The special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

Old jail repair plan presentation:  Terri Cormier from the Ellsworth Historical Society updated the Commission on the progress of repairs to the old jail.  She said a contractor has been contacted and the most emergent repairs will cost $5,000-$6,000.  They have looked into beginning a capital campaign to address the rest of the restoration work.  The Commission was in agreement that Facilities Director Walls had the authority to work with the Historical Society on repairs.  Cormier said it would take approximately a week to complete the initial repair work.  She thanked the Commission for their patience.  Commissioner Blasi asked what insurance coverage was in effect.  Cormier said she would check with their provider, and that the renewal date was in January.

Adjustments to/approval of agenda:

MOTION: to add item 7b Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) personnel matter (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

Public Comment: none


MOTION: to approve the Small Animal Clinic contract (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to dispose of assets with consideration of the bid process (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to go out to bid for a patrol vehicle (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Sheriff Kane said this would come out of his Dept 10 budget.

MOTION: permission to extend temporary full time status of CO Ashley Smith through August 31, 2017 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to accept the resignation of Benjamin Astbury effective July 29, 2017 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


Discussion of new hires:  Director Wellman informed the Commission that she was considering a new approach to the hiring process.  This would include bringing chosen applicants in for a 2 day training session to work with the current staff; there are 5 promising applicants. Commissioner Brown said he would be in favor of anything that would identify good hires.  The Commission agreed it was a good idea to try, and was in support of the idea.


MOTION: To approve the hire of Debra Whitcomb at $12.00 per hour on a part time as needed basis beginning August 5, 2017, due to an employee being out for 4-6 weeks (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


District budget caucus schedulesThe Commission briefly discussed the budget caucus schedules.  CA Adkins explained how he intended to work on the budgets with the departments.

PSAP- decision

Commissioner Clark said that he had been looking for good, defensible reasons to outsource PSAP to Penobscot County.  He said considering the public opinion that had been expressed, he was not convinced it was a good idea.  Commissioner Brown said he would agree at this point, but he thought that eventually consolidation would occur, and if there was a reduction in PSAPs, Hancock County would be one of them.  Commissioner Brown said that with Penobscot County being on our border, it would be logical to move ours there, rather than the state determining where it would go. He said the Commission would not be doing its duty if they did not look at these things. Commissioner Blasi said from now on, Hancock County should be systematically growing the Regional Communications Center with professional development and community relations through all levels of management, including involvement of the RCC Advisory Board. Here are some recommendations to all parties that come to mind: ongoing professional development and recruitment, training for staff (and served agencies), equipment- we need a new console, equipment expansion within the courthouse campus as the majority favors staying there, establishing shift supervisor hierarchy (incentivize staff to excel), uniform dress code, public interfacing, media relations, agency liaisons, expansion of services (possibilities are MDI, Washington County, Waldo County, based upon a strategic plan for growth and then long term maintenance), administrator's role with the RCC board and with the department.

MOTION:  abandon all efforts to move the 911 Public Service Answering Point out of the Hancock County RCC (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


CA Adkins gave the Commission a copy of the Welch vs. Brooksville abatement order to sign.  He reported that the State Claims Commission has requested to use a room in the courthouse for MDOT Project # 19196.0 / Ellsworth, and requested that a Commissioner be present for that.  Commissioner Clark agreed to attend.


Lewis & Malm jail wall project:

Charles Earley from Lewis & Malm Architecture presented the Commission with the 100% Construction project review.  During the presentation the Commission took a break to tour the jail yard construction site.  The base bid and alternate bid items were discussed.  There was some discussion on the benefit of the snow melt system.  The county website will be used for advertising of the bids.  The pdf file will be accessible to bidding contractors there.  The budget and schedule was also discussed. 

MOTION: to contract with Lewis & Malm for clerk of the works duty on the jail wall project pending acceptable bid results (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to enter an executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) personnel matter (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

Back at regular session, Commissioner Blasi resigned as the chair of Hancock County Commissioners.  He accepted nominations for chairman.  Commissioner Clark nominated Percy L. Brown Jr. as chairman; Commissioner Brown seconded that nomination.  Commissioner Blasi nominated William Clark as chairman; there was not a second to that nomination.  Commissioner Blasi called the vote.  Commissioners Clark and Brown voted in favor of Percy L. Brown Jr. as chairman, Commissioner Blasi voted against.

MOTION: to adjourn 12:38 pm (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Executive Assistant to the County Administrator

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