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COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING

Audio recordings of the meeting are available upon request

Commission Chairman, Steven E. Joy called the special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 4:30 pm on Wednesday October 19, 2016 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Blasi in attendance.

Sheriff’s discussion with the Commissioners regarding the proposed Spillman Project:

Sheriff Kane explained that the Spillman proposal was not in the original budget, and this arose from a conversation from a member of the BAC who had an interest in the Spillman Project. He said his intent was not to blindside anyone. Sheriff Kane said this is not something that we can do at this point and he will look at an equitable way for everyone to pay their fair share and address it another year.

Commissioner Brown referred to $10,000 in the budget, and Sheriff Kane said that was for IT, not Spillman. Sheriff Kane would like to look at another formula, and draw from money that already exists. Commissioner Joy made reference to the funding for the current contract with Sierra, IT and the training that an employee attends. Commissioner Blasi asked about Salt Lake City and if that’s the only training. Commissioner Brown said in the past we have tried to have our own IT person, and eventually decided to go with outside contract. He indicated that when we go out to bid this year we should require a familiarity with Spillman, and that it is within the Commissioners’ best interest to sub this out instead of having our own person. Sheriff Kane said there was an issue with who has access to the system’s information.

Finance Assistant position:

CA Adkins explained that it he thought it was time to take the next step, and that the first option is to move the current employee from the current position in with the Treasurer, to Finance Assistant.

Commissioner Joy talked about the structure of the office in the past. He pointed out that he did not hire CA Adkins to be a chief finance officer; he thought he would be a County Administrator to work on things like Spillman and the contract with Ellsworth. Commissioner Joy said he was not in favor of another general clerk, but that he was in favor of a finance person within the office. He was looking for a finance person to up their level of expertise to coincide with the treasurer, and perform the bulk of the day to day operations. CA Adkins replied that he sees his role as County Administrator with an emphasis on finance, and that with the Executive Assistant’s role with an emphasis on HR/personnel, those two positions cover the overall administration of the County. He said he feels comfortable with the position being more than a clerk. This person would work collectively with him and everyone else. Commissioner Brown questioned the job descriptions presented and the difference between them and what we have now. CA Adkins explained that now we have one position split between the two offices. Commissioner Brown questioned the cost. CA Adkins asked that if the choice is not to move the current employee, he would like to ask permission to advertise. Commissioner Brown asked for clarification as to how the position is in the current budget.  CA Adkins said it is budgeted in the Treasurer’s office.

Motion made by Commissioner Blasi to advertise for finance assistant per this job description first posted in house, going through the regular advertising channels.

Commissioner Blasi said he would like to see applications returned within 2 weeks, CA Adkins stated that would be too soon.

CA Adkins said he believes he has a candidate in house who would be qualified to move into the position and that if the Commission wanted to post in-house only, that it could be filled within 2 weeks.

Motion failed for lack of 2nd

Commissioner Brown stated that he was confused about the addition of general clerk and the cost- he is not sure if we want to take that on.

He also asked CA Adkins what the change was in the job description. CA Adkins said it basically takes the administrative duties and puts them in the general clerk side, and the treasury duties stay with the Finance Assistant. Commissioner Joy stated that his problem with the motion was that he would like to have the Finance Assistant position posted in-house and put it out to the public at the same time.

 Motion: to advertise for finance assistant, posted in house and publicly, interviews to be conducted simultaneously. (Joy/ Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed, motion passed)

 Commissioner Blasi clarified that the motion was based on the finance position job description they had in front of them, compensation code 8, to be funded by 05-01-110, non-exempt, 40 hours per week.

 Commissioner Brown said that in the past it has been the intent for employees to be cross-trained.  He stated that before he would support the motion, he wanted to ask for thoughts from the current Treasurer and employee in attendance.

The employee and Treasurer Eldridge agreed that there is a need for a 40 hour/ week finance position.

Commissioner Brown said that he was in opposition, not because he didn’t support the position, but because he doesn’t think the current employee should have to apply for a position they are already doing. Commissioner Joy indicated that the job description perhaps did not speak to what he had envisioned, that it is a more responsible job than that of an assistant. Commissioner Blasi said that this is a new job description that calls for a proper application process under county policy. Commissioner Joy stated again that this job description is not what he envisioned, even though he made this motion; it has no reflection on the people that are there. He said this position is something that has to work in conjunction with the Treasurer that is there now, and that he doesn’t want this to keep falling on CA Adkins. CA Adkins said the model he envisions will be simple, clear and transparent, and using the functions of TRIO. He said that with a Treasurer and a qualified County Administrator with emphasis on finance, a manager is not truly necessary. Commissioner Blasi agreed. Commissioners Brown and Blasi agreed that there is not currently a need for a finance manager.

Motion: to make this adjustment to agenda: paying retiree health benefits to MainePers (Joy,Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 Commissioner Joy explained that there are 4 or 5 people who were not offered MainePers when they came to work at the County, including the Commissioners, the Treasurer, and the Judge of Probate. They have decided to join, but $13,543.83 in matching funds needs to be paid by the County. Commissioner Brown said that there is a possibility that he is owed for 10 years of service. Commissioner Joy pointed out that if MainePers had been offered, the County would have paid the funds.

 Motion: to pay County portion due to MainePers from Account G-1-3011-02 Retiree Health Benefit Reserve (Joy, Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 Commissioner Blasi indicated that they need reserve account transfer request form, to be signed at the next meeting.

 Motion: to adjourn, time 5:28 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

 Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton
Executive Asst. to the County Administrator

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