The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

Employee recognition –

Corrections Officer Shaine Gross was recognized by the commission for 5 years of service to Hancock County.  Corrections Officer Nancy Pelletier was recognized for 10 years of service, as well as Legal Assistant Catherine Emerson for 5 years of service, although they were not present.

EMA vehicle bid opening- the results are as follows:

Quirk -2019 Chevrolet Tahoe SSV- List $49,340- Quote $38,982- After trade $29,923

Darlings- 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe SSV- List $49,700-Quote $36,680- After trade $27,680

Hight- 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe SSV- List $47,000- Quote $39,400- After trade $28,400

Commissioner Clark expressed that he would like to see all future bids include the trade in as part of the bid process.  The commissioners turned the bids over to EMA Director Sankey for review and clarification. 

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: add Jail: item h. to accept a resignation letter (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the September 4, 2018 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the September 12, 2018 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Blasi 2-0-1 Brown abstains, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the September 13, 2018 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The commission agreed to approve the September 20 meeting minutes by email.


Monthly report- Manager Madeira reviewed the 2018 enplanement report.  Through the end of August the number is 5,295; Madeira said it is unlikely that we will reach 10,000.  Silver Airways, however, is bringing numbers that match or exceed the previous carrier.  This is good news for 2019 numbers.  Manager Madeira explained features of the 7 year capital improvement plan.  He said the FAA is likely to award discretionary funds to make up for a shortfall in 2020.  Obstruction clearing is planned for 2021, and easements will likely have to be purchased before that.  In 2023 Manager Madeira is hoping to purchase a sweeper for snow removal.  On September 19 Manager Madeira met with members of the US Government Accountability office to review compliance with grant assurances.  There appear to be no concerns or issues at Bar Harbor Airport.  TSA issued award Mod No. 6 with an additional $16,475 of grant funding to make up for LEO coverage that was not previously funded.  Progress on AIP 45 Airfield lighting project began on September 10.  There will be 6 weeks of night closures (9:30pm-5:30am) for this project, although no weekend night closures.  Data is still being gathered for the Caruso Drive project.  Manager Madeira expects to have figures together for the next meeting.  Due to delayed production on commercial vehicles, the RFP for the plow truck was withdrawn and will be reissued at a later date.


The commission signed the snowplow agreement with Michael Barry that was approved at the bid opening on September 4.  Route 193- UT Supervisor Billings has made attempts to contact the previous contract holder, to no avail.  It was suggested to try to contract with whoever gets the bids for Deblois and Beddington.  The commission reviewed the draft letter and postcard from EMDC regarding development in Fletcher’s Landing and agreed to have them sent, with 2 minor corrections:  change Do you favor no development of any type? to Do you favor development of any type?; and Bull Hill TIF agreement changed to Hancock Wind.

MOTION: send the letter as amended (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: publish the card as amended (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Supervisor Billings distributed a color coded map showing the following projects in Unorganized Territory: Bull Hill, Hancock Wind, the solar panel project, and Weaver wind.  A draft contract with Capital Ambulance to provide services to all 15 unorganized townships has been written; Capital sent it to their legal services for review.

MOTION: workforce development update be held immediately after UT Budget (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


Supervisor Billings said this budget shows decrease of $5,500, which is a 2.28% decrease from last year.  Commissioner Blasi suggested increasing the budgeted amount for ortho imagery.

MOTION: Increase the ortho imagery mapping in the amount $3,000 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Supervisor Billings said he would make the update and bring the budget back to the commission for approval.

Workforce Development update:

Joanna Russell updated the commission on the progress of the Hancock County Recovery and Workforce Development Project.  There have been 52 total participants since January of 2018; 28 of these have been referred by the Hancock County Jail.  Commissioner Brown asked about tracking participants to measure success, and expressed concern that this program isn’t well known, and may not get the support from the media that it needs.  Russell said that on behalf of the workforce recovery board she has been doing additional work to support and strengthen the program itself, such as extending recovery coaching training.   Russell said she has had ongoing communication with USDA Rural Development, combining the projects and focusing on work recovery; the idea is to keep participants employed and out of jail.  A serious issue is with potential employers.  If there is an issue with a legal background, an applicant is immediately disqualified; there is no consideration of recovery.  If employers ask about a criminal background on an application, they should be following that up with questions about recovery.  Russell asked the commission to approve support services for things like dentures, hearing aids, and eye wear.  Commissioner Brown said he would like a breakdown of expenses; he is committed to this program, and is looking for the same kind of funding that we had last year. 

Break 10 a.m.-10:10 a.m.

MOTION: discuss under commissioners’ business the workforce issue of approved expenditures (Clark/Blasi, Clark withdraws motion

Commissioner Brown thought this should have been discussed when the director was here.  Commissioner Clark thought there was some misunderstanding about what any expenses meant.  CA Adkins said he would find out what expenditures were approved currently, and determine if any were necessary beyond that. 

UT budget- Supervisor Billings presented the budget with the change made earlier in the meeting.

MOTION:  approve 2019 Unorganized Territory gross budget of $302,550 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

The percentage decrease is now 1.03%.

Scott McKee- Acadia Benefits:

McKee said he was simply bringing information that will be helpful going forward.  He is expecting a preliminary renewal from Meritain next week.  Medical claims in 2018 are higher than last year, and we have hit our aggregate stop loss.  He explained that the county buys two levels of coverage- one covers every individual for $75,000 in claims and the aggregate covers the entire population for about $1.5 million.  McKee said both medical and pharmacy costs are rising, but pharmacy costs are rising at a faster rate, which is unsustainable.  He will gather a cost estimate from MMEHT and Meritain for comparison at the November meeting.


MOTION: Approval to hire Dakota Dupuis as full time Patrol Deputy, effective

October 20, 2018, at grade/step 12C $20.24; taken from account G 3010-10 $12,000 and from account E 07-600 $6,000 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Discussion on cruiser purchase- Sheriff Kane reported that the sales rep said that he will hold one cruiser until January.

MOTION: approval of Transfer of Forfeited Assets State of Maine vs. Chad Thibault in the amount of $3,434.40; approval of Transfer of Forfeited Assets State of Maine vs. Brennan Spofford in the amount of $1,007.00;approval of Transfer of Forfeited Assets State of Maine vs. Russell Scott in the amount of $1,847.00; approval of Transfer of Forfeited Assets State of Maine vs. Frankie Montero and Joshua Kane (companion case) in the amount of $5,537.60 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Swan’s Island Offshore Patrol Assessment credit-

Commissioner Clark said the practical impact of giving Swan’s Island any reduction was that the other municipalities would absorb that cost.  He suggested that if a reduction was to be made, that it would not come from this statute, but the county would pay the $5,000 stipend, and not bill Swan’s Island for that.  Commissioner Brown expressed concern that this would raise issues with other deputies.  The $5,000 will be added to the personnel services in department 10; department 12 will be reduced by $5,000 on revenues and expenditures.

MOTION: starting January 1, 2019, with the first pay period, the county will pay the $5,000 stipend to the Swan’s Island contract deputy (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: approval to remove Ashley Rickel from payroll (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to promote Paul Nichols of Glenburn to full time corrections officer, at the step of 9A, rate of pay of $15.60 per hour with full benefits, effective October 6, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to promote Michael Boucher of Sorrento as a temp full time corrections officer until November 6, 2018, at the rate of pay of $14.00 per hour with benefits of sick and comp time only (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to hire Juwan Leftridge of Etna as a part time, on call as needed corrections officer, at the rate of $14.00 per hour with no benefits, effective October 6, 2018, not to exceed 29 hours a week (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  approve an extension to the Leave of Absence for Heather Sullivan approved September 13, 2018 until October 26, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

The commission reviewed JA Richardson’s 5 year Capital Improvement Plan.

MOTION: accept the resignation of part time corrections officer Russell Wilson, effective October 1, 2018 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

District Attorney

MOTION: approval for administrative assistant Abby Dow to be issued a Comdata card (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Clark suggested amending the credit card policy so the decision does not need to be brought to the commission, but the department head can make the request to the treasurer for approval.

DA Foster requested to promote Anneliese Craig to Victim Witness Advocate at grade 11step D.  Step C would put her at least at a 5% increase, by policy. Foster said step D would be justified by the employee’s longevity and qualifications for the position.  There was some discussion on the word “promotion” and its meaning. Commissioner Blasi said he would put on the next agenda an amendment to the personnel policy regarding the definition of the word promotion.

MOTION: Anneliese Craig be promoted to Victim Witness Advocate at grade 11 step C $18.07 per hour, effective October 6 (Clark/Blasi 1-2, Blasi and Brown opposed)

Commissioner Brown said he would oppose the motion because he did not like the word promotion.  Commissioner Blasi agreed.

MOTION: hire Anneliese Craig as Victim Witness Advocate at grade 11 step C $18.07 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to advertise for legal secretary III position (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Break 12:12 pm


MOTION:  to approve the September GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #18-35, #18-36, #18-37, #18-38, in the aggregate amount of $344,543.15 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the September GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #18-65, #18-66, #18-67, #18-68, #18-69, #18-70, in the aggregate amount of $733,556.44 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the September UT Payroll Warrants #19-9, #19-10, #19-11, #19-12, in the aggregate amount of $1,204.36 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the September UT Expense Warrants #19-5, and #19-6 in the aggregate of $1,127.92 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve 2018 August expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $118,677.61 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3010-90 Jail yard job 3rd requisition in the amount of $241,642.71 (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Treasurer Eldridge prepared a statement regarding the audit experience with Ron Beaulieu.  Reference was made to the Final Decision and Order, NH Board of Accountancy, Docket No. 16-03.

Commissioner Blasi asked if it was timely to discuss a freeze on departmental spending.  They agreed to discuss it at a future meeting.


MOTION: Accept the resignation of Madysen Robichaud, effective September 21, 2018 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the promotion of part time janitor Devon Zerrien to full time janitor at step 4C, rate of pay $12.51 per hour, effective October 6, 2018 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Jail yard job (Lewis & Malm)- Facilities Director Dennis Walls reported that the order to resume activities has been given; there will be a material delivery on site tomorrow to get this back on schedule and to complete as designed, omitting the installation of the 3/8 mesh; we would deal with installing the correct material ourselves.  There was some discussion on the contract price for the fence, and who is responsible for the additional cost.  Director Walls had a quote from Allen Farm Fence.  Commissioner Clark thought we should have Allen Farm install the 3/8 now, and discuss with L&M who was responsible for payment at another meeting.  This will be a change order; who pays for it is a matter to be discussed in the near future. 

MOTION: instruct Facilities Director Walls to proceed with Allen Farm Fence to install the 3/8 mesh in the exercise yard (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Director Walls asked the commission how they would like to proceed with the latest $3,000 invoice from Lewis & Malm.  As this is not the last invoice, the commission agreed to pay it. 

Access control update- 

Continuing discussion from a previous meeting, Director Walls said the best case for access control was that his pursuit of seeking access control happened at the direction of the commissioners, and the screening and access control are 2 separate issues.  Access control helps us when can simply delete a card and reissue another card, it helps to track who is entering the building outside hours, it allows for some expansion, and having cameras throughout the courthouse would be an advantage as a record in case an incident occurred.  Commissioner Brown said he would rather take the money and buy cameras, as this would be more effective security-wise.  Commissioner Clark thought we should implement the access control plan, as it was part of the capital plan.

MOTION: authorize Facilities Director Walls to spend $15,000 for card system (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed)

Facilities Director Walls requested that the Commissioners restore the seniority of David Linnell by placing him at grade / step 10 H-2 $19.88 per hour, effective November 11, 2018 (anniversary date).  Commissioner Clark expressed that he needed Walls to make a dynamic argument why Linnell had an exemplary qualification that would qualify this decision.  Walls said if the criteria that were applied when the grade was established were applied today he would be an 11 at least. Walls said Linnell does more than the job description entails, and should be recognized for that.  Commissioner Clark expressed that he was satisfied that Director Walls made the case that Linnell contributed more than his job description and should be recognized for that.  Commissioner Brown said he did not support this; he did not think it was a promotion, but that it was a new job, and at the time Linnell agreed to the details.

MOTION: Asst. Facilities Director David Linnell be placed at grade/step 10 H-1 $19.88 / hr effective November 11, 2018 (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed, motion passed)


Monthly report- RCC Director Conary reported that he attended a meeting regarding proposed police protocols.  Director Conary crafted a letter in response, opposing the proposal largely due to the unfunded mandates involved.    Director Conary informed the commission that the island of Frenchboro no longer has an organized emergency response plan.  He has offered to meet with them to help them craft a solution.  Conary submitted an estimate of equipment costs for RCC expansion; the total estimate was $34,115.


RCC Expansion- discuss placing a Request for Qualifications: Facilities Director Walls said the draft document is intended to find individuals that would be able to design and handle the job, not execute it.

MOTION: Director Walls be permitted to seek Request For Qualifications for renovation of the RCC downstairs (Clark/Brown, discussion followed and the commission was in agreement, although an official vote on the motion did not occur

Commissioner Brown thought the first step would be to have a qualified individual assess the space; from there the commission could determine if an engineer should be involved. 

MOTION: Approve Personnel Policy amendment: Sick time donation (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Schedule union contract negotiations, corrections- Commissioner Clark suggested CA Adkins contact the union and exchange a list of demands.

County Administrator:

MPERS update- Deputy CA Knowlton reported that MPERS has recently adopted a change regarding retirees returning to work.  If a retiree who is drawing retirement from MPERS is hired by the county, MPERS will invoice the county for 5% of that employee’s earnings.  It is up to the county whether the employer or the employee covers that expense.  Commissioner Clark suggested drafting a policy to address such a scenario.

2019 Wellness Program- the commission indicated that they wanted to continue the wellness program.  Deputy CA Knowlton reported that a conference call is scheduled for October 11 to discuss details.

Personnel Policy- the commission reviewed a draft amendment to the personnel policy regarding 16 hours of on call compensation for Jail Duty officers, rather than the 8 they are currently receiving.  They agreed to discuss the draft at a future meeting.

Next meeting will be October 23, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.

MOTION: to adjourn 3:03 pm (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton,

Deputy County Administrator




Official Website of Hancock County, Maine.                              Copyright 2021 All rights reserved.