The special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance. 

Charles Earley of Lewis & Malm updated the commission on the jail yard project.  Regarding the issue of the error with the fencing chainmail, Earley reported that Engineer Hedefine will be covering the cost of the error with his insurance and asked if the commission was willing to participate by carrying part of the expense.  Commissioner Clark suggested the county pay 1/3; he said we did share in responsibility at the time, but the issue was not raised until after it was installed. 

MOTION: authorize the payment of 1/3 of the $5,000 to resolve the cost of the chain link fence from the construction contingency account (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

It becomes a change order to the project in the amount of $1,419.66- this includes a credit of $964.74.  This will be paid directly to Hedefine Engineering.  Commissioner Clark said he was personally very pleased with RF Jordan’s work.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda: none

Public Comment: none

Hancock County Workforce & Recovery Program- update and plans for next year

Joanna Russell addressed the commission to clarify a couple of points; she said at the previous meeting she had asked to increase the funding that went toward support services like denture work.  This will possibly affect 5 job seekers; they don’t have the resources to do that and it will help with fulltime employment.  This service has not already been provided.  The individual receiving these services would have to demonstrate work readiness.  Russell said she wanted to acknowledge that from last year’s allocation about $40,000 remains, and she was asking for permission to utilize that $40,000 moving through the next year.  Commissioner Blasi clarified that his understanding was the $100,000 was through December 31, 2018.  Russell said he was not mistaken.  Commissioner Brown said this is a program only in Hancock County, it is not used in other counties, and it is a program that works.  As of now 56 people have been served.  Russell referenced the $40,000 remaining; she said the money is not typically spent until the individual demonstrates the readiness to move forward. Commissioner Clark said he thought this type of expense should be funded, keeping in mind that if it becomes a considerable expenditure the commission would have to consider whether or not they wanted to fund the entire program.  Commissioner Brown said this program teaches people how to apply for a job, and part of that is how they look and how their resume looks. Commissioner Brown said the program has been successful and he is very pleased with it.  Commissioner Clark said he did not need reassurance on the merit of the program, but there is only so much funding, and at some point they will have to prioritize what programs are required for success. 


MOTION: Accept the resignation of Deputy EMA Director Bradley Nuding (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Permission to advertise for Deputy EMA Director (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown asked about the 2019 budget; Director Sankey said the new hire will stay within the boundaries of the budget.

Finalize EMA vehicle purchase-

MOTION: All bids that include a trade in will state that in the bid request (Clark/Blasi 2-0-0 Commissioner Brown did not vote)

Commissioner Clark expressed that this should be added to the bid procedures policy; he said this is a matter of making it fair for everyone and making it clear when the purchase is approved.

MOTION: allow EMA to purchase vehicle with low bid from Darlings- 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe SSV- List $49,700-Quote $36,680- After trade $27,680

(Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Award 2018-2019 Snow Removal agreement for Route 193 & Back Road to Randy Perry for same terms as last year (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

UT Supervisor Billings recommended the commission approve the agreement for ambulance services.  Commissioner Brown asked if we needed to provide these services by statute.  Billings said the statute says “may”, so it is up to the commissioners.  The offshore islands are not addressed; all of the mainland unorganized territories are listed in the agreement.  Commissioner Brown expressed concern that we will be obligated to pay for the service for the offshore islands.  Commissioner Clark thought it would be an unreasonable expectation for the county to provide this type of service to an offshore island. 

MOTION: Award 2018-2021 Ambulance Service agreement for 15 mainland Unorganized Townships with Meridian Mobile Health, LLC d/b/a Capital Ambulance (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

UT Supervisor Billings suggested using account E 60-30-30-0500 for the remainder of this year and create a line item for this purpose in the future.

MOTION: enter executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6 (E) to discuss details from our attorney concerning community benefit funds (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: direct the County Administrator to consult with our attorney and move forward on  resolving the community benefit account funding for Hancock Wind (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


Discussion: emergency response plan in Unorganized Territories- RCC Director Conary reported that recent incidents revealed that there is confusion about basic responders in unorganized territories.  He said he wanted to make the commission aware of the call volume in the unorganized territories.  Director Conary said the unorganized territories are in Hancock County and we are the PSAP, and it is our responsibility for our RCC to provide emergency medical and fire dispatch. UT Supervisor Billings suggested having an agreement with agencies that stipulates they would be compensated only if they were dispatched by RCC.  Commissioner Clark said this was a good step; he asked if we need a contract with a fire department for each township on the condition that if we call they will go.  There was some discussion on how services would be billed.  Commissioner Brown expressed frustration that the state was not taking more responsibility in this issue. Commissioner Blasi suggested we negotiate with each entity and specify in a draft agreement what we will pay for services.  This has been done for structure fires only.  Commissioner Clark said he wanted to see UT Supervisor Billings and RCC Director Conary work together to develop criteria for when fire departments are compensated for responding to a motor vehicle accident, and to consider if the agencies would consider some kind of stipend with an overall cap.


MOTION: approval to hire Richard Zerrien of Trenton as part time janitor at the rate of $12.50 per hour, with no benefits, to average less than 30 hours per week (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the RCC Request for Qualifications (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

District Attorney:

MOTION: approve the hire of Lilianna Nevells of Blue Hill as full time Legal Secretary III in the District Attorney’s office, at grade 5 step B $12.80 per hour, effective October 27, 2018 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

DA Foster said the applicant has a 2 year degree in paralegal studies, and recommended grade 5 step C.


Computer Account Overdraft discussion-

Commissioner Blasi said he noticed an overdraft of that line of $2,500.  Commissioners Clark and Blasi agreed that if a department head is going to over expend an account significantly, the department head should inform the commission, and provide justification for it.

MOTION: approval to raise Notice to Creditors fees to $70.00 per filing (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Register Coughlin said she would like the fee change effective November 1, 2018. Register Coughlin said she had to ask the commissioners for approval, and it was not set by statute.  Commissioner Brown asked if anyone else needed to be consulted, Register Coughlin said no.


Audit update- CA Adkins said he answered the most recent questions of the auditor, and is expecting a final version as the next and final step. 

MOTION: Treasurer be authorized to issue RFP for auditing service once we receive the electronic copy of the final audit (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the request for transfer of reserve funds from account G1-3014-40 Probate Equipment to account E08-35-200 Computers in the amount of $1,500 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: deny the request for transfer of reserve funds from account G1-3011-01 GF/Technology to account E08-35-200 Computers in the amount of $1,022.52 (Brown/Clark 2-1, Blasi opposed)

MOTION: approve the request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3010-90 Jail yard job, 4th requisition, in the amount of $16,292.07 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-00 Jail yard job clerk fee in the amount of $3,000 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-00 jail yard cameras, new equipment for day yard surveillance in the amount of $1,289.92 (Clark/Blasi, motion and second withdrawn

MOTION: approve the request for transfer of reserve funds from account G1-3012-90 Deeds copier to account E09-70-250 Copier in the amount of $2,186.68 and from account G1-3012-10 Deeds Equipment to account E09-70-250 Copier in the amount of $3,100 (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: enter executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6 (E) consultation with Legal Counsel / Commissioners Legal Rights and Responsibilities (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Clark suggested the County Administrator review the Personnel Policy regarding discipline and termination and attempt to incorporate a suggestion which reflects the employee’s right to appeal any discipline or suspension and suggest to the commission a time limit within which that employee can bring the appeal.


Risk Management Deductible- Commissioner Clark said his position was that if we purchase the policy we should be prepared to pay the deductible.  The other question is whether or not to renew the policy.  Commissioner Clark said we should pay the deductible and renew the policy. 

MOTION: pay the $1,000 deductible for the DA’s prior occurrence from account E 03-25-100 (Clark/Blasi 2-1, Brown opposed)

Commissioner Clark said as for renewing the policy, it is in the budget for next year and it can be discussed at some point; he said if the commission does not want to renew this they should discuss that shortly after January 1.

Definition of promotion in Personnel Policy-   Commissioner Clark said a promotion means anytime there is an elevation to a higher grade within a department; this is the way this policy has been implemented over the years.  He suggested inserting “within a department” to the first line of the Promotion section of the Personnel Policy, as this reflects past practice.  Commissioner Brown did not agree with all of what Commissioner Clark said; he said it is different when a different job description is used.  The commission agreed to have CA Adkins work on the policy for recommended changes.

Credit Card Policy revision-

MOTION: approve the credit card policy with amendments (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Personnel Policy, Jail Duty Officer On-Call Compensation-

MOTION: approve section D of the compensatory time policy of the Hancock County Personnel Policy dealing with Jail Duty Officers (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Bar Harbor Airport Budget review-

Airport Manager Madeira presented his proposed budget for 2019.  It includes a 3.3% increase in both expenses and revenues; it is a balanced budget- $737,601 in both revenues and expenses.  There was some discussion on the wage for Airport Maintenance Supervisor Richard Gray;   Manager Madeira suggested increasing this position from Grade 9 to Grade 12 on the wage scale.  Madeira suggested reducing line E 40-60-400 Admin. Fee to $10,000 (a reduction of $6,000).

MOTION: table the airport budget until Manager Madeira makes salary inquiries (Brown/Blasi 1-2, Clark and Blasi opposed, motion failed)

MOTION: increase for 2019 the Maintenance Director’s grade from 9 to 11, making that line $49,338 (Clark/motion fails for lack of second

Commissioner Brown supported approving the department head’s recommendation of $24.99 per hour for the maintenance director’s wage.  Commissioner Clark suggested both approving that and reducing the county’s admin. fee; Commissioner Brown did not want to tie the employee’s wage to any other part of the budget.  Manager Madeira said he would be able to find a way to raise the maintenance director’s wage to $24.99 per hour and keep the $16,000 admin. fee.

MOTION:  approve the proposed budget by the airport manager (Clark/Blasi 1-2, Blasi and Brown opposed, motion failed)

This includes an increase to grade 12 for the maintenance director position, and a reduction of $6,000 to the county’s admin fee.

County Administrator:

MOTION: enter executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6 (D) to discuss union contract negotiations (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: enter executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6 (A) for annual performance evaluation of Deputy County Administrator (Brown/Blasi 3-0 motion passed)

MOTION: increase line E 04-01-100 to $55,000 and E 04-01-103 to $84,000 (Clark/Brown 2-0-1 Blasi abstains

Commissioner Blasi said he was abstaining because he wanted these two accounts to be voted on separately.

MOTION: adjourn 3:23 p.m. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator




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