Commissioner Agendas & Minutes
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 8:30 am on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.
Chief Deputy Patrick Kane was recognized by the Commission for 30 years of service to the people of Hancock County.
CA Adkins advised the Commission that there was written public comment in their meeting books that had been submitted, regarding Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Adjustments to / approval of agenda:
MOTION: add item 9b Discussion on supplemental housing for County Administrator (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: move item 7A and 7B to before item 1 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Permission to advertise in house for full time civil (Clark/Blasi 3-0 motion passed)
MOTION: Permission for out of state travel for Wreaths Across America (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
At this point Chairperson Blasi recognized Susan Dickson-Smith of Gouldsboro; she spoke in favor of the Commission adopting Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the County Business Holiday Calendar. She was allowed 3 minutes to speak, per policy.
Approval of minutes:
MOTION: Approve the minutes of the November 7, 2017 Commissioners regular meeting and the minutes of the November 21, 2017 Commissioners special meeting (Brown/Clark 3-0 motion passed)
Informational Meeting on Approved 2018 County Budget
Chairperson Blasi informed the public that the Commissioners approved the budget with a 2-1 vote on November 21, 2017.
MOTION: Sign budget calculation sheet for County of Hancock 2018 Budget (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed, motion passed)
Airport Manager Brad Madeira gave his monthly report. He said he projects the enplanements will fall just short of 10,000 for 2017. At this time TSA LEO reimbursement funding has been exhausted, leaving the airport to cover 100% of those costs. The FAA report showed a good inspection, with one mechanical issue yet to be resolved; it will be resolved shortly. Manager Madeira reported that the check from the State of Maine has been received for AIP 40; this closes the project.
MOTION: to approve the Security Services Agreement between Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. and Hancock County/Bar Harbor Airport effective 01/01/2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
UT Supervisor Millard Billings reported that five years have come and gone for Orthoimagery and needs to be renewed. Commissioner Brown asked if TIF money was used when that was first approved. Supervisor Billings said community benefit funds were used as seed money. He said that could again be used for the UT portion. This will be an agenda item for December 19. The Brandy Pond structure fire resulted in a $4,900.50 total bill for response. Supervisor Billings recommended paying this out of E 60-3030-500 UT-Contracts-Fire suppression.
MOTION: pay the bill for $4,900.50 out of E 60-3030-500 UT-Contracts-Fire suppression (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
There was some discussion about holding the property owner responsible for the cost. Supervisor Billings said he would follow up on that. He reported that we are still waiting for TIF payments on Bull Hill, and none of the Community Benefit funds have yet come in. There has been no word regarding the recording of a deed for the Airline Snack bar- the liquor license approval is contingent on that.
Dam name inventory update: Supervisor Billings presented the Commission with a dam inventory of Hancock County. He reported there are 46 dams in Hancock County; 9 or 10 are in the UT- 1 may be counted twice. Supervisor Billings said owner names should be added to the list.
MOTION: to approve the November GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #17-43, #17-44, #17-45, #17-46, #17-47 and #17-47A in the aggregate amount of $439,863.65 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the November GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #17-76, #17-77, #17-78, #17-79, #17-80, #17-81, #17-82, #17-83, and #17-84 in the aggregate amount of $969,515.00 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the November UT payroll Warrants #18-17, #18-18, #18-19, #18-20 and #18-21, in the aggregate amount of $1,634.94 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the November UT expense Warrants #18-10 and #18-11, in the aggregate of $9,313.22 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve November expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $223,244.45 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the following expenditures from capital reserve account G1-3021-35 FHCDC- monthly rent for drug court client- emergency payment per request of Richard Dimond, M.D. $350.00 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
Break 9:52 am
Back in session 10:00 am
District Attorney Foster, with members of the Hancock County Community Reparations Board and Restorative Justice Project participants, endorsement request:
In the necessary absence of DA Foster, ADA Heather Staples gave an explanation of the restorative justice project, and requested an endorsement from the Commission. She said her office deals with a lot of juvenile matters in Hancock County; the restorative justice began about 2 years ago, and serves as a practical tool as well as a savings tool. John Bennoch, Juvenile Community Corrections officer for the State, said he works with juveniles who have been charged with an offense; he deals with them before they go to court and uses the restorative justice project- about 12 cases in Hancock County since the program was expanded there. He said this provides the opportunity for the victim to have input- this brings to light to the offender the effect of actions. Victims and offenders are put into the same room, with a trained mediator. Right now in Hancock County this is for juvenile offenders, but has the potential of expanding to adults. Bennoch said this is funded by the Dept of Corrections. He said this lightens the load for the Hancock County District Attorney’s office.
Ann Smallidge, co-chair for Hancock County Community Reparations Board, said originally it was the District Attorney who requested the formation of a reparations board of some kind. She said a necessary budget will be created. When asked by Commissioner Clark, she said they are prepared to put a budget together and come back for a funding request. Commissioner Clark suggested they think about funding requests for 2019. Commissioner Brown expressed interest in the success rate of the program. Smallidge said their efforts are to educate the community, be trained in how to facilitate circles, and train mentors; one school has been indentified to work with- they have asked for help. She said it has been a year and a half of laying solid ground work. Commissioner Blasi asked about the potential for progressing to adult intervention. Smallidge said that was a goal, but it was down the road. Commissioner Clark expressed concern about fragmenting treatment programs to the point where none of them are effective, and referenced other programs. Jail Administrator Tim Richardson expressed that he was in favor of the Commissions’ endorsement. Commissioner Clark said he supported that 100% for juveniles.
MOTION: the Hancock County Commissioners endorse the juvenile reparations board (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Blasi asked if Commissioner Clark would entertain a friendly amendment to remove the word “juvenile”. Commissioner Clark indicated he would not; he said his intent was to support the juvenile program.
CA Adkins reported in the place of Facilities Director Dennis Walls, who was working on the Mt. Waldo project. There is an offer of $750 on the old maintenance truck. Commissioner Brown was in favor of waiting until the end of the month for additional offers.
MOTION: accept $750 bid for truck (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed, motion passed)
Appointed Treasurer 2018 Referendum Election discussion (Title 30-A §156)
In 2005 there was an attempt to gain voter approval for an appointed treasurer. Commissioner Clark said that county government is trying to professionalize, and that county finances are complicated, and this requires a top level professional, which can be accomplished through the process of appointing. He said as Treasurer Eldridge has announced that she will not run again, he would like to see another attempt to change the position from elected to appointed. Commissioner Brown said he was not opposed to everything Commissioner Clark said, but he opposed the Commissioners getting involved in the process; if the people want to initiate that again, that is up to them. Treasurer Eldridge said that this is taking one more control away from the voters. CA Adkins said that there should be special requirements that the treasurer holds, referencing efficiency and duplication of effort, and alternatively, make it known that the treasurer’s position should be reduced to a stipend position. Commissioner Clark said if the Commission was not interested in pursuing a referendum to change this, his suggestion was to begin in early spring of 2018 to establish the guidelines for what this position will look like beginning in 2019.
Buy Out/Buy Down policy
There was some discussion on changes to the buy out / buy down policy for 2018. The amounts will remain the same as 2017. The proposed addition of the line “employees must indicate their desire to enroll within 90 days of their date of hire” was questioned; it was decided to have legal counsel review it. The Commission will revisit the document on December 19.
Job descriptions approval
The QA position in RCC- Commissioner Blasi would like to see supervisory duties in the job description. It was decided to reserve action on a QA job description until a director is hired. The job descriptions for the other new positions- General Clerk in the Commissioners’ office, Legal Secretary III in the DA’s office, and Information Technology Systems Director- were reviewed. Commissioner Blasi wanted to include grant writing at some level in the General Clerk job description, perhaps 1 hour a week. He questioned whether any existing job descriptions include that, and said why not show the public that we are attempting to gain other revenue sources through grant writing in at least one job description. Commissioner Brown wanted to avoid making the position tough to fill, although he would prefer candidates with grant writing experience. The job descriptions will be finalized for approval at the December 19 Commissioners’ special meeting.
2018 Business Holiday Calendar-
The Commission reviewed 3 versions of the calendar. One with Columbus Day, one with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and one with Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
MOTION: approve the holiday schedule with Columbus Day until such a time as the Federal government changes it (Brown/Clark 2-1, Blasi opposed, motion passed)
Commissioner Blasi expressed his support of recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Commissioner Clark said that if Columbus is not worthy of recognition, the holiday should be done away with.
Jail funding deficit payoff- continued discussion
CA Adkins reported that there is a meeting next week in Augusta regarding this topic. The payable discussed at the previous meeting has been processed.
Reserve account reorganization final action:
The Commission further reviewed the reserve accounts, continued from previous meetings. Commissioner Brown would like to see an index of the changes for future reference. CA Adkins referenced Accrued Compensated Absences and Retiree Health (OPEB). There was some discussion on the Health Insurance Lockbox and what amount that should hold, and what kind of health care funding that should bus used for. Commissioner Clark said he wanted to have no more than $100,000 in the professional services reserve account, and suggested moving some money from this to the technology reserve account. This item will be revisited on December 19.
Jog Fitness Program rollout update:
Deputy CA Knowlton said the web portal should be up and running soon. Her intent is to send the welcome booklets to each employee enrolled in Meritain to encourage use of the program, which will begin in January.
The deadline for applications for RCC Director is Friday, after that the process for hiring will begin, although applications will continue to be accepted.
MOTION: have County Administrator Scott Adkins handle RCC until director is on board (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
Community Services Interest Survey for 2019 budgeting possibilities—areas might include:
Code Enforcement, Restorative Justice Program, Property Value Assessment, General
Assistance, Internet Technology
A letter including a list of suggested services to communities, such as those mentioned above, will be sent to Hancock County towns asking if they have any interest in county government providing these services. CA Adkins will draft a letter and bring to the Commission for review.
CA Adkins reported that there are two tax abatements in process, involving Brooksville and Dedham.
Supplemental housing for County Administrator- Commissioner Clark expressed concern about the long hours the County Administrator works, which sometimes involve him having to stay overnight. He would like to appreciate CA Adkins’s dedication to his position. He suggested offering a stipend to contribute to housing in the area. Commissioner Brown said that they need to be careful about giving to one and not another, and it would be better to have addressed this in an employment contract.
MOTION: to appropriate $1,250 for County Administrator alternative housing on days when it is unsafe or unfit to travel (Clark/fails for lack of 2nd
CA Adkins said he would respectfully decline the offer.
Finalize Deputy County Administrator promotional details:
There was some discussion on the county reimbursing the cost of the Deputy County Administrator’s educational program expenses. The Commission agreed that this request complied with the current Education and Training policy, and were satisfied that the educational program in question was related to work for the County.
MOTION: for the Deputy County Administrator to exercise her right under policy to be reimbursed for continued education, paid from the professional services account (Brown/Blasi 3-0 motion passed)
Deputy County Administrator Knowlton received a promotion to her current position in September of 2017, but compensation reflective of that was not determined.
MOTION: transfer funds from dept 5 to dept 4 to increase Deputy County Administrator’s salary 2.5% (Blasi, after discussion motion was withdrawn
CA Adkins explained that the money for the increase was in the 2018 budget, and would involve a transfer from Department 5 to Department 4.
MOTION: increase pay for the Deputy Administrator by 2.5% retroactive to September 1 of 2017 and move an amount sufficient to cover the payroll cost of this position for 2018 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to adjourn 12:23 pm (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)
Deputy County Administrator