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COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING

  Audio recordings of the meeting are available upon request

The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 9:00 am on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

Commissioner Blasi opened nominations for Chairman. Commissioner Clark commented that it was important to have equal access to chair, and wanted to resolve seating arrangements.

MOTION: that the chairman always be seated at the center of the head table and have the final authority on seating arrangements of the other two commissioners (Clark, failed for lack of a second)

Commissioner Brown called point of order, stating a Chairman should be elected before moving forward. 

Commissioner Blasi nominated himself as Chairman; Commissioner Brown seconded the nomination.  Commissioner Clark nominated Percy L. Brown as Chairman, this was not seconded.  Commissioner Blasi called the vote. Commissioners Brown and Blasi voted for Commissioner Blasi as Chairman. Commissioner Clark voted for Commissioner Brown as Chairman.  Commissioner Blasi was elected Chairman. 

The Commission approved the agenda without amendments.

Public comments: none

MOTION: to approve the December 2, 2016 Commissioners Special meeting minutes, the December 6, 2016 Commissioners’ Regular meeting, the December 13, 2016 Commissioners’ Special Meeting, and December 28, 2016 Commissioners Special Meeting (Brown/Blasi, 2-0-1 Clark abstained, motion passed) Commissioner Clark abstained because he was not present at those meetings.

Airport

Manager Madeira updated the Commission with his monthly report. 

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Russell Holloway, part time janitor (Clark/Brown 3/0, motion passed)

MOTION: to appoint District 1 resident, Robert Bouffard of Ellsworth to the Airport Advisory Board (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to appoint District 3 resident, Nathaniel Fenton of Lamoine to the Airport Advisory Board (Blasi/Brown, 3-0, motion passed)

These terms coincide with Commissioner’s terms.

MOTION: approval to update the JANITOR, PART TIME job description for the airport (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to solicit applications for part time janitor vacancy (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval of $600.00 2017 budget transfer from account E40-01-300 to E-40-15-100 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi expressed that he would like to see this as a onetime approval and that it should have been budgeted for.

MOTION: to remove part time on call employees Joseph Titka and Steve Gilbert from the Airport Payroll (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff:

MOTION: Approval to hire Maryann Allen of Ellsworth as part time civil assistant at $12.50 per hour for 20 hours per week effective date January 21, 2017 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Allow the Sheriff’s Dept. to go out to bid for 2 cruisers (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: One will replace a 2013 Ford, the other will replace the civil process vehicle.

MOTION: Accept the resignation of corrections officer Brooks Deans effective 01/06/2017 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: Chrystal Thurlow has been working out of classification and has gone beyond the time allowed by contract. She will be going to training and after that will be promoted to Corporal. She will remain out of classification while she is in academy.

MOTION: to approve an extension of Chrystal Thurlow working out of classification (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion: The kiosk in the jail has been installed and will be active within the next week.

Discussion: out of state travel for Lt. Frank Shepard and JAA Amy Smith to attend the New England PREA Conference in Boston, Massachusetts February 21-24, 2017.

Jail Administrator Richardson reported the cost will be around $2,500- the money will come from the travel account and other accounts. This training is mandatory in order to house federal inmates in the jail. JA Richardson said he would bring it back for approval next month.

MOTION: to enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a), Personnel Matters to discuss jail medical contract (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Chair Blasi brought the meeting back to regular session with nothing to report.

UT:

Agenda item 8F was moved to 4B

Unorganized Territory Supervisor Millard Billings gave his monthly report.  There was some discussion on Fletcher’s Landing bus service.  Billings said he had some concerns about comingling public transportation and busing school children. Billings said there is money in the Bull Hill TIF for transportation. Commissioner Clark thought the money should be used for a service that isn’t already provided. He questioned the interest of residents in the public transportation.  Commissioner Brown thought there must be some people there who could use a bus service. Supervisor Billings was directed to prepare a survey regarding the interest for public transportation for the Commissioners review.  Discussion followed on priorities of TIF projects and appropriations. Commissioner Blasi would like the Commission to resolve priorities of allowed uses.  He listed education, radio and equipment, and water systems and water remediation as his priorities. UT Supervisor Billings spoke about what TIF money could be used for in the 2 districts. The TIF footprint tells what can specifically be done with that money. He said both held money for education and skills training- the point of a TIF is economic development- the education and training should dovetail with that.  Billings said thus far the Commissioners have decided not to spend money until it comes in. Billings said in each TIF there is $500,000 available for recreational trails. There was some discussion about getting an easement to keep that open for recreational use. 

Chair Blasi called a break at 10:42 a.m.

He called the meeting back to order at 10:51 a.m.

TREASURER:

MOTION: to approve the December General Fund and Airport payroll Warrants #16-47, #16-48, #16-49, #16-50, #16-51 and #16-52 in the aggregate amount of $339,887.83 (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the December General Fund and Airport expense Warrants #16-49, #16-50, #16-51, and #16-52, #16-53, #16-54, #16-55 in the aggregate amount of $586,547.59. (Brown/Clark, 2-0-1, motion passed, Clark abstained) Commissioner Clark said the issue is that warrants are not approved until they are voted on by the Board, which occurs today. Commissioner Clark refrains from signing today, and abstains from voting, as he wasn’t here in 2016 when the bills occurred.

MOTION: to approve the December Jail and UT payroll Warrants #16-47, #16-48, #16-49, #16-50, #16-51 and #16-52 in the aggregate of $162,139.54. (Brown/Blasi 2-0-1, motion passed, Clark abstained). Commissioner Clark refrains from signing today, and abstains from voting, as he wasn’t here in 2016 when the payrolls occurred.

MOTION: to approve the December Jail and UT expense warrants #16-24, #17-11, #16-25, #17-12 and #16-26 in the aggregate amount of $305,150.82. (Brown/Blasi 2-0-1, motion passed, Clark abstained). Commissioner Clark refrains from signing today, and abstains from voting, as he wasn’t here in 2016 when the bills occurred.

MOTION: to approve December expenses in the health account of $162,560.28 (Blasi/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Clark abstained) Commissioner Clark refrains from signing today, and abstains from voting, as he wasn’t here in 2016 when the bills occurred.

MOTION: to approve the expenditure from Capital reserve account #G1-3014-90 Building Reserve for 54.2 Gals. Propane for North Tower $111.00 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to close out Machias Savings Bank account ending in 3480, investment checking, and transfer funds to MSB GF (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Account currently holds $ 277.11 and earns .20/month interest

Discussion: transfer of CBF from the control account in Fund 3

CA Adkins reported that it is a control account and is automatically moved by TRIO at the end of the year.

Discussion: Pre- audit process

CA Adkins said he spoke with Parker Madden of RKO, and that he would be glad to do our audit for 2016. RKO will not be able to do the pre audit if they also perform the audit. Commissioner Clark expressed that he would like to have RKO do the audit if the price was appropriate. Chair Blasi said he would like to have a vote on that. If Madden will perform the audit, we will waive the pre audit.  CA Adkins will get an answer from Madden, then poll the commission to determine their will.

MAINTENANCE:

Dave Linnell updated the Commissioners on the monthly report. 

Emergency Preparedness Report: Linnell reported the safety committee determined the Emergency Preparedness Plan to be outdated. They would like to come up with a quick reference guide that is more user friendly for employees. A subcommittee has been formed and they have rewritten the plan. The full plan will be in kept Maintenance, and the employees will have the quick reference guide.

MOTION: to go out for bid with handicap door opener project (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

RCC:

RCC Director Renee Wellman gave her monthly report.

MOTION: Accept the resignation of Alisha Smith, effective January 3, 2017 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Appoint the nomination of William J. Wiegmann from the EMS group for a three year term to the Hancock County Advisory Committee (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to sign certificate of appreciation for Geoffrey Miller for his service on the HCRCC Advisory Board (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Motion: to break for lunch 12:01 p.m. (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Back in session

COMMISSIONERS:

Discussion on amendments to the Meeting Policy:

As the Commission agreed time was needed to think through the proposed amendments to the meeting and agenda policy, it was decided to place the item on the next Commissioners’ meeting, to be held January 17, 2017.

MOTION: to pay travel expenses for commissioners living over 5 miles from the county seat (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to set mileage rate for FY17 at .44¢ per mile. (Clark/ Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to authorize the treasurer and Executive Assistant to issue checks up to $1,000. (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to have 2 Commissioners signatures on warrants before the Treasurer signs the checks (Blasi…motion fails for lack of second)

Commissioner Clark expressed that unless there is a problem, there is not a need for this- there is currently not a problem.

MOTION: authorize the chairman to sign warrants (Brown/Blasi 2-1, Blasi opposed)

Commissioner Blasi commented that two signatures add more protection to county operations, and that the Risk Pool expects the Commissioners to maximize protection.

Liability Insurance for the Hancock County Reparations Board

Commissioner Blasi would like to see the County cover the liability insurance. Commissioner Clark would like to see this researched before making a decision.

Wellness Program Expansion (Acadia Benefits)

Commissioner Blasi suggested if we support people in their efforts toward wellness that may reduce health insurance costs.

There was some discussion on making amendments to the Sexual Harassment Policy, and it was decided to make no changes at this point.

Commissioner Health Coverage

Commissioner Clark reminded the commission of the county’s health insurance buy-out policy. He asked if the commission agreed that he is eligible for the buyout, explaining that he has retiree insurance as a retired Hancock County Employee.  Commissioner Brown said he would like further information.

MOTION: to grant Commissioner Clark’s request (Blasi, motion fails for lack of second)

The request will be revisited after further review.

Discussion: Dept. 17 application process for 3rd Party Donations

Commissioner Blasi outlined a process he would like to see:  to post applications by a certain date, for any qualifying organizations to apply and to fund those with Community Benefit Funds, not excluding using Community Benefit Funds for anything else. Commissioner Brown suggested that this could open up several issues.  A discussion ensued between Commissioners Brown & Blasi regarding those issues and how they would be resolved.  The discussion also included how to take care of those entities, such as UMaine, who have relied annually on county funding.

MOTION: to post the applications for 3rd party donations (Blasi/ motion failed for lack of 2nd)

COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR:

Administrator Report- CA Adkins reported that there are several upcoming tax abatement hearings to schedule. He also updated the Commission on scheduling upcoming Union negotiations for the Sheriff’s Office and RCC.

Grouped Benefit accounts E- 30-05-500- CA Adkins said this was an accounting item to be taken care of at the end of the year.

MOTION to adjourn 1:55 pm (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton,

Executive Assistant to the County Administrator

 

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