The special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

Adjustments to agenda: none

Bid opening:  Maintenance Front steps project

Chairperson Blasi opened the one bid that had been submitted.  The bid was from Sunshine Masonry for $27,880.00. 

MOTION: to approve the bid from Sunshine Masonry of $27,880 with the condition that the project can be done without tenting (Clark/Blasi - motion tabled

Discussion:  Commissioner Brown questioned the warranty, and what the maintenance would be after the project was completed. Commissioner Clark said we need to fix it, and then develop a maintenance plan.  Commissioner Blasi agreed, but wanted to know if Sunshine Masonry provided a warranty.  Commissioner Clark was concerned about the need for tenting, which he expected would increase the cost.  Commissioner Blasi suggested tabling the motion until Facilities Director Walls spoke with Sunshine Masonry about the questions.  The motion was tabled.


Permission to advertise for a deputy:

Chief Deputy Patrick Kane said this was a vacant position, left after the promotion of Deputy Frank Jennings.

MOTION: approval to advertise for a deputy (Clark/Brown  3-0, motion passed)


Town dispatch cost increase:

RCC Wellman reported that last year there was an increase of 3%.  After informing the contract holders of the potential increase, Director Wellman has received 3 responses, which she said were positive.  She also spoke with the advisory committee; they were not opposed to the 6% increase.  Commissioner Clark said he did not think a 6% increase was unreasonable. 

MOTION: increase the RCC dispatch fees by 6% effective January 1, 2018 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


Part Time wages policy:

After direction from the Commission at the 9/12/2017 meeting, CA Adkins presented a draft Part-Time Wages Policy, which included the following:

SO/Deputy: $16.00

RCC/Dispatcher: $14.00

Part Time I: $12.50/ DA; Maint; RCC Clerical; Probate & Deeds

Part Time II: $13.00/EMA- Admin Asst.; Airport- Admin Asst. & ARFF

CA Adkins said he thought the current funding would support these increases.  The effect on the budget would be minimal.  Commissioner Brown thought we should table it for now, and work on it in October. This would give the department heads a chance to review the policy.  CA Adkins said he would go back and discuss with department heads and fine tune it.

Commissioners Budget Workshop:

Dept. 2 -Emergency Management

Raising the part time wages would have a $700 impact on the budget.  Commissioner Clark questioned the rise in the health insurance line.  EMA Director Sankey explained that last year that line was under budgeted; this would answer that issue for 2018.  The Commission agreed to come back to this issue. 

Dept. 3 -District Attorney

DA Foster reported that Washington County did approve the advance funds for the special OUI prosecutor.  This position should begin October 16; this will be a State employee.

Commissioner Brown asked if the health insurance cost for the requested full time (currently part time) position was in the dept 20 budget. CA Adkins said that it was. DA Foster explained the need for the full time position.  Commissioner Clark asked what the gross cost for this position would be for 2018.  CA Adkins said without health insurance it would be $32,361.   This would eliminate the need for a part time line.  DA Foster said he could offset some of the cost by making some adjustments to the Disposition/ Def Payments revenue line.  Commissioner Clark said he would like to support this position.  Commissioner Brown agreed. Commissioner Blasi agreed, referencing said DA Foster’s offer of increasing the revenue line.

MOTION: to approve Dept 3 budget (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 4 –Commissioners

Commissioner Clark would like to increase the reserve transfers to $25,000.  Commissioners Brown and Blasi agreed.  Commissioners Clark and Blasi would like to see legal professional fees separated from computer professional fees.  Commissioner Brown questioned why we didn’t budget for Sierra services. There was some discussion on line 30-200 Professional Services.  Commissioner Blasi referenced turbine valuation, and whether the Commission would take action on challenging that.  Line 30-110 Legal fees was created, at $15,000. Commissioner Clark said if the IT position was created, the money could come from the IT position in the Professional Services line. Commissioner Blasi said he thought the Sheriff should have control of Spillman funding. Commissioner Clark expressed that the money for Spillman would be there, it was just a matter of which dept. it was in.

MOTION: for Spillman funds to be in dept 10 (Blasi, fails for lack of second

Commissioner Clark said he supported the Sheriff having full funding for Spillman, the only difference was that the bills would be paid out of this account.  Commissioner Clark said we still have the unresolved issue of the part time/full time clerk.  Commissioner Blasi said that issue was resolved, that it was a full time position.  Commissioner Clark said he would like to explore the option of a position putting together both civil process and QA.  Comissioner Clark said he thought they could all agree to approve the full time clerk position.  Commissioner Blasi wanted 2 separate accounts for line 30-200.  Commissioner Clark wanted to keep them together. 

MOTION: put $25,000 in for Spillman services and $75,000 for IT services (Clark/Blasi 2-1 Brown opposed, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown said we do not have the person in the room who controls Spillman, giving his input, and it was premature to split that right now.  Commissioner Brown said the Sheriff controls Spillman.  Commissioner Clark said the Sheriff would have the funding he needs for Spillman.

Commissioner Brown said he was not ready to vote on this department.  Commissioner Blasi asked for a motion to accept dept 4.

MOTION: approve dept 4 budget as amended by discussion (Blasi/Clark 2-1 Brown opposed, motion passed)

Dept. 5 –Treasurer

Expenditure line 30-320 Computer was increased to $5,500. 

MOTION: to approve dept 5 budget (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 6 –Maintenance

Expenditure line 07-600 training/registrations was reduced to $1,000.  Lines 20-300 Building and 20-350 Heat/air conditioner were reduced to 2017 amounts.

MOTION: to approve Dept 6 budget as amended by discussion (Clark/Blasi 3-0 motion passed)

Facilities Director Walls said he spoke with Sunshine Masonry; the work was guaranteed for one year.  For a maintenance plan- the goal is to keep the water out, and if that is done- it should last 5 or 6 years; this time can be stretched by periodic inspections and spot repairs.

Action on motion tabled earlier:

MOTION: to approve the bid from Sunshine Masonry of $27,880 with the condition that the project can be done without tenting (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 7 –RCC

Due to the approval of a 6% increase in the dispatch contracts, revenue line 100 Contracts went to $140,000.  When asked about combining the positions of QA clerk and civil, Director Wellman said it would be tough.  She said the request of a full time QA clerk would include the work of the administrative assistant, and be dispatch trained. Commissioner Brown  questioned whether this would be a union position. CA Adkins said that was a conversation that should take place.  Commissioner Brown said the public wanted us to keep dispatch in Hancock County; this position is one of the things we need to have to keep PSAP in the county. Commissioner Brown wanted to reduce the uniform line; Commissioner Clark disagreed. He said he would accept the full time QA position and the increase for uniforms, but wanted to reduce the Reserve account 70-100 Equipment line to $35,000.  Commissioner Brown expressed discomfort with cutting the reserve account to $35,000.  Line 01-300 part time was reduced to $10,000.

MOTION: to approve Dept 7 budget as amended by discussion (Clark/Blasi 2-1 Brown opposed, motion passed)

Dept. 8 –Probate

Revenue line 100 was increased to $95,000.  Expenditure line 30-110 Legal fees was raised to $10,000.  Revenue line 101 Publications was increased to $15,000.

MOTION: to approve Dept 8 budget as amended by discussion (Clark/Blasi 3-0 motion passed)

Dept. 9 –Deeds

Revenue account 102 Fees was increased to $485,000.  Revenue account 101 Transfer tax was increased to $162,000.  Line 103 copy fees was increased to $65,000. 

MOTION: to approve Dept 9 budget as amended by discussion  (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 10 – Sheriff

Commissioner Brown suggested moving some revenue from the DTF to Dept 10 revenue. Commissioner Clark was opposed to that.  Revenue line 300 Sale of county assets was increased to $10,000.  That is from the sale of a truck which may happen in 2017; this will go in a reserve account, and the revenue will be transferred in 2018.  Commissioner Blasi said the Sheriff’s figures do not appear on the budget pages in the books.  Commissioner Brown suggested that the Sheriff and the Chief Deputy get 8% increases in salaries, as was what they originally asked for.  He said he will not support another deputy position this year.  Commissioner Blasi said he could do that.  Commissioner Clark said applying a percentage rather than a fixed number is problematic, as this creates a disparity between this position and other dept heads.  CA Adkins said the Commission is recognizing this because of the request,  and asked if there are other department heads who came to him with requests, but fell in line with historical budgeting, will the commission recognize them. Commissioner Brown said he appreciated that, and referenced the size of the SO and the inherent responsibility.   The new deputy position was removed from line 01-130 reducing it by $52,016. There was some discussion on Spillman and IT needs for the County, and where the money should be budgeted.  Commissioner Clark said there would always be access to the funds for Spillman support, wherever it was budgeted. Commissioner Blasi said he would agree to 8% raise for the Sheriff and Chief Deputy, with the removal of the deputy position and reducing the vehicle line by $20,000.  Total expenditures after amendments were $1,369,407. 

MOTION: to approve dept 10 budget as amended (Brown/Blasi 2-1, Clark opposed, motion passed)

Dept. 12 -Town Contracts

Reserve account line 70-300 Vehicle was changed to $17,500.  Commissioner Clark questioned why the expenditures posted to Swan’s Island was more than the revenues from Swan’s Island.  Sheriff Kane said they would go back to check their figures. 

Dept. 11 – Jail

MOTION: to approve Dept 11 Jail CAP (Clark/Brown motion and second withdrawn

Dept 24- Jail

Commissioner Clark proposed that the Jail Administrator and the Assistant Jail Administrator wages be increased by 8%, and the admin. asst. wages be increased by 5%.  He amended the suggestion to an 8% increase for the Jail Administrator, a 8% increase for the Assistant Jail Administrator, and a 6% increase for the admin asst.  Commissioners Brown and Blasi agreed to that.  Commissioner Clark proposed the following lines be eliminated: 40-004, 40-023, and 40-009.  Commissioner Brown said he would not approve that because we need to prove to the State what the expenses are.  Expense line 46-602 Building was raised to $25,000.  Reserve account 70-00 Equipment (vehicle) was raised to $10,000.

MOTION: to approve the jail expenditure accounts as amended (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve an increase of 4% to the 2017 Jail CAP (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed, motion passed)

Dept. 13 -Civil Process

Commissioner Clark suggested leaving the civil process  position at 20 hours.   Commissioner Blasi was in favor of the full time position.  Commissioner Brown said he would support the full time position. 

MOTION: approve dept 13 budget as presented (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 46 -Drug Task Force

Commissioner Clark would like to see line 46-111 DTF Forfeitures increased to $100,000, from account 3013-50.  Expenditure line 01-525 K9 OT was reduced to $5,000.

MOTION: to approve Dept 46 budget as amended by discussion (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown wanted to leave the total of $10,000 for the K9, because of the increased revenue.

Dept. 14 –Communications

MOTION: approve Dept 14 budget (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 16-Debt Service

MOTION: approve Dept 16 budget (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 17 -3rd Party Donations

MOTION: that dept 17 donation remain at the 2017 level (Clark/Brown 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed)

 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.

Dept. 20 -Health Insurance

Line 05-300 was reduced by $25,000.

MOTION: approve Dept 20 budget (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 30 –Reserves

Commissioner Clark opposed the 20-300 Building line at $50,000.  Commissioner Brown wanted to raise it to $100,000, and have that come from undesignated funds.  Line 20-300 was reduced to $0.

MOTION: to approve dept 30 budget as amended (Blasi/Clark 2-1, Brown opposed)

MOTION: Enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A)  to discuss a personnel matter  (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

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

MOTION: to adjourn 2:57 pm  (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted, 

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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