January 20, 2015

 Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 20, 2015in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Joy and Blasi in attendance.

There were no adjustments to the agenda.

Commission Business:


MOTION: to enter into executive session under MRSA Title 1 §405 6(a) to conduct exempt employee evaluations on Director Walls and CFO Roy. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Brown called the meeting back into regular session at 10:38 a.m. and stated that he would like to schedule, on January 22nd, an evaluation in executive session to conduct an exempt employee evaluation and to also hear a commissioners complaint, it was clarified that this would be a disciplinary hearing to begin at 9:00 a.m..

MOTION: to have a disciplinary hearing on Thursday, January 22nd at 9:00 a.m. (Blasi/failed for lack of 2nd) Discussion: Commissioner Joy preferred to conduct the evaluation first, at 9:00 a.m.

MOTION: to schedule an evaluation for the CFO at 9:00 on January 22nd. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that once again we (the commissioners) are deferring to the CFO’s inability to attend an evaluation hearing, that has been two absences from his scheduled exempt employee evaluation.

MOTION: to schedule a disciplinary hearing immediately after the evaluation, with the CFO. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)

Commissioner Joy stated that now that we have received the CFO's schedule the commissioners do not have to approve the schedule, this is why he has been asking for one, it is another issue for the commissioners to think about.  Commissioner Joy stated that he is of the mind that the commissioners can ask for appointments to be moved to singular days, he needs to work in this building, we've discussed that before, the commissioners have been asking him to be in the building.  After this week the schedule is three days a week.  Commissioner Blasi stated "no I do not accept the schedule and he has declined the Telecommuting Agreement that we have offered."  Commissioner Joy stated that he thought the commissioners should discuss this with him on Thursday.  Commissioner Blasi stated "commissioners, exempt employees work in the office."


MOTION: to add a discussion regarding pre-trial services as an emergent item. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that he has not seen the recommendation therefore he may not be able to offer an opinion on it today.  Commissioner Joy stated that the commissioners have to get the administrator to understand that the commissioners would like to see items like this in advance.

Commissioner Blasi stated, to Jail Administrator Richardson, that the commissioners need to see paperwork prior to being asked to deliberate on an item.  Jail Administrator Richardson presented a electronic monitoring of inmates contract from Satellite Tracking of People.  The cost to include insurance is $4.75 a day and the inmate is responsible for payment to the county, there is also an associated sliding scale.  The cost to the county is zero and the inmate has to pay their cost a week in advance.  Commissioner Brown questioned why a company from Maine is not being utilized.  The company chosen is the premier company in the United Stated, for this product.  It is an ankle monitor; Cumberland, Somerset and Penobscot Counties are either utilizing the product now or will be utilizing it in the near future.  Every 15 seconds a signals is sent to a monitor who has access to the device via computer.

Commissioner Brown stated that he would have to abstain from a vote because he owns part of a company that provides this kind of service/product.  Commissioner Blasi questioned the pros and cons should the commissioners choose not to move forward with the proposal.  JA Richardson stated that it would generate revenue for the county, can be set up to be zoned within 1,000 feet of a school, a monitor can be set for when the wearer checks in and out of a work zone, the wearer can be spot checked on a map and it has low battery alarms.  It can be used for house arrest, domestic violence and sex offenders, as well as others.  It reduces cost to the taxpayers because the offender is not boarded in the jail, therefore there is no charge for board, food or medication.  Commissioner Blasi asked if this would be a pilot program; currently there are three inmates available to participate in the program.  The county (jail administrator) decides the contract price and participant(s).  Commissioner Joy voiced his concern that some would say that not putting an offender in jail would be a gain for the county financially, he did not want the program viewed as the county just charging money and using it as a revenue source.  JA Richardson clarified that all funds raised in Maine Pre-Trial has to be used for pre-trial services and added that the funds could be used for a pre-trial supervisor, but the program needs to be proven to work prior to creating another position.  The program would begin with 5 units; if the offender/wearer is working the cost would be $20 per day.  The jail administrator would either approve or deny participation in the program but the court can ask to place offenders on the program but ultimately the jail administrator will have the last say.  High bail inmates will not be allowed to participate.  Notification of infractions would be sent to the jail administrators, assistant jail administrator and jail administrative secretary's smart phones; a new phone is not necessary.  It is a web based secure program.  If an infraction occurs, the inmate comes back to the jail.  House Checks are conducted by deputies.  Tracking will be done on a computer within the jail, automatically.  Insurance is used to replace damaged units at no cost to the county as the unit(s) belongs to the company.  There is a charge when in use and charges are not incurred with the device is not in use.  A protocol for who is able to use these was questioned; the participant would have to pass a drug screening, live in Hancock County, provide a valid phone number(s), and if the participant lives in a location with no internet, a box that plugs into the phone jack will be utilized.  Speed of movement is recognizable while monitoring.  Class A & B felons will be allowed to participate in the program but a Class C felon may be considered as a possible participant. The jail/jail administrator would sets the parameters for the program. 

MOTION: to sign the lease agreement with Satellite Tracking LLC and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. (Joy/Blasi 2-0-1 motion passed, Brown abstained) Commissioner Blasi offered the following Friendly Amendment: to use the first 5 GPS systems for a trial period. Commissioner Joy did not accept the Friendly Amendment. Discussion: all inmates utilizing the system will be required to pay for insurance.  JA Richardson stated that the contract is for one year and both parties can terminate the agreement.  Commissioner Joy requested the sheriff’s signature on the agreement as well as the Commission Chairman’s.

MOTION: to adjourn. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)



C. DePrenger

County Clerk

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