The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Blasi at 8:30 am on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Brown and Clark in attendance.

The commission recognized Assistant Jail Administrator Frank Shepard and Administrative Assistant Amy Smith for their outstanding work with the PREA certification process.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda: none

Public Comment: none

Approval of minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the October 2, 2018 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the October 23, 2018 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


Motion: approval for out of state travel to Washington DC for Wreaths Across America in December (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION:  to approve the October GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #18-71, #18-72, #18-73, #18-74, #18-75, #18-76, #18-77, #18-78, #18-79 in the aggregate amount of $879,990.98 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the October GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #18-39, #18-40, #18-41, #18-42, in the aggregate amount of $363,490.07 Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION:  to approve the October UT Payroll Warrants #19-13, #19-14, #19-15, and #19-16 in the aggregate of $975.57 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve the October UT Expense Warrants #19-7 and #19-8 in the aggregate of $7,926.42 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to approve 2018 October expenditures in the Health Insurance account of $174,948.92 (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-00 Annex entry job, Repair side steps and main steps in the amount of $6,275.00 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-00 Parts for cable job, New conduit run from IT room to Jail electrical room in the amount of $3,095.19 (Clark/Brown 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/Brown 2-1 Brown opposed, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown said he did not oppose the expenditure but opposed posting it to this account.


Monthly report- Airport Manager Madeira informed the commission that the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 includes changes that will positively impact BHB.  Manager Madeira explained minor changes to the capital improvement plan.  The annual FAA inspection is starting today and expected to go 3 days.   Supplementary funding requests were submitted to the FAA in October.  The Airport Advisory Committee approved submitting requests for several projects; Madeira submitted 3 of these.  He is not optimistic that they will be funded, but he said he will keep the commission apprised.  Airport Maintenance has completed phase 1 and phase 2 of the new baggage claim area in the terminal building. Madeira said the terminal building functions much better with those improvements.

MOTION: approval to post in-house posting regarding full time Lead ARFF position Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Manager Madeira’s request was to post in-house only.

Airport Budget:

Airport Manager Madeira presented a balanced budget of $743,601 for both revenues and expenditures.  This version includes an increase of 11% plus the 2% COLA to line 01-160 Airport Maintenance Director and an increase in revenue line R 40-250 Aircraft Excise Tax of $6,000.   Manager Madeira said he considered this to be airport specific revenue that should stay at the airport.  Commissioner Brown expressed that aircraft excise tax should go through the finance office.  Commissioner Clark questioned the rationale for increasing wages.

MOTION: approval of the revised 2019 Airport Operating Budget (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Approve fire agreement with town of Franklin (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the draft from the UT director for the emergency response agreement (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

RCC Director Conary said having an agreement with fire departments gives an opportunity for response and saves time in RCC.  There was some discussion what circumstances would dictate when fire departments would respond.  This agreement restricts compensation to circumstances when fire departments that are dispatched through the county.

MOTION: take CC Brown Red Fire Truck $100,000 and place with the other Hancock Wind CBA funds (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Blasi wanted to add “red” to the fire truck motion.

MOTION: Approve the off premise liquor license for the airline snack bar (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: enter executive session under MRSA Title 1§405 6 (E) to discuss a matter from our attorney with regards to CBA funds (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: authorize our attorney to proceed with a complaint against the Hancock Wind LLC for a breach of contract with regards to our Community Benefit payments (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

County Administrator:

Non union employee health insurance contributions-

MOTION: increase employee health insurance contributions by $5 a week (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

This affects the non-union positions and will be effective January 1, 2019; the collective bargaining agreements for the sheriff’s department and RCC dictate the same increase for 2019.


Director Conary reported he has received positive comments about the RCC Dispatchers during the Hancock County Firefighters’ Association meetings. Director Conary said cruise ship traffic increases the volume of 911 calls, including “abandoned” calls; the amount of people often overloads the system. Director Conary said RCC staffing is looking very solid; CA Adkins said this is a result of an atmosphere where employees can be trained efficiently. 


Maintenance Directory Walls reported the RFQ for the RCC expansion project has been posted- deadline for proposals is November 30 and the results will be discussed at the December CRM.  The maintenance truck developed a gas leak which resulted in line 06-20-230 being over expended; other unexpended balance amounts that will absorb that cost, this was an unforeseen emergency and Director Walls wanted to inform the commission.

Jail yard job- The jail yard job is nearly complete, with a few loose ends to wrap up.  At this time Director Walls does not have information regarding a final requisition meeting.

MOTION: authorize the maintenance director to accept any reasonable price for the leftover mesh in the jail yard (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approve the extension with RF Jordan for the snowplow contract (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

This is a one year agreement with two extensions; this is the second extension.

Access control update- Director Walls reported this is 95% completed; there are some tests to be done and a couple of doors to be looked at.  Director Walls said after consulting with the Court Marshalls they agreed that a separate employee entrance would be needed, and if an employee needed to go through the other entrance they should expect to be screened.  Court Marshall Oakes said he would come to a meeting to answer any questions the commission may have.

Courthouse camera project- Director Walls asked the commission to identify where cameras should be installed.  Commissioner Clark said he wanted to see emphasis on the entrances to the courts.  Director Walls will come back for a specific proposal regarding where the cameras would be located and in what direction they will record.  There was some discussion on who would have access to the footage. 


Budget Advisory Committee recommendations – Chair Blasi said motions will be accepted on any vote that the BAC took.


MOTION: reduce BAC recommendation for line E 08-30-110 Legal Fees from $10,000 to $8,000 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: override BAC for department 17 (Blasi/Brown, motion and second withdrawn)

Commissioner Brown said he wanted the UMaine funding to go back to the commissioners’ recommendation, and he expressed concern about the future of Hancock County Planning Commission.

MOTION: to override or change the BAC recommendation for EMDC back to the amount the commissioners’ recommended of $9,245 (Blasi/Brown 2-1, Clark opposed)

*motion fails as BAC vote was 7-1, this requires a unanimous vote by commission to overturn

MOTION: BAC recommendation for line 45-002 Special Childrens Friends be overridden back to commissioners amount of $4,000 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: override BAC recommendation for Umaine extension back to commissioners’ budget amount of $70,000 (Blasi/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: BAC recommendation for Soil/Water Conservation District be overridden to commissioners’ amount of $14,000 (Blasi/Brown 2-1, Clark opposed)

*motion fails as BAC vote was 8-0, this requires a unanimous vote by commission to overturn

MOTION: override BAC recommendation of $17,500 for Soil/Water Conservation District and make that $15,000 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: line 45-008 Hancock County Planning Commission be funded at $14,000 (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: commissioners override BAC recommendation, which was in the form of a 4-4 tie vote for the Hancock County Community Reparations board back to commissioners’ figure of $6,000 (Blasi/Brown 2-1, Clark opposed)

*motion carries as BAC vote was 4-4, this requires a majority (not unanimous) vote by commission to overturn

MOTION: Override BAC recommendation for line 45-013 Hancock County Firefighters’ Association and go back to $42,900 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Dept. 10-

MOTION: Override BAC recommendation of $75,790 for line E 10-01-100 Sheriff Salary and set the amount of E 10-01-100 at $72,290 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Override BAC recommendation of $75,490 for line E 10-01-110 Chief Deputy Salary, and reduce that to $71,990, our original vote (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: that E 10-01-130 Regular Patrol Deputy line be approved at BAC recommendation of $522,690 which includes $80,000 for SRO (Clark/fails for lack of second

MOTION: that the BAC recommendation of line E 10-01-130 Regular Patrol Deputy salaries in the amount of $522,690 be reduced to $477,059, which is the commissioners’ budget figure as proposed to the BAC (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: override BAC recommendation for line E 10-10-017 SRO equipment of $12,500 and reduce that back to $0, our original budget (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: override BAC recommendation for line 10-70-300 Vehicles of $100,000 and reduce that to $80,000, our original budget Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: override BAC recommendation for line 10-70-305 of $13,000 and reduce that to $6,500 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown expressed concern that the commission received no information on this before it went to the BAC.  Commissioner Clark said the county traditionally asks department heads to consider these kinds of purchases over a 5 year incremental plan, and suggested the commission could approve the same amount next year and the purchase could be made then.  Commissioner Blasi said this type of purchase fell under line 10-10-012 Public Safety, and that the commission recommended $10,500 in that line.

MOTION: override BAC recommendation of $80,000 for revenue line 10-200 School Resource Officer and reduce that to the commissioners’ budget of $0 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: approve the auditors 2017 audit report (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The commission discussed the auditor’s report.  CA Adkins explained accounting procedures that Hancock County uses regarding the auditor’s findings that were labeled material weaknesses.  

Commissioner Brown asked about the auditor’s issue with posting to capital accounts.  CA Adkins explained that technically a transfer from the budget should go through revenue, or expenditures should go through E accounts rather than G accounts, but this is problematic due to the way TRIO is set up with the limited number of departments, and results in overstating both revenues and expenditures and does not necessarily show a true budget.  When the auditor referred to material weaknesses in prior audits CA Adkins referred him to a chart in the prior audit that shows the activity in those G accounts and identifies them as a revenue, an expense, or a transfer.  The auditor’s issue is that these are posted directly to the fund balance account- the G account.  CA Adkins explained to him that there are not enough accounts to do that; the reply from the auditor was that Adkins should do it anyway.  Commissioner Clark asked why all expenses shouldn’t be shown out of the budget; people may not know to look for a second report to show all expenditures.  Using an example of budgeting $5,000 per year for a purchase 5 years later, CA Adkins said the expenses, which are technically transfers, are occurring and going into the G account; the purchase comes out of the G account.  Referencing finding 006, Commissioner Blasi asked if a different account numbering/listing system resolves this material weakness- could this be put in the ledger so they could see the transactions more clearly.   CA Adkins said he could do that, but he did not believe it would make it clearer; you would have to run another report in TRIO to show activity and determine the ending balance.  Commissioner Blasi said posting due to/from balances to AR and AP accounts makes sense to him, and questioned why this contributes to a material weakness, and asked if transfer in and out balances should only apply to G ledger accounts.  CA Adkins said the auditor needs to identify transfers versus a revenue.  Commissioner Blasi asked what adjusting the journal entries does- does it satisfy the auditor?  CA Adkins said yes, and it ties out to the audit.  CA Adkins said everything that he objected to doing would have seriously misstated things.  

MOTION: go out to RFP for auditing services for 2018 and beyond (Brown/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: our contractual relationship with Ron L Beaulieu for auditing services is hereby terminated and that we issue a termination notice to Mr. Beaulieu (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MPERS policy revision- the commission agreed to have administration research further on this topic before implementing a policy.

MOTION: approve the recently modified Bid Procedures and Requirements policy (Clark/Brown 3-0)

Community Benefits application- Commissioner Brown suggesting the amount of $100,000 for grants and putting the grant application on the website.  Commissioner Blasi said he thought the county needed the funds and suggested using the funds for improving Caruso drive and constructing a new entrance.

MOTION: approve an amount not to exceed $100,000 from Community Benefits account for the present round of grant applications (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown said he would second the motion with the caveat of publishing the application on the website.  The commission agreed to a deadline of December 31.

County Treasurer Election results and discussion of plans- Commissioners Brown and Clark discussed setting the stipend for the Treasurer-Elect at $5,200 per year.  The commission agreed to wait for official results of the election and at that point continue dialogue.

Personnel Policy, Discipline and Termination- the commission discussed adding language to the policy regarding the process and the employee’s right to appeal.  The commission agreed that more discussion about this and the entire personnel policy was warranted; they will revisit this issue at a future meeting.

Definition of promotion in Personnel Policy- the commission reviewed draft language for the personal policy that removed the words Promotion and Demotion and added the words Lateral Transfer, Upward Transfer, and Downward Transfer.  Changing the language clarifies procedure when employees move to other positions within the county.

MOTION: accept recommendations of Assistant Administrator with regards to the Upward, Downward, and Lateral Transfers in the county’s personnel policy (Clark/Brown 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: to adjourn 1:56 pm (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator






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