Commissioner Agendas & Minutes
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)