reason for a designation or classification of corporal is order of command. The only difference between a corrections officer and a corporal is that the corporal is the person that's going to fill in, that's it. He believed that a corporal is a corrections officer. A sergeant is a sergeant that is a supervisor. He was not saying that a sergeant cannot fill a corrections officer position, but the sergeant cannot come down, that is what the arbitration was all about, the sergeant cannot come down and take the overtime shift of a corrections officer if another corrections officer wants it. Commissioner Joy stated that he believed they have to deny Sgt. Richardson's grievance and Cpl. Hobbs should have been given the shift. Commissioner Brown read the Post Orders that included the definition of a corporal stating “The officer in charge of the shift in the absence of the sergeant while not acting as the shift supervisor, the corporal assumes the duties of a corrections officer." It explicitly says that a corporal can act as a corrections officer. It does not address the sergeant, the officer in charge of the assigned shift. He felt that the sergeant would be out of classification. If no one else applied for the shift Sgt. Richardson could have dropped down to it but in this case a corporal is a corrections officer that can assume the duties of a corrections officer, according to Post Orders.
MOTION: to deny the 2nd grievance (Hobbs) based on, that Sgt. Richardson would be working out of classification and somebody in that classification applied for the overtime position. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned when Sgt. Richardson would go into classification. Commissioner Joy stated that, we denied the previous case because we couldn't get from the minutes that he signed up for it, it was posted, he would have gotten that shift and that's the one that the arbitration says he would get, but the arbitration does not allow him to step down and bid perhaps first and maybe scare off everybody else who wants to sign up for that overtime shift. Those people have to be afforded that opportunity, the corrections officers line as opposed to sergeants stepping down and signing up for it on a frequent basis, because he is their supervisor and he's also the supervisor of the corporal. Commissioner Brown stated that he did not think he would have seniority on a corrections officer in that case, he would be out of classification. Commissioner Joy stated that he could get overtime in the sergeants. line. Commissioner Brown stated, no, if nobody else signed up for the shift, he could have had the shift. Commissioner Joy stated management could have decide whether to give him the shift.
Commissioner Blasi requested that the name "Hobbs" be added to the motion. Commissioner Joy accepted the friendly amendment.
Grievance #3 Troy Richardson - Commissioner Joy referenced the Frye case based on Article 33 Section B and read the complaint aloud. He stated that management has the ability, and should try to fill a corrections officer position with a corrections officer. There is nothing that says the sergeant is the first in line to get that shift. Again, Sgt. Richardson is applying out of classification and management has the opportunity to fill it with a corrections officer. Commissioner Brown questioned if the shift was filled with a corrections officer, the paperwork indicated "an officer." Commissioner Brown went on to say, according to Article 33, when an officer calls in sick for a shift, employees working the previous shift will be afforded the opportunity to work ½ of the vacated shift, the employees working the shift following the vacated shift will be offered the work opportunity to fill the remaining 1/2 of the vacancy Commissioner Joy stated that he thought classification trumps that and that is what we got from the arbitration, the stated that management still retains the right. It was a corrections officer shift, not a sergeant’s shift, if it were a sergeant’s shift Sgt. Richardson would be afforded that opportunity. It was a corrections officer shift. Commissioner Brown stated that if you go back to the first part of the article it says "corrections officers, including corporal and sergeant." Commissioner Joy stated that the biggest thing that came out of the arbitration was that, it truly solidified for him, classification. If a sergeant called in sick, Sgt. Richardson should be afforded the opportunity, but it was not, it was a corrections officer which then goes back to management to decide how to fill the shift. Commissioner Brown disagreed due to the language in the 5th paragraph, when an officer calls in sick for a shift, the "employees" working, it doesn't say sergeants or anything else, it says the employees working the previous shift will have the opportunity to work 1/2 of the vacated shift and "employees" working the shift following the vacated shift will be offered the work opportunity for the remaining 1/2 shift vacancy. Commissioner Joy stated, for him the only thing that is controlling is classification.
Commissioner Blasi questioned the parenthesis around “including corporals and sergeants.” Commissioner Brown stated that it had to do with "shall include sick leave at 12 hours per month," all corrections people including sergeants and corporals will accrue the sick leave at that rate. Commissioner Blasi clarified that if the contract was more emphatic that it did include corporal and sergeant without parenthesis, it would be a stronger case about which employees are included, but it is parenthetically treated so therefore management can interpret it. Commissioner Brown stated that when you read the next sentence, it talks about officers and employees, they are all officers and they are all employees. Commissioner Joy stated that controlling this is an arbitration decision and also management retaining some rights when it's not specifically spelled out, and so the arbitration telling us to stick to classification, especially in the sergeants case, can't step down and take all the overtime available. Commissioner Brown stated that he was going to go back to the officer working the previous shift will be afforded the opportunity to work 1/2 of the next shift which, Sgt. Richardson was not afforded that opportunity. Commissioner Blasi stated that he was going to go with the arbitration, he was going to use the arbitration as a reference and support the chairman.
MOTION: to deny the Frye grievance because Richardson would be working out of classification. (Joy/Blasi 2-1 motion passed, Brown opposed) There was no further discussion.
Part-time Hancock County employee Fred Ehrlenbach requested clarification on the Stanley case, specifically regarding ineffective scheduling, he stated that it was his understanding that management filled the position with a part-time employee, and it was grieved because a full-time employee did not have the opportunity to fill 1/2 of the shift. He questioned the obligation of management to fill the second half of the shift asking if they required to compel the next employee to work over. Commissioner Joy stated that this is a grievance case that speaks to a specific place, he could not personally answer the question. It is up to "them" through management to figure out what they are going to do on the 2nd shift. It is not what the grievance was about. Mr. Ehrlenbach stated but in the issue of ineffective scheduling, if management cannot fill the second half of the shift.......Commissioner Joy stated that they can always compel someone to work the shift. Commissioner Joy agreed that 24 hours is a dangerous situation, 18 seems to be acceptable in that environment either through compelling, the contract speaks to it, that 18 hours is in line, but he agreed that 24 hours is ineffective scheduling and they are going to do whatever the contract or management decides, but that is not the case we heard. Mr. Ehrlenbach tried to continue with his line of questioning but was reminded that 18 hour shifts are common in that environment and that it is not unusual. Commissioner Brown stated that if someone does not grieve it, it's not a complaint.
10:15 a.m.: Break
10:20 a.m.: Back in session
Adjustments to the agenda:
MOTION: to move 5 a & b to 1d1. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the minutes of the May 6, 2014 commissioners' regular meeting and May 16, 2014 commissioners' special meetings. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
The Swans Island Electric Co-op v. the Town of Frenchboro Tax Appeal was rescheduled to 8:30 a.m. on June 20, 2014.
Discussion: Sheriff's Employee Fund $1,599.38 in outstanding funds. Commissioner Joy stated that this came up again in the audit and question where and what is being done with these funds. Sheriff Clark gave a brief history of the vending machines in the courthouse stating originally, it was common to open up accounts using the county ID number. No one got approval and the treasurer didn’t care. Many years later it became clear that it was an inappropriate use of the county’s EIN number. The employees closed the account and the employees retained the funds. He stated that it is the employees position that these are not county funds, the issue is that the county EIN number was used. The error was corrected and the funds were put in a non-county account. In his opinion, they are not county funds. Commissioner Joy clarified that the employees were instructed to put the funds in a county employee account. Commissioner Brown referenced the minutes from March 13, 2001 and stated that he believed that the sheriff opened the account without the treasurer’s knowledge. He contended that they are county funds and the oversight should be through the auditor and that all employees should benefit from them, not just the sheriff’s employees. "It belongs to all employees, not a select few." Concessions that benefit only a few people is not right. This was found by RH Smith along with 27 other accounts several years ago.
Sheriff Clark stated that he did not set up the account, it was set up by Steve McFarland, Corey Bagley and Michelle Cote. He was not involved in the association or enterprise and it was not his doing. Commissioner Brown stated that it was done illegally by using the County EIN number adding that the county should have closed the account not the individuals and the funds should be accounted for by the auditor. Sheriff Clark disagreed. Commissioner Joy questioned if the 3 employees have paid the electric bill for the machines for the past few years. The answer was unclear. Sheriff Clark stated that the County EIN umber was used inappropriately and then it was rectified. Commissioner Joy stated that people are not allowed to set up enterprises within this building. Electricity is paid for through taxation, there is not a clear accounting, expenses have not been paid but the commissioners allowed that to happen. Commissioner Joy stated that the three employees should be notified to turn the funds over to the county, the commissioners have already voted for it once and it has already been decided to put the funds into an employee account and that the funds should be utilized for all employees, not just a select few.
DA Bassano stated that she was there not to give a legal opinion as in her opinion, there is room on both sides of the debate. In researching the original account, she stated that it was opened under Steve McFarland's social security number. She stated that when the account was opened there was a lesser professional group of people running the county. Commissioner Brown disagreed noting the March 31, 2001 minutes when Commissioner Damon requested an accounting of the funds. In referencing the chronological time-line of the Sheriff's Employee Fund, it shows exactly the chronological order of what took place.
DA Bassano stated that what she was addressing was the equitable principals that are in play. Everyone here today is far more sensitive to those issues, it seems like the commissioners should look at the equitable principles in play. As she understood the fund, it did not derive all its money from the vending machines; returnable bottles were also part of the fund. These funds were perceived in the right general action. Commissioner Brown stated that the auditor has requested accountability for the funds and the commissioners are responsible for that accountability. He did not have a problem with the employees having a fund, he just though that it should be for all employees. Commissioner Blasi asked the sheriff how the commissioners might deal with the auditors accounting request. Sheriff Clark stated that the commissioner should acknowledge that the employees committed an error by opening this account, that they rectified the error by closing the account and moved the money into a private account under somebody's social security number and acknowledge that these are not county funds and to write it off and forget it. Commissioner Joy stated that in speaking to that, he totally disagreed, we don't allow a separate enterprises within this building and there are tax dollars being expended to refrigerate and to put electricity into these machines. You don't just let somebody open an enterprise within this building.
Commissioner Blasi asked Sheriff Clark, "If it was written off, would you endorse the funds being put into this other account, the other employee benefit account?" Sheriff Clark responded by saying that it is not his decision to make and that he was conflicted by being here, these are his employees, he completely agreed with the position that they are taking, that they are not county funds and it would be a decision for them to make whether or not they want to contribute this back to the employee fund. Commissioner Joy stated that, then they are speaking to the wrong person. Commissioner Blasi suggested inviting the employees up to discuss the issue with the commissioners. At that point, Sheriff Clark stated his need to remind the commissioners that State Law says that you may not make a direct or indirect order to the sheriff's subordinates. If the commissioners would like to ask them to accept an invitation, that would be fine but he did not want any indirect orders. It was noted that Steve McFarland is not a sheriff’s employee. Commissioner Joy clarified by saying "so on the one hand you're saying that they opened this wrongly and they cannot now be spoken to because they opened it wrongly?" Sheriff Clark stated that they were spoken to, they corrected the error, the funds being turned over is not the issue, the issue is they opened up the account under the county's EIN, they corrected it by closing the account and putting the funds into a different account. Commissioner Joy questioned if the accounting that the auditor has asked for has been provided. Sheriff Clark stated that he didn't agree with the auditor and he didn't agree with the commissioners. Commissioner Blasi asked if the employees will be invited up for a discussion by the chairman, Commissioner Joys response was "I'm not sure, that's one of those things that sometimes we have to ask for legal advice about." Commissioner Brown stated that in going back to the fund time-table, it actually goes beyond that because he can remember when RH Smith did the audit and found approximately 27 unaccounted for, uses of the tax ID number and they had quite a problem pulling those back, that is how the account originally showed up and that was prior to 2001. This is an issue that is still out there and the commissioners are not done with it.
Commissioner Joy stated that in an accounting of everything that is opened under the county tax ID number, he thought it was important to know where the funds are and to verify what they are and what that money was spent for, an accounting of the funds is important.
DA Bassano questioned how the former MDEA space will be utilized. Issues include a fire exit and the need for space. Facilities Director Walls stated that the law library is hoping to effect the disposal of the books during the roofing job. Volunteer labor is ready and transfer of specific books are in the works. Sheriff Clark agreed that the DA needs the space. The law library space, with regard to the courts, is still in a negotiating phase. Sheriff Clark will make space available in the old MDEA office that is currently being utilized for forfeited assets, furniture and the SO computer tech. The DA can work around the SO tech easily. Commissioner Joy stated that she could move into the space. Commissioners Brown and Blasi agreed. Once the law library is empty, it probably will be a more inviting space for the court system. The roof project should begin in approximately 10 days. Inmate labor and vehicles for transportation was offered by the sheriff.
MOTION: to approve the hire of Justin Backer of Holden and Matthew Saucier of Old Town as part-time, on call, as needed, corrections officers at the rate of $12 per hour, effective June 7, 2014. No benefits, not to exceed an average of 29 hours per week for calendar year 2014. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to grant approval to transfer 80% of $3,420 ($2,736) of forfeited assets in the case of State of Maine v. Dustin White. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: 80% of the total amount will go to the DTF.
MOTION: to approve the chairman to sign the State of Maine v. Dustin White forfeited asset request. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to move 5e to 10c. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Blasi stated that the Unorganized Territory Islands and their residents are potentially at risk of flooding and the College of the Atlantic research facilities on Mt. Desert Rock could also be at risk. Ed Pare, Surveyor and County Planner Jim Fisher have been requested to make presentations, Commissioner Blasi requested to hear from Mr. Pare first. Mr. Pare stated that he is working with 5 towns and has presented information regarding 5 flood plain maps. He has concerns with the new maps that FEMA has proposed, the results are varied but most result with loss of use of land and cost to citizens. It was uncertain if this was done through Rule Making or Law.
The group is planning on expressing their concerns to STARR, which is the FEMA mapping partner, their concerns include specific areas and towns that they would like addressed, it is anticipated that the group will not get very far as FEMA does not readily admit to mistakes. In anticipation of that he is working with Paul Tracey from the Winter Harbor Agency, who is knowledgeable in flood insurance availability. In the past if mention was made to not participating in the Flood Plain Program with FEMA, the first thing they say is "go ahead, but you're gonna be liable from law suits from citizens who can't get loans because they're on the shore and Federal Law requires that they have flood insurance." Mr. Tracey is now sure that land owners can get flood insurance without participation in the flood plain plan. FEMA feels that Federal Law requires flood insurance and participation in the flood plain is required. The group will propose that FEMA address their issues or towns will withdraw from the program. Commissioner Blasi asked who would withdraw and if he would elaborate on the withdrawal process. Mr. Pare stated that most of the towns adopt the program; the Town of Hancock adopted it in the late 80's. Inaccuracies in the Hancock flood plain have caused several problems at Hancock Point. Builders are required to build to flood plain specifications if the building falls within a flood plain. A flood plain policy for a large house on Hancock Point cost approximately $38,000 per year, by reversing some of their requirements, it will now cost approximately $5,500 per year. When asked who would withdraw, Commissioner Blasi was told, Swans Island, Sorrento, Hancock, Sullivan and Gouldsboro may pull out of the program, it's their decision. When asked by Commissioner Blasi about the withdrawal process, Mr. Pare stated that right now FEMA is asking for the maps to be approved. Commissioner Joy stated that many towns will have to be part of the program. According to Paul Tracy, flood insurance is available but it is very expensive.
Commissioner Brown questioned the effect of town valuations. Gouldsboro has good maps. The elevation on the current maps for Corea by the Sea is 13 ft. The new maps raised the elevation to 19 ft. There is no grandfather clause in the new program. Commissioner Brown stated that it is safe to say, it will have a big impact on Corea by the Sea, and possibly Stonington and Deer Isle. Susan Collins is an ally. The engineer, Rob Gerber is questioning the new maps. Commissioner Joy stated that he never agreed with the science of the old maps and added that the national flood program is broke due to hurricane Sandy. Insurance is spreading the risk and increasing the cost to pay for past disasters. He felt that this is a fight that should be fought. It will have a negative impact on valuations. Mr. Pare was preparing a general presentation statement that he would like to commissioner to “come on board” with. Since 1978 there has been $208,000 paid out in flood insurance claims in Hancock County. Commissioner Joy encouraged Mr. Pare to send his letter to the commissioners and in general he supported his request. Commissioner Brown agreed. Jim Fischer distributed copies of maps to the commissioners. An image of the airport seaplane ramp which included the recent Lidar information was discussed. FEMA has made the GIS maps available to which Mr. Fisher has applied the Lidar information. Lidar interaction with the flood plain lines is “pretty consistent.” The bigger complication is the velocity area. Grids on Flash Maps are approximately 30’ x 30’. Analytical tools are now available to tell FEMA that their maps are inaccurate. Slosh maps were explained. Commissioner Joy stated that a Letter of Map Amendment presented by a surveyor would only be accepted, not a Lidar map. He stated that the property owner can accept the risk and does not have to join the plan. The letter of map amendment was done because in the past “it was painted with a brush.” Mr. Pare' said the FEMA maps present a line and elevation that are inconsistent. Mr. Fisher stated that it is a critical moment, to look at what they're proposing, and to try to iron out any mistakes now before they become permanent. He also thought that we would be confronting more floods in the future and we should not steer people into building in dangerous areas, that would be unethical
MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6C, to discuss an airport operating lease agreement. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 12:09 p.m. with nothing to report.
12:10 p.m.: Break for lunch
12:34 p.m.: Back in session.
MOTION: to ratify the 2014-2015 Union Contract with proposed changes. (Brown/Blasi motion withdrawn) Discussion: the reason for the 2-year agreement was questioned. Commissioner Blasi stated that he will be satisfied to note that the summary has been part of the discussion. Under the summary, Article 2 – Recognition, the bargaining unit will be split into 3 units – Jail, Patrol and Communications with the recognition clause of each agreement to include the appropriate positions. Commissioners Joy and Brown were hesitant to sign an agreement that does not address the splitting of the units. Commissioner Blasi stated that if we sign it, then what ever happens, happens, this is what they agreed to, why not sign it. Commissioner Joy preferred not to sign the agreement until the Article 2 language is written as agreed. Commissioner Brown concurred. Commissioner Blasi stated that "that's someone's speculation that we will have three units, why not sign it and see what happens." Commissioner Brown stated that he would be very cautious in doing that because "I have been burned in the fire many times, I know how hot it is." Commissioner Joy stated that he would be satisfied if the word "unit" was changed to "units" and the groups were split out. He stated that he would like to have that in there and it's a good thing going forward.
Commissioner Blasi stated that he was on site and saw cracks and rusted bolts within the new structure. Commissioner Joy stated that surface rust will not break down the bolts. Commissioner Blasi suggested painting the bolts so that the rust will go no further. Manager Madeira stated that the Clerk of the Works is doing an excellent job and he trusted his judgment. Cracks in the concrete near the expansion joint is not uncommon, they are hair line, surface cracks. Commissioner Blasi questioned if progress had been made in installing panels. Moving fiber is still a work in progress. The after action for the functional exercise is scheduled for June 20th at 6:00 p.m.
MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the Notice of Award for Construction related with AIP 38 and AIP 39 to Sargent Corporation. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Manager Madeira requested approval to issue parking tickets, this would give the authority for the airport manager to authorize the issuing of parking tickets at the airport. The airport manager can act on behalf of the commissioners through their designation. Commissioner Joy questioned enforcement. A parking ticket envelope was distributed. Airport Security would issue the tickets and fees would be taken to the OFA for processing. Outstanding parking tickets would be posted under receivables. Collection degrees would depend on the frequency of violations. According to airport security, there is a big problem with this at the airport. Handicapped violations are frequent. Employee parking will be differentiated from visitor parking through a sticker method.
MOTION: to authorize the airport manager, through Securitas, to issue parking tickets at the airport. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that a schedule of fees should be part of the authorization. There should also be a system of remitting payment.
Manager Madeira requested to put together bid specifications to purchase a paint marking machine, the cost for said purchase would come from account G2-3010-90. A brief overview of why the machine is needed was presented. The approximate cost to purchase the machine is $15,000, the entire cost for purchase is approximately .23 cents per linier foot. Commissioner Joy stated that he has previously had a problem with paying a company $18,000 for design of existing markings. The airport is also authorized to paint Caruso Road. Commissioner Brown questioned authorization to store hazardous material. Different paint bases were discussed. An enclosed ventilated and secure area that is clearly marked may be necessary to store the paint. Commissioner Brown suggested shopping for a machine. The paint and beads will be covered in an AIP project, but not if the work is done in house. If painting does not occur soon, the airport will be written up on its inspection in October. Commissioner Brown questioned if the $20,000 was savings for the purchase of a tractor. The answer was no, there is a dedicated account for pavement remarking. Commissioner Blasi questioned the initial cost beyond the investment, storing of material, potentially the paint could be stored in the chemical closet in the ARFF building. The commissioners requested specifications for the purchase of the machine at the June 20th special meeting.
MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the grant offer for AIP39 for the replacement of obstruction poles and add new lighted wind cones. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the total cost of the project is $75,300, the local share is $1,852.50.
UT Supervisor Millard Billings presented an update regarding the Bogus Meadow Road. It appears that the road has been plowed by the county since 1983. Having accepted the responsibility of snow removal for this road and having performed said snow removal for 30 years, may in fact mean that this section of road is deemed to be a County Road, but no assumptions are made in regard to any other portions or areas that may be associated with this road.
Commissioner Blasi questioned what happened prior to 1971 with regard to the Bogus Meadow road as nothing was found prior to 1971. He questioned why the state say’s it’s a county road and wanted to know why we had to work on it. From 1983 on, the county accepted plowing of the road. On May 10, 1994 the Town of Steuben wrote a letter to then, Commissioner Walter Bunker noting that two culverts and two loads of gravel were needed on the county portion of the road. Thus, the county took responsibility up to the Richardson house. The Town of Steuben graded the road in 1994, but the reason why was unknown. An invoice for culvert installation has not been found. Commissioner Blasi stated that markers at all boundaries need to be checked and replaced if necessary. There is no land marking to show the Steuben / County line. In very few places in the UT are the boundaries marked, this is an issue county wide. According to UT Supervisor Billings, County lines were supposed to be perambulated every 10 years, but new legislation has amended the language. Current language states that boundaries do not need to be perambulated if there are granite monuments in place and designated marks every 500 meters. Commissioner Joy stated that if sign designations were set on roads, it would be less expensive than marking every 500 feet, GPS makes this job simpler. Commissioner Brown suggested replacing the two culverts, Commissioner Joy agreed. Commissioner Blasi stated that an unmarked road boundary in the Bogus Meadow Road situation is already costing us money.
MOTION: to authorize the UT Supervisor to proceed with the RFP for Bogus Meadow Road and in the meantime check with Kelley Bellis regarding the markers. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: plastic and metal culverts were discussed. The UT supervisor was authorized to get the job done if it’s less than $2,500 and if not to put out an RFP.
The snow plowing contract with the Town of Steuben, as approved in a previous meeting.
MOTION: to approve the solid waste contract with the Town of Cherryfield. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
UT Supervisor Billings requested approval of the Sullivan Fire Contract, this was previously approved but got bogged down due to a liability insurance issue. In the Ulmer letter from January, he didn't mention being included as an additional insured, in fact, he said he had no problem with the Cherryfield contract. The contract was reviewed by the county's attorney had no problem with it, we have a signed contract with Burlington and the commissioners, on March 4th, adopted a standard contract. The standard contract was offered to Sullivan to which they agreed to it, he thought it was bad faith to go back and make additions to the agreement. UT Supervisor Billings stated, "I think we should go with what we've got." The next time around we can add that clause.
MOTION: to sign the Sullivan Fire Contract that we created. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that the base, boiler plate template language needs to be changed to include the county as the additional insured. UT Supervisor stated that, that was not part of the motion on the Sullivan contract, but something that the commissioners need to amend in their standard, boiler plate contract, to add that language. The Ulmer letter of April 2014 requested the additional insured language.
MOTION: to renew the permit of the Rocky Mountain Trail Riders ATV Club. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed, Brown voted yes under duress) Discussion: Commissioner Joy questioned if the club had performed any maintenance. He was under the impression that the club was suppose to pay for half of the maintenance/repairs to the road. Commissioner Brown suggested not moving forward until the information is received as it was part of their contract. Commissioner Joy suggested notifying them that the county is going to reconstruct the while road soon and that they got a pass this year, but next year they may have to pay. UT Supervisor stated that he did not think that they have done any damage to the road. Commissioner Joy stated that the club volunteered to do the maintenance if damage is done.
Commissioner Joy suggested re-contacting Ms. McCarthy regarding fiber optics in the UT.
Facilities Director, Dennis Walls recommended that the commissioners award the District Court Roof Replacement bid to GR Roofing Co, Inc. in the amount of $36,747. The original bid from Roof Systems of Maine included work on two roofs. Roof Systems bid $21,320 for the middle roof and $47,620 for the courtroom roof. GR Roofing is located in Brewer and over the last 10 years has developed a company that does this kind of work. The inspection is a manufacturer’s inspection and the warranty is for 20 years. Commissioner Brown asked Director Walls to find the previous bids from a few years ago. Director Walls will bring the bid back to the commissioners on June 20, 2014.
Director Walls stated that he would like to install a combination heating and cooling system in the Andrew Peters Office Building. The old MDEA office will be included in the conversion. The proposed budget is between $40,000 and $50,000. Director Walls was instructed to write up an RFP for the work.
Director Walls stated that punching in and out for dinner was requested a few months ago by the CFO. He requested to move the 2nd shift back to one break and working from 4:00 until midnight. “The offer has been made and rejected,” according to Director Walls. He requested to put the two 15 minute breaks together, pay them, and get off at midnight. Commissioner Brown thought it was important for employees to have the time off for lunch. Commissioner Joy thought that offering to put the two breaks together and work 8 hours or offering a 30 minute more for lunch would be fine. Director Walls requested to set maintenance staff hours from 4:00 to midnight. If the hours were moved from 4:00 to midnight, dinner would be paid and they would not be allowed to leave the building. Commissioner Brown questioned why county policy has to be fragmented and stated that everyone should be treated the same. For continuity in the building, shifts should remain at 8 ½ hours in the maintenance department, 4:00 to 12:30. Commissioner Blasi questioned why this was not implemented sooner. Commissioner Brown stated that it was important to have continuity throughout county government. Commissioners Blasi and Joy agreed.
The maintenance department work truck, a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 with 92,771 miles, is in need of $3,527,97 in repairs. Director Walls requested guidance as to repair or purchase of a new vehicle. Commissioner Joy stated that we should provide another vehicle or the director can use his own and be paid mileage. He suggested budgeting for replacement next year and requesting K & B to sticker the current vehicle. The cost to meet inspection standards is approximately $1,800. The maintenance truck is utilized by the maintenance department, EMA, the sheriff’s mechanic and sheriff’s department. Commissioner Joy stated that he thought the maintenance department needs a truck. It was questioned if it was worth making this truck inspect able, the response was yes. Commissioner Blasi encouraged him to replace the tires. Commissioner Joy encouraged the Director to take the cost of maintaining the truck out of the vehicle maintenance account.
Joe Piccone was present to find out if the union contract was agreed to. An updated Article 2 was presented to the commissioners and Teamsters Business Agent (BA) Piccone. The splitting of the unit into 3 separate bargaining units was included in the new language along with corresponding job titles. BA Piccone acknowledged that there are 3 units in the one contract and at a future date there will be 3 contracts.
MOTION: to ratify the contract with the union as specified. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi requested to take the “s” off includes.
Commissioner Brown stated that there was no representation from the union in attendance at today’s grievance deliberations. Commissioner Joy stated that a sergeant is a supervisor and a corporal is a corrections officer who can take over in the absence of the sergeant. He would like to see a corporal in the corrections officer classification.
Office of Financial Affairs:
MOTION: to approve May General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #14-17, #14-18, #14-19, #14-20 and #14-21 in the aggregate of $245,411.05. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve May General fund and Airport Expense Warrants #14-22, #14-23, #14-24 and #14-25 in the aggregate of $600,391.25. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the $305,000 was for the airport.
MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #14-43, #14-44, #14-45, #14-46 and #14-47 in the aggregate of $109.704.08. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve Jail and UT Fund Expense Warrants #14-45-, #14-46, #14-47 and #14-48 in the aggregate of $87,234.08. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy asked if the Deputy Treasurer has heard from the CFO as to where the jail currently stands. The response was no. Federal Revenue does not go toward balancing the budget now, it goes to paying down debt. Deputy Treasurer Atwater requested to schedule a meeting at the end of June to set the capital accounts for the jail. Commissioner Joy stated that 75% of federal revenue for May and June would need to be put into a capital account. With regard to the AR, we are still waiting on the BOC to make us whole from last year. The Swans Island Police Department bill for $61.79 was paid in January.
Commissioner Brown stepped out at 3:04 p.m., he returned at 3:07 p.m.
MOTION: to authorize May expenditures in the health insurance account in the amount of $83,416.13. (Blasi/Joy 2-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3014-90 in the amount of $212.72 for the purchase of propane at the north tower. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3010-70 in the amount of $9,990.00 for the purchase of a zero turn lawn mower with trade-in. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of $875.80 for the local share of invoice 52905 from Hoyle, Tanner & Assoc. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account 3012-50 in the amount of $724.68 for the purchase of a new computer for the District Attorney. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of $14,275.07 for AIP 37 general contractor requisition #9. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Deputy Treasurer Atwater requested to schedule a meeting with the county commissioners at the end of June to set jail capital accounts. This may be done at a later date.
MOTION: to approve the UT Supervisor amended job description. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the Airport Manager updated job description. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if the designation to collect parking fees was included in the job description. It was approved in the meeting today and did not need to be included in the job description.
MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6 to discuss an employee matter. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Joy called the meeting back into regular session at 3:31 p.m. and stated that due to HIPPA requirements the commissioners were unable to report part of the discussion. The affected employee was asked to provide weekly updates.
The Appointed/Exempt Policy: sick time/vacation/appendix discussion was moved to the June 20th CSM.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)