Audio recordings of the meeting are available upon request 

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

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: to add Sheriff after Jail (3C) to hire Maryann Allen as Asst. Civil Process Coordinator effective December 30, 2017 at step 7C $15.56 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to add (3d) approval to transfer State of Maine forfeited assets (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Spirit of America

The following Hancock County citizens and organizations were recognized by the Commission for receiving the Spirit of America awards in 2017, for their outstanding community service:

Bucksport BHCC Senior Resource Committee

Bob Fernald of Franklin

Kenneth Smith of Lamoine

Frederick & Rebecca Brown of Mount Desert

Jean Sargent of Orland

Bill Doak of Surry

Edith Lounder of Hancock

Cathy Lloyd of Surry

Moira O’Neill of Surry

Trenton Volunteer Fire Department 

Public Comment: none 

Hancock County Workforce Recovery Program – Presentation by Joanna Russell, EMDC & Open Door:

Joanna Russell updated the Commission on the status of the pilot Workforce Recovery program funded by Hancock County the year before. She said the resources and services, put together with recovery provide a good foundation for preparation to reenter the workforce.

Performance outcomes of the program were discussed; there were 24 participants, including 14 from Hancock County Jail. They would like to increase to 45 participants in 2018.  Russell said the premise of the program was to recognize that individuals go through substance abuse programs like Open Door, but they don’t have a job, creating a gap in a feeling of contributing to their family and community.  Missy Morris, a program participant, described her experience of success with the program.

MOTION: to approve the use of Community Benefit money in the amount of $100,000           for Hancock County Workforce Recovery Program and Open Door (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed). 

Commissioner Clark expressed that he would like to review the application process for Community Benefit funds. Commissioner Blasi said in the past he has requested different approaches to using CB funds, including funding Dept. 17 with them. Commissioner Brown said this addressed a problem that was going on now, and he could not think of a better way to spend this money in the community.  There was some discussion regarding leftover funds, if there were any; CA Adkins explained it would be left with the County as the money is drawn down as the program needs it. 

Kitty Barbee- Fletcher’s Landing TIF development update:

Kitty Barbee from EMDC reported there is a full committee of 8 people; she has met with most in person to describe the project. She has the valuation book and has set up a database that will pull it all together. The committee has not met, but will set up agreeable dates and times.  Commissioner Blasi referenced the need for the development of low income housing, and said this type of project should go through Washington Hancock Community Agency, rather than a private developer. Barbee said the committee would consider several options for projects, and bring those back to the Commission. 

Commission Business:


MOTION: Approval for partial contract for engineering services regarding 2018 AIP project $12,635.73 to replace the runway edge lights and taxiway edge light systems (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) If an AIP does not pay for this, there is available money in undesignated funds from the Airport. 


Ortho Imagery Mapping Program Funding request:

Supervisor Billings explained this was funded in 2013, and it is now up for funding again in 2018. The county would have to pay $21,482, with a state match of $40,844 to make it available to communities in Hancock County.  The UT portion would be $13,000; Billings said in 2013 this was funded through TIF funds. 

MOTION: to fund the Imagery Mapping Program $21,482 from CB and $13,000 from TIF funds, with a state match (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) The League of Towns is in favor of keeping the program up to date with accurate photos of Hancock County. 

UT Scholarship Application: the Commission reviewed the postsecondary scholarship application for students in the UT. There was some discussion on the number of years the scholarship would cover.  Supervisor Billings will add the application announcement to the website. 

Community Benefit payment: Supervisor Billings recapped the situation with the Community Benefits payment from the previous year; they claimed they had overpaid, and so subtracted the amount from this year’s payment. The TIF reimbursements have been received from Maine Revenue Service, but we have not submitted the 70% reimbursement because this situation was anticipated.  Billings said his recommendation was to subtract this difference from the TIF reimbursement.  He suggested the Commission contact the attorney representing the County in the wind farm for a legal opinion. Commissioner Blasi requested a conference call.  

Break 10:15 – 10:25am 


MOTION: Approval to promote Cpl. Jillian Jones, pay rate 10G2, to the rank of Sgt., pay rate 12G2, effective January 6, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: Approval to hire Susan Ellis of Steuben as part time jail cook, on call as needed, not to exceed 29 hours per week at the rate of $12.00 per hour with no benefits, effective December 23, 2017 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: approval to hire Maryann Allen as Assistant Civil Process Coordinator effective December 30, 2017 at step 7C $15.56. (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) 

MOTION: approval to transfer forfeited assets in State of Maine vs. Kelley Gatcomb in the amount of $13,052.80, State of Maine vs. Horton $1,665.60 and State of Maine vs. Clark $19,686.60 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed).  


Key Protocol: Facilities Director Dennis Walls provided an updated key policy, addressing concerns discussed earlier.

Carpeting in Sheriff’s department: the carpeting in the civil assistant office was removed due to sewer pipe issues last week. There was some discussion on replacing more of the flooring. Commissioner Clark suggested going out to bid to replace all the carpeting in the SO area. Supervisor Walls will get the old civil assistant office repaired soon as soon as possible, if it is under $2,500.

Jail Wall discussion: Director Walls stated that he would like to re-advertise the work and be a little bit more specific regarding the retainer wall replacement. Commissioner Clark suggested going out to bid on the entire project, and determine from that how much the Commission would like to do. Director Walls suggested focusing an ad on just the concrete wall.  Commissioner Clark suggested Walls come back with written suggestions on altering the RFP.  


Set figure for retirees’ monthly portion of Meritain health insurance for 2018: Treasurer Eldridge stated that this is the time of year that she notifies retirees of an increase in the monthly payment (has not been changed in 3yrs). The Meritain increase for 2018 is 8%.

MOTION: to approve the new monthly rate for retirees (up 8% from $35.73) for 2018 for medical insurance coverage (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 


Health Insurance funding discussion: CA Adkins explained the analysis of 2017 health insurance costs, and overall (general fund and jail) the County will spend more than budgeted.  Per subscriber, jail costs are roughly 40% higher than GF costs.  

Job descriptions:

There was some discussion on who the IT Systems Administrator should report to; the Commission agreed it should not be to multiple supervisors. Commissioner Clark suggested that in the core elements of the job, we should emphasize the requirement to maintain the Spillman system in coordination with the sheriff.  CA Adkins said part of his job was to make sure Spillman got all the funding it needed, as he oversees all departments under the Commissioners.  Commissioner Blasi said the technician would be an employee of Dept. 4.  Commissioner Clark said as a practical matter, the Administrator’s direct supervision over Spillman work would be minimal.  Commissioner Blasi questioned the accounting process for IT expenditures and how they would be assigned to departments 4 and 10.  What are we posting to depending on what the bills are?  CA Adkins said that the IT person would be very busy, so if Spillman work needs to be done now the sheriff has the discretion to use the current vendor.  The Commissioners, in their financial oversight, would take a look at how funds were being used. 

MOTION: to approve the IT job description as amended (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

The Civil Process Secretary job description has been revised with some minor updated language.

MOTION: to approve the Civil Process Secretary job description as revised (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed) 

The General Clerk Job Description- Commissioner Blasi expressed that he was unhappy with this job description; he felt that this position should be focused on the human resources side of administration. He also wanted the position to reference the function of grant writing.

MOTION: to approve the General Clerk job description as discussed (Brown/Clark 2-1, Blasi opposed, motion passed) 

Legal Secretary III- this is the full time (formerly part time) position for the DA Office which begins in 2018. MOTION: to approve the Legal Secretary III job description (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

Advertising and scheduling interviews will be the next steps for the positions. 

Buy Out / Buy Down policy – the new policy was discussed as amended; legal has suggested that this policy now become a part of the Personnel Policy that is given to a new employee upon hire.

MOTION: to approve the 2018 Buy-Out/Buy-Down policy as amended (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed) 

Appointment to Hancock County Planning Commission:

MOTION: to appoint Alvion Kimball to the HCPC Executive Board for a one year term (Brown/Clark, 3-0, motion passed)

Break 12:20 – 12:30 

Interim RCC Director compensation retro to December 9: the RCC Director position is still vacant; CA Adkins has been appointed as interim Director (as of December 9, 2017). He has requested $300 per week for a stipend until a RCC Director is hired, which has been the customary amount for coverage when the Director has been on vacation.

MOTION: to pay Scott Adkins $300 per week as compensation for his work as interim RCC Director (Blasi/Clark, 3-0, motion passed) 

There was some discussion on the scheduling in the RCC and the QA position, and hiring more dispatchers. CA Adkins suggested considering a part time Director, which may be possible with changes to the departmental structure.  Commissioner Brown would like to expand the search for a Director.  Commissioners Clark and Brown agreed a full time Director was needed; Commissioner Blasi questioned it. 

Reserve account reorganization final action: The Commission reviewed the reserve accounts, continuing the discussions from earlier meetings. CA Adkins explained the changes made.  The spreadsheet highlighting the changes is attached as part of the record. 

MOTION: to approve the updated Reserve Accounts as amended (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

County Administrator:

RCC Vacation Payout Agreement Extension:

MOTION: to allow the dispatchers to continue to buy out their unused vacation time until the end of January 2018 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed).  

MOTION: to adjourn at 1:15 pm (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) 

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator



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