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COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING

The special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners was brought to order by Commissioner Clark at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday December 15, 2020.    Commissioner Wombacher, Commissioner Blasi, County Administrator Scott Adkins and Deputy County Administrator Rebekah Knowlton were also in attendance, as well as several Department Heads.  Commissioner-elect Paradis was also in attendance.  Due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements, the meeting was held remotely via Zoom.

Public Comment:

Rebecca Wentworth said she wanted to recognize Commissioner Antonio Blasi’s 8 years of service and his efforts on behalf of restorative justice, racial equity and community policing.  She also spoke about a community safety policy document.

Adjustments to / approval of agenda:

MOTION: Add a line under County Commissioners to hold a vote on whether Commissioners should opt in for adult use marijuana with all 4 permissions in the UT (Blasi/ Wombacher, motion passed)

This was designated item 8 d-1.

Meeting Minutes:

MOTION: Approve the minutes of the December 1, 2020 Commissioners’ Regular Meeting (Wombacher/ Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

The following employees were recognized for their years of service to Hancock County:

Paul McPhail, Civil Process Supervisor / 25 years

Wayne Cross, Corrections Officer / 20 years

Amy Smith, Admin. Asst. to Jail Admin / 10 years

Jillian Bye, Corrections Officer, Sgt. / 10 years

Pamela Linscott, Finance Coordinator / 5 years

Kathy Zerrien, Deeds Clerk / 5 years

Dianne Arriesgado, Janitor / 5 years

Brian Archer, Patrol Deputy / 5 years

Sheriff:

Deputy Jeffrey McFarland was recognized for receiving Maine Sheriffs’ Association 2020 Deputy of the Year.  Deputies Chris Thornton, David Lord, and Jacob Day were each recognized for receiving the Maine Sheriffs’ Association 2020 Presidential Award.

Cruiser bid opening-

Four bids were submitted; the results are as follows, each listed for 2 vehicles:

Darlings, Bangor / 2021 Chevy Tahoe-

Bid $83,486.94 / Trade in $23,000.00 / Net Price $60,486.94

Darlings, Bangor / 2021 Ford Interceptor-

Bid $74,712.00 / Trade in $23,000.00 / Net Price $51,712.00

Quirk, Augusta / 2020 Ford Interceptor-

Bid $77,535.30 / Trade in $23,436.92 / Net Price $54,098.38

Quirk, Augusta / 2021 Chevy Tahoe-

Bid $79,131.04 / Trade in $23,436.92 / Net Price $55,694.12

Quirk, Augusta / 2021 Ford Interceptor-

Bid $90,154.00 / Trade in $23,436.92 / Net Price $66,657.68

Jail:

MOTION: approval to hire Dallas Lawford of Bar Harbor as part time on call as needed Corrections Officer at part time rate of pay with no benefits, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2020 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: approval to hire Blake Morey of Penobscot for part time on call as needed Corrections Officer at part time rate of pay with no benefits, not to exceed 29 hours per week, effective December 19, 2020 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Deeds:

MOTION: approve a mutual lateral transfer of Velma Jordan from Probate to Registry of Deeds and Kathy Zerrien from Registry of Deeds to Registry of Probate effective January 2, 2021 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

There was some discussion regarding anniversary dates.  The Commissioners will review the existing policies and determine whether or not to amend the personnel policy to mirror union contracts in January.

MOTION: approve the hire of Lori Whitney of Ellsworth as deeds clerk at grade /step 6 C to be paid out of 09-01-130 effective January 2, 2021 (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

District Attorney:

MOTION: approval to transfer Amy Smith from Jail Admin. Asst. to Victim Witness Advocate, effective December 19, 2020 at grade/step 11 I-1 (Wombacher/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioners:

COVID-19 update-

The jail recently experienced exposure in the jail through an inmate.  The cleaning machine was used, exposure was limited and the CDC determined that the actions taken to mitigate risks were appropriate.  JA Richardson said the staff did an excellent job handling the situation.

The Commissioners reviewed and were in agreement with the Earned Paid Leave amendments to the Personnel Policy.  A signature copy will be available for approval and signature at the January meeting.

Discussion regarding retiree health insurance benefits-

Retirees who meet specific criteria have the option of enrolling in the County’s retiree supplement to Medicare or the County will pay up to $200 per month towards a supplement program of their choice. Although costs for the County’s supplement plan have increased, the $200 per month limit has not changed.  

MOTION: increase the contribution for retiree health benefits from the present $200 to $250 per month effective January 1, 2021 (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: Secure counsel with Rudman Winchell for the Abatement Appeal of Knowlton v. Town of Sullivan / Appeal to Superior Court (Wombacher/ Clark 3-0, motion passed)

MOTION: opt in and allow all types of adult use marijuana establishments and grant permission to retail, process, cultivate, and test cannabis in the Unorganized Territory (Blasi/Wombacher 1-2, motion failed, Wombacher and Clark opposed)

Commissioner Clark said the reason this issue has not yet been revisited is that we have been working to schedule a time when a representative from the LUPC and other knowledgeable professionals would be able to attend a meeting to provide clarity to some issues.  If the Commission votes on this today, they would not have that information.  Commissioner Wombacher agreed that it was important to gain that information and hear all opinions prior to a vote. 

Commissioner Blasi received a granite plaque and was recognized for 8 years as of service as a Hancock County Commissioner.  Commissioner Wombacher said he appreciated everything Commissioner Blasi has done for the County, including the RCC Expansion, and stated that no one could deny Commissioner Blasi’s dedication to Hancock County.

MOTION: go into Executive Session under MRSA Title 1§405 6(A) to hear a personnel matter and permit Commissioner-elect Paradis to attend as an observer only, without making comment (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

Back in regular session, Commissioner Clark said there was nothing to report except that the Commission would meet again on December 29, 2020 to continue this discussion, likely in executive session.

MOTION: remove the portion of the Finance Coordinator’s job description that gives supervision to the County Treasurer and give supervision exclusively to the County Administrator (Clark/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed)

The Commission will meet again on December 29, 2020.

MOTION: to adjourn 11:23 a.m. (Blasi/Wombacher 3-0, motion passed) 

Respectfully submitted,

Rebekah Knowlton

Deputy County Administrator

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