The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

 Employee recognition:

The commission recognized Flo Pelkey for 18 years of service to Hancock County, and for her work with the Hancock County Workforce Development program.

Later in the meeting the commission recognized Deputy Luke Gross for 15 years of service to Hancock County.

 Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: add item 7 f- discussion on courthouse security policy (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: add to Airport item 2 h- request approval to reduce job posting period for PT ARFF (Blasi/ Brown 3-0, motion passed)

 Public Comment: none

 Approval of minutes:

MOTION: to approve the minutes of the March 6, 2018 Commissioners Regular Meeting and the March 20, 2018 Commissioners Special Meeting (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


Airport Manager Madeira reported that there were 2 incidents involving damage to county property during snow removal. Insurance claims have been made for both incidents.  Manager Madeira said there has been media attention on the loss of PenAir services at our airport recently, but this is part of a normal 2 year process that the airport goes through with DOT to reselect a seasonal carrier, and he is optimistic that we will have a smooth transition.  The Airport Advisory Committee will meet on April 10 to discuss proposals and make a recommendation.  A commissioners’ special meeting was scheduled for April 13, 2018 for the commission to approve a letter in support of the Airport Advisory Committee’s recommendation. Manager Madeira reported that Lead PT ARFF Jeremy LeClair will be taking 3 months off, and appropriate staffing needs to be attended to.

 MOTION: approval to spend $2,726.29 from account G2-3010-36 to pay Glidden Auto Body in Ellsworth to repair vehicle damage described in monthly report (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: grant Jeremy LeClair a 3 month leave of absence effective March 21, 2018 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: approval for out-of-state travel for the following ARFF employees on April 17-18 for annually required Live Burn Training in New Hampshire: T. Daley, J. George, T. Canavan (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Manager Madeira said if someone new is hired they would also need to attend the training.

 MOTION: approval of Columbia Air Services-BHB, LLC Lease Amendment No.5 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: approval to spend up to $4,000.00 on parts to repair JD 410G backhoe from account G2-3010-30 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: approval of Private Hanger Land Lease Assignment from Mr. Stockton Smith to Mr. T. Williams Roberts, III regarding Parcel “P-14” effective on April 3, 2018 (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: approve reduced posting period of the PT temporary Lead ARFF position (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Manager Madeira explained that mandatory training will be held next week and the new hire would need to attend.


Director Robert Conary reported that the current RCC Dispatchers have completed the initial Emergency Fire Dispatch training and explained the process for implementing the training. He also reported 2 separate incidents of note.  Dispatcher Rolly Means did a great job engaging and keeping a child caller calm while obtaining information for the responders.  Dispatcher Nikki Dennison handled a CPR call during which the patient was successfully stabilized and transported by EMS.  


Unorganized Territory Supervisor Millard Billings reported that he received a phone call from Dave Fowler; he would like to meet with the commission to discuss the possibility of a solar energy facility in Township 16. Supervisor Billings reported that the Bureau of taxation voted to approve the UT budget.

 MOTION: to enter executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(E) to receive correspondence from our attorney (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

 Chair Blasi brought the meeting back to regular session.

 With regards to the executive session, Commissioner Clark made the following motion:

MOTION: Make arrangements for attorney Ed Bearor to appear at a meeting to discuss the agreement we presently have with First Wind (Clark/Brown 2-0-1, Blasi abstains, motion passed)


Facilities Director Dennis Walls submitted his monthly report. Commissioner Clark asked about the tank room; Director Walls said the tank has been removed and he had intended to use the room as a storage space/shop.  Commissioner Clark said he could support that, but wanted to know if anyone else expressed an interest in that space.  There was some discussion on the use of the space. 

EMS update- Maine controls has made a back up of our system.

Carpet job in the Sheriff’s office- This is complete and Director Walls is pleased with the result. Some offices were also repainted. 

Courthouse security- Commissioner Clark would like to schedule a meeting to discuss potential changes to that policy with the appropriate people in attendance. Commissioner Brown referenced the area outside in front of the jail, that it should be monitored.  Commissioner Brown talked about developing protocols for courthouse shutdown. Director Walls said this has been on the agenda of the safety committee.  Commissioner Clark said he would like to set a date and time for a meeting involving all dept heads within the next couple of weeks.  A tentative date of April 24 was set.

 Bid opening- jail day yard:

One bid was received. The following bid from RF Jordan was opened by Chair Blasi.  The results are as follows:

Base bid- $520,415

Alt #1- $68,740

Alt #2- $30,770

Alt #3- $550

Alt #4- $2,220

Alt #5- $20,13

Alt #6- $4,165

 The bid will be discussed on April 13.

 Break 10:23 am

 Commissioner Clark expressed that he would like to have an informal meeting with RF Jordan regarding the bid. Commissioners Brown and Blasi did not object.


MOTION: Authorization to expend up to $6,000.00 out of E10-70-300 Cruiser Purchase account for cruiser camera (Brown/Blasi 0-2-1 Brown abstains, motion fails)

 MOTION: sheriff be permitted to purchase cameras for $4,695 from E10-70-300 Cruiser purchases (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: Authorize the purchase of DHQ Coms and Station Computer Program from account E10-20-100 Computer for $4,500 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Clark asked what the justification was for sole source. Chief Deputy Kane said there are no other products that would interface with other departments.

 MOTION: Approval for out of state travel for Sheriff Kane and Deputy Dan Harlan, to Northampton, MA, April 23-26, 2018 for training on school and building safety (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Approval to hire Edward Davis of Brewer as a part time corrections officer effective April 7, 2018 at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, on call as needed and not to exceed an average of 29 hours per week; approval to hire Travis Young of Bangor as a part time corrections officer effective April 7, 2018 at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, on call as needed and not to exceed an average of 29 hours per week; approval to hire Shawn McAlpine of Sullivan as a part time corrections officer effective April 7, 2018 at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, on call as needed and not to exceed an average of 29 hours per week; approval to hire William Finley of Ellsworth as a part time corrections officer effective April 7, 2018 at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, on call as needed and not to exceed an average of 29 hours per week; approval to hire Kayla Dumond of Bangor as a part time corrections officer effective April 7, 2018 at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, on call as needed and not to exceed an average of 29 hours per week. (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

 Asst. Jail Administrator Shepard updated the Commission on recent repairs and upgrades to the jail.

 MOTION: Purchase the 2018 caravan from Darling’s for the price of $23,695 with a transfer of $1,085 from account E-10-70-300 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 Discussion regarding School Resource Officers:

Sheriff Kane introduced School Superintendents Mark Hurvitt, Chris Elkington, and Katrina Kane, who were in attendance to speak to the issue of funding school resource officers. Commissioner Clark asked what the superintendents thought the county could reasonably provide.  Mark Hurvitt said there is no law enforcement presence in the schools, because it has not been needed.  He wanted to begin the conversation about how to have a school resource officer available.  Commissioner Blasi asked if contracting with the sheriff’s department was being considered.  Hurvitt said it was not.  Chris Elkington said he sees the role as someone helping update plans, make connections in each school, and being the first point of contact if something happens.  Commissioner Clark asked what the school districts were firmly willing to commit to.  Commissioner Brown asked what role the state is taking in this.  Sheriff Kane said there was a very loose discussion at this time regarding state and federal involvement.  Commissioner Clark asked the superintendents what assurance they could provide that funding would continue for multiple years.  Elkington said he did not see this as a one year fix, but a gradual process.  Commissioner Blasi questioned the position of other schools that haven’t entered into the discussion.  Sheriff Kane said that would have to be discussed as this developed. Commissioner Blasi suggested giving the schools an opportunity to decline.  Sheriff Kane made reference to incorporating the new deputy’s duties with those of a resource officer; Commissioner Blasi indicated that he had been thinking the same. Commissioner Brown said one of his concerns was one resource officer for several schools would not be sufficient.  Commissioner Brown said he would like to see the conversation continue, and determine what involvement the state is willing to have.  Commissioner Clark said he wanted to meet with Sheriff Kane about how the estimated costs were determined. 

Hurvitt and Elkington said the 2 unions they represent were willing to commit to the amount of $78,114.88- the estimated cost of salary and health insurance. There was some discussion on the schools outside of these unions, and concern expressed over committing county funds to a project that would not benefit the entire county.  Sheriff Kane was asked to communicate with the other schools. Commissioner Blasi said equity was his intention.

 Tax appeal deliberation:

The Messer / Peck v. Town of Dedham tax abatement appeal hearing was heard March 20, 2018. Commissioner Brown said some of the comps were to other properties with tree growth, so it wasn’t really a comparison, and did not have comparisons of arms-length sales.  He said the same methodology was used throughout the town, and no independent assessor was brought in to appraise the property.  Commissioner Brown said there was no evidence to support the appeal.

Commissioner Clark referenced the use of comps when some are in tree growth and some are not, and that the base and the frontage are not affected by tree growth, the majority of the value was in the base and frontage. Commissioner Clark said the applicant in this case was fairly evaluated from the standpoint that the assessing agent used the same standard for Messer/Peck that they used for the rest of Dedham for the same time period, that there was not an unfair assessment and the commission should deny the application.

Commissioner Blasi said there were not a lot of sales on Goose Pond, so they were not able to claim unfair treatment.

MOTION: Deny the appeal of the Messer Peck property owners for the reason that the town did not overvalue their property which caused an injustice (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

 Jail cont.

MOTION: Approve Community Corrections Specialist job description (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Accept the resignation of Community Corrections Specialist Florilla Pelkey, effective April 13, 2018 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: to approve the March GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #18-8, #18-9, #18-10, #18-11 and #18-12 in the aggregate amount of $431,141.90 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: to approve the March GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #18-19, #18-20, #18-21, #18-22, #18-23, #18-24, #18-25, #18-26, and #18-27 in the aggregate amount of $802,677.15 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: to approve the March UT Payroll Warrants #18-34, #18-35, #18-36, #18-37 and #18-38 in the aggregate amount of $1,520.56 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: to approve the March UT expense Warrants #18-18 and #18-19, in the aggregate of $467,058.70 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: to approve 2018 March expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $89,417.24 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: to approve the request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-00 Sheriff Floor to replace flooring in sheriff’s office in the amount of $5,514.00 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: to increase the Comdata monthly limit to $10,000 for the card assigned to EMA (Brown/Blasi 2-1, Blasi opposed, motion passed)

 Break 12:26 pm

 County write-in Elections discussion-

There was some discussion on the upcoming elections and the treasurer’s position; currently there are no candidates for some offices.

MOTION: add info to our website advising the public that no candidates presently appear for county treasurer on the upcoming elections and that if an individual with experience and qualification in finances were to be elected on a write in the Commissioners would compensate them based on their experience and qualifications (Clark/Blasi

After discussion Commissioner Clark withdrew the motion.

Municipal Survey Response discussion-

The Commission reviewed the results of a survey sent to municipalities regarding interest in county-offered services. Most of the interest indicated in the surveys submitted was for animal control and a health officer.  Commissioner Blasi suggested providing a behavioral health coordinator or manager, if it would make sense to have a behavioral health program at the county level.  Commissioner Brown pointed out that a health officer was different than a behavioral health manager.  Commissioner Clark suggested someone who understood what that position would entail could come to a meeting and make a presentation. Commissioner Blasi said he would contact Healthy Acadia.  Commissioner Clark suggested consulting with Sheriff Kane regarding animal control, as this was considered law enforcement.

 Sullivan tax abatement hearing request discussion- Commissioner Clark thought that the applicant should be heard, given the fact that the applicant made a good faith attempt. Commissioner Brown did not agree. 

MOTION: to hear the appeal (Clark/Blasi 1-2, Brown and Blasi opposed, motion fails)

 County Administrator:

 MOTION: Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) to discuss employment contract of County Administrator Adkins (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

 MOTION: to adjourn 2:49 pm (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

 Respectfully submitted,

 Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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