Commissioner Percy L. Brown, Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth, Maine with Commissioner Blasi in attendance. 

Sheriff, William F. Clark was recognized for his 34 years of service to the citizens of Hancock County. 

Commission Business: 

Adjustments to the agenda: 

MOTION: to change item 1b to: approval to pay for a supplemental health insurance plan for the Treasurer and to move items 2 a, b and c ahead of item 1. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 

Sheriff's Office: 

MOTION: to approve the Director of Standards & Compliance job description. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if the Chief Deputy was of higher rank than the DSC; the answer was yes. 

MOTION: to approve the transfer of Chief Deputy Richard Bishop to the position for Director of Standards & Compliance effective January 3, 2015. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that it was his recollection that during the budget process, this position was a one year position, Sheriff Elect Kane stated that it was initiated for FY15 and then they will look at it in future years.  Commissioner Blasi questioned if Chief Deputy Bishop understood this.  Sheriff Elect Kane stated CD Bishop understands the salary, the qualifications and the requirements and that there might be discussions.  Commissioner Blasi congratulated Sheriff Elect Kane. 

CFO Roy requested to pay Sheriff Elect Kane and Lt. Kane their benefit accruals, vacation, sick and comp time, in one lump sum from account G1-3011-03 in January 2015. 

MOTION: to agree to pay for Sheriff Elect Scott Kane and Lt. Pat Kane’s accruals in the amount of $38,887.14 from account G1-3011-03 in January 2015. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 

Commissioner Blasi asked, for the record, if Sheriff Elect Kane planned on naming Pat Kane as Chief Deputy.  The Sheriff Elect stated that a letter will be written to the Clerk and the named date will be January 1, 2015.  The transfer request noting the total hours and amount to be paid was signed by Commissioners Brown and Blasi. 

CFO Roy explained the payroll process for yearend 2014 and the beginning of 2015.  To meet the Garcia 7K Exemption, both parties will need to be paid for their patrol deputy time.  Commissioner Brown questioned if he takes office on January 3rd if his pay-date would be January 8th; CFO Roy stated yes, Chief Deputy Bishop will receive his new salary on January 15th. 


MOTION: to enter into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to conduct county administrator interviews. (Brown/Blasi 2-0, motion passed) 

Commissioner Joy, who arrived during the first interview, called the meeting back into regular session at 3:27 p.m. and stated that the commissioners have interviewed two candidates and will continue that process. 

MOTION: to approve the supplemental health care plan for the treasurer. (Brown/Joy motion and 2nd were rescinded) 

MOTION: to approve payment for a supplemental health insurance plan for the county treasurer. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CFO Roy stated this will show as earned income to the employee; Treasurer Eldridge understood this, adding that if the vendor were to be paid directly, it would be exempt from taxes. 

CFO Roy stated that normally he has at least a day and a half to prepare for capital account recommendations.  He stated that he has been receiving updated information through 2:30 this afternoon and requested that the commissioners table the airport and general fund capital reserves to the February meeting in order to have more accurate information and a better understanding of the financials.  When asked by Commissioner Blasi regarding what recommendations he would have made today, CFO Roy replied nothing, I can't,  adding that he was telling the commissioners that he has warned and warned and warned the commissioners that utilizing undesignated funds to offset your operations can eventually catch up to you and it's catching up to us this year; short estimates show that after that money is set aside that we will have somewhere between $80,000 and $150,000 of Undesignated money, but I can't tell you point blank what it is..  CFO Roy stated that a commissioner’s vote would allow the CFO to correctly calculate Undesignated Funds.  Commissioner Brown stated that the cruiser account may be an issue if not set now.  CFO Roy stated that at the first of the year there would be approximately $31,000 in the account, one vehicle could be purchased out of the budget in January/February and another could wait until late September.  $310,000 has to be put into a fund for operations.  Commissioner Brown stated that the county could obtain a TAN in order to keep operations going.  CFO Roy stated his concern and suggested keeping a fund balance above the $310,000.  GASB allows the commissioners to table the discussion until February.  Commissioner Brown stated that the new audit will start in March. 

Commissioner Blasi requested an airport capital reserve account report. 

MOTION: to postpone setting the FY14 capital accounts for the airport and general funds to February 2015. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

Jail Capital Account(s) Recommendations: 

Jail Reserves                Acct #          Begin bal      Expenditures       Ending bal

Contingency                3100-00           10,000                                         10,000

Fed Holding Res.        3105-00           22,671                                          22,671

Furniture                     3110-00             2,837                                            2,837

Equipment                   3115-00               500                                              500

Buildings                     3120-00           38,966                                         38,966

Vehicle                        3125-00           28,000        19,537                        8,468

                                                           102,974        19,537                      83,442 

A control panel will cost approximately $48,000, CFO Roy recommended leasing the panel. 

Jail Administrator Richardson suggested that the commissioners use $22,671 in Federal Reserve funds toward the purchase of the Control Panel and pay the rest, $26,144, from the Buildings account.  Opt 2. was a bid for $48,815 from the company that we already have to replace the control panel, another bid was received to replace the entire system in the amount of $225,000.  Jail Administrator Richardson suggested staying with the company that we have for $49,815.  CFO Roy stated that if it were to be leased with $22,671 down the monthly payment would be approximately $400 a month.  CFO Roy stated that if you took the $22,000 there is no tax relief, he suggested doing a lease to buy purchase and putting $30,000 down.  Sheriff Elect Kane questioned the life span of the equipment should it be leased, the answer was 20 years.  He voiced his concerns regarding a roofing concern and draining the building account. 

Commissioner Brown stated that within the next 6 months there will be a bill in the legislature that may change everything we do.  He preferred to pay for it now rather than going to the tax payers for more money.  Commissioner Blasi requested Administrator Richardson’s interpretation of the statutes.  He stated that the jail is not a factor in the BOC with regard to the 25/75 split.  His recommendation was what he was told at the BOC, that was to spend the money.  There are no other accounts that would apply to this except for buildings, equipment and federal holding.  CFOP Roy stated that the debt service payment needs to be paid on January 2, 2015.  If the $17,000 were applied to the debt service, the tax relief would be directly in FY16.  There are currently no funds in the budget to lease the equipment.  A simple term lease for 60 months with $26,000 down is $480 a month.  CFO Roy recommended financing it on a yearly payment plan.  Commissioner Brown could not see financing the purchase.  CFO Roy stated that he was heavily involved with a bill that is headed to the governor and that "this jail is going back to the county."  Commissioner Joy stated that he was not sure that he could jettison the jail in this environment. 

Commissioner Joy stated that he believed that the commissioners were in agreement that the panel needs to be purchased; they just need to figure out how they were going to pay for it.  If you borrow the funds you will need BOC approval, leasing is different.  Commissioner. Blasi stated "you just take the funds out of reserves, it’s a safety issue, and contingency can be used on a safety issue."  Commissioner Brown suggested taking $22,671 from account 3105-00 and the remainder out of Buildings 3120-00 to purchase the control panel.  Commissioner Joy stated that the BOC has consistently not kept their word.  CFO Roy discussed the reduction in inmate population. 

MOTION: to take $22,671 from account #3105-00 and the remainder of $26,144 out of Buildings account #3120-00 to purchase the control panel. (Brown/Joy motion and 2nd rescinded.) Discussion: CFO suggested taking the funds out of account 3105-00 and move it to 3120-00, Commissioner Brown agreed. 

MOTION: to move $22,671 from account #3105-00 to account #3120-00 and pay for the entire panel from account #3120-00.  (Brown/Joy 1-2 motion failed, Blasi and Joy opposed.

Discussion: Commissioner Joy questioned the vehicle account for the jail and stated that now there is only $27,000 remaining in the building account.  CFO Roy suggested that the Jail Administrator seek funding alternatives as $38,000 is not enough to fix a roof and the retaining wall.  Commissioner Joy suggested adding the discussion to the January agenda.  Commissioner Blasi requested more information on funding reserves.  A discussion followed regarding the roof and the console.  Currently, there are no issues with the roof.  Commissioner Joy was leaning toward leasing but Commissioner Brown was not, stating "if we have the money buy it."  Commissioner Blasi suggested that if we have the funds in the reserves, we should transfer them. 

MOTION: to move $22,671 from account 3105-00 to 3120-00 and pay for the entire panel from account 3120-00.  (Brown/Joy 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed) 

Commissioner Joy stated that the telecommuting discussion will be postponed to the January 6, 2015 CRM. 

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


C. DePrenger
County Clerk

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