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COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING

The regular meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Clark at 8:46 a.m. on Tuesday May 5, 2020.  The Commissioners attended remotely using a Zoom meeting.  County Administrator Scott Adkins and Deputy County Administrator Rebekah Knowlton were also in attendance, as well as several Department Heads.  The meeting link was made available to the public on the Hancock County EMA Facebook page; four members of the public attended.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: add discussion of Allegiant Care rates under Commissioners 11-b (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

County staffing update / COVID-19

CA Adkins recommended two more weeks of the current staffing arrangement, with discussion of safety measures as we near the possibility of opening the building to the public.  The Commission agreed that Department Heads should bring staff back in the manner that works for their offices, with all staff back to work by May 22.  Appropriate safety measures, including floor markings, plexiglass barriers and the use of masks will be implemented.  Construction on the RCC Expansion will resume, with appropriate safety measures to isolate employees from workers and subcontractors.  The Commission directed CA Adkins and Facilities Director Walls to establish an MOU that outlines the security measures that will be taken and the responsibility that will be placed on the contractor’s supervisor for enforcement of those measures.  The Commissioners will continue a discussion regarding opening the County offices at the next meeting.

Meeting Minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the April 8, 2020 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Wombacher/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the April 14, 2020 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Wombacher 2-0, motion passed, Blasi did not vote)

Commissioner Blasi said he was not voting on these minutes because the entire report out, after the executive session, was not recorded and the minutes are incomplete.

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the April 21, 2020 Commissioners’ Special Meeting (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Airport:

Monthly report- Airport Manager Muise said there will be a delay in acquiring the new Airport truck.  The door opener in the SRE building failed after the recent power outage but was replaced quickly.  Muise reported that the lighting project is still on hold. 

Funds under C.A.R.E.S Act- 

Airport Manager Muise reported that the airport is eligible for $35,005 in funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.  There are several options for receiving the funds; the Commissioners agreed to move ahead with Option 1, which uses the funds for operational expenses.

MOTION: the Chairman sign the C.A.R.E.S Act for funding using Option 1 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Airport Manager Muise reported that recent changes with security personnel may result in staffing issues.  Muise will continue to research viable options for appropriate security staffing levels. 

District Attorney:

Intern / employment discussion-

The DA’s office will be understaffed for several weeks during the summer because an employee will be on leave.  An intern has been working in that office and is willing to fill in for those weeks as a temporary employee.  This position will begin June 1, but DA Foster will have the flexibility to schedule the employee as needed.  There will be no overlap during the time the full time employee is out and the temporary employee is working.    

MOTION: District Attorney is authorized to hire Blaine Grant, of Addison, as a temporary intern, at $14.60 per hour, effective June 1, 2020 and going no later than September 11, 2020 (Clark/Blasi 3-0 motion passed)

Washington County inquired if the Hancock County Commissioners would have any interest in splitting the cost of a referendum that would ask voters of Hancock and Washington counties if they want to have the district split and have the choice to either form their own prosecutorial district or join another prosecutorial district.  The estimated cost is $6,000 - $7,000.  Commissioner Clark said he thought if districts split up it should be the larger ones; splitting the smallest counties would be contrary to good management.  DA Foster said he thought this was intended to be on the November ballot, but issues with the Coronavirus have made that impossible.  If this does not coincide with a general or primary election, the costs will be significantly higher.  The Commission agreed there was nothing to do at this point and took no action.

10:22 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. break

Sheriff:

MOTION: sign the contract for Sheriff’s patrol with the Town of Swans Island as presented by the Sheriff (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approval to administratively remove Eric McLaughlin from payroll (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: adopt May 3-9, 2020 as National Corrections Officers Week (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the Transfer of Forfeited Assets in State of Maine v. Scott Matthew Brown in the amount of $2,522.00 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the transfer of forfeited assets in State of Maine vs. Rebecca Atamian in the amount of $2,082.40 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the transfer of forfeited assets in State of Maine vs. Cyntoine D. Sloan in the amount of $2,082.40 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Atamian and Sloan are codefendants; the amount of $2,082.40 is the combined amount referenced in this motion and immediately previous motion.

MOTION: Approve the transfer of forfeited assets in State of Maine vs. Christopher Abbott in the amount of $1,563.20 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the transfer of forfeited assets in State of Maine vs. Kayson Harvey in the amount of $2,704.80 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Approve the transfer of forfeited assets in State of Maine vs. Don Waldo Hanson Jr. in the amount of $734.40 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Jail:

MOTION: Authorize unpaid leave for CO Nancy Pelletier until June 16, 2020 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Maintenance:

MOTION: Authorize unpaid leave for Dianne Arriesgado until June 17, 2020 (Clark/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

RCC:

RCC Director Conary updated the commission with his monthly report. 

Treasurer:

MOTION: approve the warrant memo as presented by the Treasurer (Wombacher/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

The Treasurer’s memo listed the following:

April GF, Airport, and Jail Payroll Warrants #20-13, #20-14, #20-15, #20-16, and #20-17 in the aggregate amount of $479,464.35;

April GF, Airport, and Jail Expense Warrants #20-19, #20-20, #20-21, #20-22, #20-23, and #20-24 in the aggregate amount of $663,424.97;  

April UT Payroll Warrants #20-39, #20-40, #20-41, #20-42, and #20-43 in the aggregate of $1,372.55;

April UT Expense Warrants #20-18 and #20-19 in the aggregate of $38,464.68

State Auditor Pola Buckley was in attendance as a member of the public.  She stated that the process that the County has used to borrow funds from the UT was perfectly appropriate; the debt is liquidated in every annual cycle and interest is earned by the UT.  She did not feel that the issue should be brought to the legislature because it did not rise to the level of priority.  Ms. Buckley will prepare a written statement regarding her opinion on the process that the County used.

There was some discussion on the office of County Treasurer and what the office entails.  Commissioner Clark said the intent was not to circumvent statute, but to make clear to the person who is elected Treasurer what the position of the County Commissioners is regarding that office.  Ms. Buckley suggested a cooperative written agreement where the Commissioners pre-establish the recommended role before there is a new Treasurer; this way it will be appear objective.  Ms. Buckley said that it is important for the group to come to a written understanding or MOU of what the role will be.  Commissioner Blasi referenced the agreement with the Treasurer dated June 24, 2019 and the Finance Coordinator job description.  He said those two documents, along with the statutes, are enough for him regarding how the Treasurer functions in Hancock County.  CA Adkins said there was absolutely no intent to obstruct and we should work to move forward, doing what is best for the County overall in protecting assets and making sure we have qualified people to oversee the numbers.  Commissioner Clark said the discussion was about the overall position of the board.  He said the County risks the quality of the finance department based on the qualifications of the person elected.  CA Adkins cautioned about having back up in the financial office, and said the only way to move out of that hole is to recognize the Treasurer position with a stipend, and the only way to move forward in the future is to bring in another financial person.  Commissioner Clark said the agreement with the Treasurer needs to be looked at again; the Treasurer’s commitment has broken down and the agreement did not work.  CA Adkins said he did not think the Commissioners have an issue with the agreement but the Treasurer does.  Treasurer Boucher stated that he did have an issue with it, because he was treated differently than any other elected official.  Commissioner Blasi said he thought the current arrangement should continue, with maybe some adjustments to the supervision of the Finance Coordinator.  CA Adkins said there is an obligation to the citizens by the individual running for the position to be able to do the work involved.  Commissioner Blasi suggested defining the hours that the County Administrator and the Treasurer would supervise the finance coordinator.  Commissioner Clark said this would be impossible; CA Adkins agreed.  The Commission agreed to review the Finance Coordinator’s job description and Treasurer Boucher’s agreement with the Commission during the next meeting.

Commissioners:

MOTION: approval for Hancock County to change its plan for its law enforcement officers effective July 1, 2020, for future service only. The County agrees to:

  1. Provide Special Plan 2C to its full-time law enforcement officers who work 40 or more hours per week for service rendered after June 30, 2020. Service rendered from January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020 remains under Special Plan 4C and service rendered before January 1, 2018 remains under Regular Plan AC.
  2. Continue to provide Regular Plan AC to its full-time corrections employees, dispatchers and general government employees who work 40 or more hours per week and its elected/appointed officials.
  3. To authorize County Commission Chair William F. Clark to sign the Amended Agreement between the County and the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.

(Wombacher/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Deputy CA Knowlton reported that the new Allegiant Care rates, effective July 1, 2020, reflect an increase of 6%.  The commissioners agreed to review buy-out / buy-down rates at an upcoming meeting.

MOTION: to adjourn 12:20 p.m. (Blasi/Clark 3-0, motion passed)

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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