The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Clark at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday March 17, 2020 in the conference room of the County courthouse located in Ellsworth, ME with Commissioners Blasi and Wombacher in attendance.

Due to COVID-19 concerns and precautions supported by the CDC, the commissioners agreed to restrict public attendance at the meeting, although the audio recording and the minutes are public record and available for review upon request. 

The commissioners considered the possibility that one of them may need to attend a meeting remotely.  CA Adkins was directed to research the legality of this, as well as how it would impact a quorum and voting privileges.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: add coronavirus discussion and make this item 1 instead of public comment (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Public Comment has been suspended for this meeting due to Covid-19 precautions.

Coronavirus discussion-

JA Richardson questioned quarantine and travel.  Several employees have gone on or are going on vacation and he would like guidance about allowing them to come back to work.  The commissioners agreed that in the circumstance employees choose to take the risk to travel and have incidental contact that requires them to be quarantined (under CDC guidance), the expectation is that the employee will comply with the general conditions of being quarantined.  If the county requires an employee to quarantine, the county will cover the wages; from today on if an employee involves him or herself in an at-risk activity that leads to quarantine the employee would be expected to use benefit time.  If an employee feels at risk and wishes to self-quarantine but is not required by the county to be quarantined, the employee will be expected to use benefit time; if benefit time runs out the absence would be considered unpaid and will require commissioner approval.  The commission agreed that if an employee needs to take time off and personal or vacation time is exhausted, then sick time may be used after review with the Department Head and HR.  The commissioners wish to make these decisions affecting employees in the most compassionate manner possible, using scientific and technical considerations. 

In the best interest of our employees, the commission agreed to temporarily halt construction on the RCC Expansion project.  They will reassess as the COVID-19 situation develops. 

Break 9:56 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

Meeting Minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the March 3, 2020 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: Promote part time Corrections Officer Trisha Cary to temporary full time Corrections Officer, effective March 14, 2020 (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Promote Corrections Officer Rebecca Long to Corporal, effective March 21, 2020 (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The commissioners reviewed separate desks and storage for the meeting room, rather than countertop for the dais.  They agreed to order one desk to view in person, if there was no fee for cancelling the desktop order.


CA Adkins reviewed the 2019 unaudited financials with the Commission.  All transfers have been done and the number should not change.

MOTION: transfer $150,000 from account 1-3012-32 into Dept. 49 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

CA Adkins updated the Commission on the status of the TAN process.  The approximate cost for the attorney is $2,500.

MOTION: authorize the Treasurer’s Department to borrow $1.5 million on a Tax Anticipation Note (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


Orthoimagery document approval / signature

MOTION: sign the MOU with the State GIS library regarding the collection of orthoimagery expenses that we owe for the County’s orthoimagery expenses (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Sign the MOU with State GIS Bureau to commit to Hancock County Unorganized Territory expense for orthoimagery (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)


MOTION: enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(E) to consult with Legal Counsel/Airport Contract item (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) regarding the Airport Manager search (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0 motion passed)

MOTION: enter Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(D) for Union Contract Negotiations/SO contract update (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

FOAA request update / BDN / Disciplinary Action-

The Bangor Daily News submitted a FOAA request regarding disciplinary action and settlement agreements.  Deputy CA Knowlton said Attorney John Hamer has been contacted to review the actions to determine exactly what the public information is.  Employees who are involved will be understandably upset, and will be informed through their department heads.  The BDN requested that the County waive the fee involved by statute.  The commissioners agreed not to waive the fee.  Knowlton will send an estimate of $150 and ask that it be paid in advance.

MOTION: to adjourn 11:39 am (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton,

Deputy County Administrator

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