COMMISSIONER AGENDAS & MINUTES
COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING
April 7, 2015
Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown, Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 in the conference room at the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Joy and Blasi in attendance.
Patrol Deputy Robert Morang was recognized for his 10 years of service to the citizens of Hancock County.
MOTION: Commissioner Brown read a Proclamation in recognition of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
The Wicked Good Wellness / Health By ChoiceHonors Challenge began in January 2015 with a goal of 30 minutes of exercise per day. There were 10 participants with an accumulated total of 578.38 hours of exercise. The winner of the challenge, Tracey Higgins with 192 total hours was awarded a $100 Irving Gift Card. The 2nd place drawing of a $100 Home Depot Gift Card went to Velma Jordan. Participants were congratulated for their accomplishment!
Tri County Workforce EPIC Maine Presentation:
Joanna Russell of the Tri-County Workforce was present to discuss EPIC MAINE 2015 which will be held on April 10, 2015 at Beal College. Although anyone can attend either session, from 9:00 to 12:00 for young people and from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. is designed for displaced workers. EPIC MAINE allows job seekers to explore pathways to industries and careers in Maine by talking to people currently working in jobs that attendees are interested in and speaking to HR professionals regarding what employers are looking for in new hires, what jobs are currently available or what will be available in the near future. Job requirements, training and financial advisors will be available. EPIC MAINE is a pre-job fair that reinforces preparation for the Spring Job Fair. Several Hancock County residents have attended EPIC MAINE but the exact number was unknown. EPIC Maine and the Department of Labor are working together to create a successful event. Ms. Russell requested a $500 donation towards their efforts. Commissioner Blasi asked if EPIC has considered applying for a 3rd party donation status with the County. As Ms. Russell was unaware of this, her answer was no.
MOTION: to grant the request for $500 for EPIC MAINE and pay it through Community Benefit Funds, account #3025-00. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi would like to see EPIC MAINE apply for 3rd Party Donation status. Commissioner Brown stated that Community Benefits have not been opened/offered for this year. Commissioner Joy stated that the county has a grant system and a budget procedure and gave a brief overview of each. Ms. Russell was encouraged to watch the website for the Community Benefit application. Commissioner Brown stated that he did not have an issue with having the funds come from Community Benefit Funds and added that if the county can spend $500 to put people to work, it is money well spent.
Adjustments to the agenda:
Neil Douglas was present with support of other interested parties (man and woman) to request an addition to the agenda. When asked what his agenda items were regarding, he stated that 1) he was looking for common law in the courthouse to communication as he was told that the Hancock County Courthouse was erected for the use of the people. As Commissioner Brown is on the Right-to-Know Committee he thought he could continue "this" through communication but he stated that it has been a failure for anyone to respond to communication and questioned why communication has stopped. 2) to communicate facts that he thought the commissioners should look at before they say no. 3) he required to be on the next months agenda to "bring some of these points up." Mr. Douglas referenced the court and questioned if this was a public courthouse. After further discussion it was clarified that the County Commissioners are responsible for the courthouse building (masonry) but do not make law and are not responsible for the courts that reside in the building.
Commissioner Brown encouraged Mr. Douglas to contact the Clerk or County Administrator to get on the agenda. He requested that the agenda item be County related (not court related) and to not put anything on the agenda that the commissioners do not have control over. Mr. Douglas stated that he has asked to be on the agenda three times over the past year and a half he further went on to say that two private organizations are being run out of the courthouse and that he will bring his facts to the May meeting and make his statements. Rachael Abraham stated that she felt that in this town there are a lot of cases that are not personal injury that could be addressed by common law, some of the smaller issues could also be addressed through Common Law that could work in conjunction with the Law and the Court system; she thought they should be working together and stated that the people want to be heard and heard respectfully by working through a Common Law. Commissioner Brown discussed the procedure for getting on the agenda but cautioned that if the agenda item do not pertain to county government, two out of three commissioners can vote to remove the item adding that the County Commissioners do not make laws, the State Legislature makes laws.
MOTION: to approve the minutes of the March 3, 2015 commissioners' regular meeting and February 20, 2015 commissioners' special meeting. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
County Administrator (CA) Conlogue presented the commissioners with a memorandum regarding Time Trak and the Affordable Health Care Act (AHA). Attendance On Demand (AOD) is a time tracking record system that was presented to CA Conlogue, CFO Roy and Personnel Coordinator (PC) DePrenger last week. AOD tracks total hours worked under the AHA. CA Conlogue suggested collecting data as soon as possible in order to begin compliance with the AHA. Commissioner Brown understood that the commissioners would also have to log their time and questioned when they begin logging their time when attending meetings on behalf of the county. Time is measured hour by hour; mobile devices can be utilized with AOD. CA Conlogue emphasized that we are waiting for a quote for AOD, but the more important issue was about tracking time. Commissioner Joy questioned if Time Trak and Clock Trak did the same job as AOD, the answer was no. Bangor Payroll and Time Trak does not have a way to track exempt employee actual time, Commissioner Joy did not want to hire a new employee because the AHA makes us track time. Administrator Conlogue explained that AOD tracks actual hours worked but it does not affect payroll, it is only to determine “Full-time Equivalents” (FTE’s). Commissioner Joy would like to see the exact verbiage (that all hours need to be tracked) and would like a report from Scott McKee prior to moving forward with this. Commissioner Joy questioned why we would need immediate numbers and wanted to know the need for exempt and salaried employees to punch. CFO Roy stated that we need a month to month data for EFT’s. You have to track everyone’s hours in order to track EFT placement for the AHA. By January 2016 we will have to go back to calculate the FTE's for every employee, we don’t have that data, because everyone does not punch in and out.
Office of Financial Affairs:
MOTION: to approve March General Fund and Airport Payroll Warrants #15-09-#15-10, #15-11 and #15-12 in the aggregate of $196,350.53. (Blasi/Joy 3-0,. motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the corrected version of the March General Fund and Airport Expense Warrants #15-09, #15-10, #15-11, #15-12, #15-13, #15-14, #15-15, #15-16 and #15-17, in the aggregate of $436,383.64. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: a corrected version of the warrant memo should be signed.
MOTION: to approve March Jail and UT Fund Payroll Warrants #15-35, #15-36, #15-37 and #15-38 in the aggregate of $86,670.49. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve March Jail and UT fund Expense Warrants #15-38, #15-39, #15-40, #15-41, #15-42 and #15-43 in the aggregate of $114,624.03. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy distributed the AR Report and stated that he has been working with Probate to utilize AR, they are doing well with the program. Commissioner Blasi questioned the 5-120 day items. The DA’s Office is working to get these people to court, a timeline from the DA was not given and the people have not yet been served. Commissioner Blasi questioned the Montague account; CFO Roy stated that it is an airport tarmac rental (tie-down).
CFO Roy stated that the state of the jail is not good, it is running at least $100,000 in the negative. The Sheriff and Jail Administrator (JA) have been working with the union to make changes and curtailments have been implemented. The CFO, Sheriff and JA have been meeting weekly/daily regarding the situation and agree that changes may be needed in May. CFO Roy tried to present three approaches to fix the situation but the Sheriff and JA were asked to make the presentation. JA Richardson stated that an agreement was made with the union to utilize part-time employees in place of full-time employees for Recreation duties. Overtime is union driven and the $100,000 deficit will not be overcome by the end of the fiscal year. There is currently $84,000 in capital accounts. Scheduled overtime has been addressed and unscheduled overtime is being worked on. By the end of the fiscal year, overtime should be on budget or at budget. Delayed payment is available for the recent control panel purchase. JA Richardson stated that capital accounts are not being considered in the “shortfall.” Approximately, $80,000 will be needed to balance the budget and the JA is trying to avoid using capital accounts.
Commissioner Brown stated that if the BOC does not come through with funding, he would not go out and borrow money from the tax payers, if it means closing, we will do it, they can come get the keys. JA Richardson has already looked into cutting staff, numbers needed to survive and where to put the population; he is looking to reduce 6 people and cutting staff by half. Commissioner Blasi stated that $84,000 is all of his capital reserves. Commissioner Brown stated that as long as we have capital money we are not going to the tax payers for funds.
JA Richardson stated that what is going to drive the overage is Employee Medical. Sheriff Kane stated that he has frozen everything and that funds are not spent unless he agrees to it. He feels the current changes will help tremendously. There are currently 58 inmates in-custody, a call has been placed to Probation & Parole to reduce this number due to 1/3rd of the population being under probation hold. The ankle bracelet program will also reduce inmate medical cost. The state of new legislation is unknown at this time. Criminal Justice is basically sure that the jails will come back to the counties with a “soft landing” (meaning a gradual reduction in the state payment for the jails) included over a 5-year period. Jail safety standards will continue to be implemented.
Commissioner Blasi questioned why we have not received a response from the legislatures that we have contacted regarding inclusion eligibility in the 2.5 million dollar jail legislation. JA Richardson stated that the LD has five county's listed in it, Hancock County is not one of those, a persistent effort has been made to be included and will continue to be made, so that Hancock County's needs can be heard, unfortunately Hancock County did not apply for the funds within the time allotted. Sheriff Kane explained that there is a slim possibility that Hancock County may be able to access some of the money and that they are very well aware of our situation. Commissioner Joy stated that we should be aware that if it is not emergency legislation, then the state is on the hook and we are not, therefore we will pursue it emphatically. Commissioner Joy stated that another thing that we should be advocating is that the soft landing is not a good idea adding that he would tell them to keep the jails or give them back to us with some form of funding that is in place over an eight year period to pick up the difference. Beyond that Commissioner Joy stated that he would like for the county to say "we will take the funding today, we will take all increases going forward, if not keep the jails," he felt that this card had to be played because the State BOC has not kept their word. Commissioner Brown stated that what will hurt us is if we get the jails back we are not going to get any say over our jails which will take us back to where we were in 2007 and 2008. We are going to have to go after the state mandates and they are going to be telling us what to do with the operation of the jails coming out of property tax adding that there is not going to be a soft landing, we are going to bounce when we hit the ground!
Commissioner Brown was concerned because the Maine County Commissioners Association (MCCA) is not polling all of the County Commissioners, he was told that commissioners can get in on the conference calls but commissioners are not participating in them. Commissioner Brown went on to say that representatives from counties who have a large commercial tax base that can draw that money, we cannot here in Hancock County. Commissioner Brown stated that "if we do not receive some money from the State or have a chance to make our own future with jails there's no way in hell we can do it." A commissioner from Washington County feels the same way.
Sheriff Kane agreed with Commissioner Joy's comment regarding "going forward that they give us funding each year into perpetuity" as some of these people are State inmates who would normally been sentenced to State facilities. Commissioner Joy stated that as we sit back and discuss there is a time to take the hard line stance and there is a time to compromise. He stated that the hard line is a place to begin with Representatives like Brian Langley and Louie Luchini and that he did not think that they were going to vote in lock step with the Governor adding that he was not sure that what was going to come out is a good Bill. Commissioner Joy stated that we have to be prepared before the vote, we should have input now, everyone, every time, and we have to make sure to speak with our Legislators to say "that is a terrible bill, we are not doing it and we don’t want it." Sheriff Kane suggested gathering the Legislative Delegation together to discuss this. The League of Towns is meeting with the Delegation on April 30th at City Hall. Commissioner Joy mentioned suing the state of Maine in order to get them to fulfill their duty. Referring to the League of Towns meeting, Commissioner Brown stated that sometimes those meetings get so large that it’s difficult to speak; he suggested one-on-one conversations with our Legislatures. Sheriff Kane will meet with Legislators in the next week, at a Sheriff's Association meeting, to suggest a meeting.
Currently, the amount paid through taxation toward the jail is $1,670,136. Other revenue included in the jail budget is CCA funds/BOC Investment Fund in the amount of $266,414, those funds could go away. Commissioner Blasi pointed out several other revenue accounts that he thought may be used. If the BOC money goes to zero we are looking at a shortfall of possibly $300,000 but, this should continue on for the next 3-years. Today’s projected shortfall is approximately $100,000. The total impact on Hancock County is approximately $400,000 should the county get the jail back. Commissioner Joy was not willing to go to the taxpayers for this money. Commissioner Joy stated that in 2017 the jail bond goes away, this would cover the gap in what will be lost by the BOC. Commissioner Brown stated that we are possibly looking at a $600,000 impact in order to get the jail back. If revenue sharing is lost, it’s a double impact. Commissioner Joy stated that he was pleased with what was being done to stop the bleed. Commissioner Blasi asked the Sheriff if he would make the same presentation in the next month and questioned the relevance of a letter received during the jail visit. JA Richardson stated that the letter is still relevant and they are still working on its content. Regarding pre-trial, the back log is being addressed as much as possible, but if the population is reduced there are still minimum staffing requirements. CFO Roy praised Lt. Shepard’s due diligence as he has saved the county/jail close to $35,000 this year.
MOTION: to approve March expenditures in the health account in the amount of $173,852.73. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Due to the Stop Loss, there were three health insurance warrants during the month of March. Stop Loss funds do not show up in these calculations.
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3030-20 in the amount of $5,255.70 for Requisition #4B, final retainage payment for the ineligible portion of the contract for AIP 37. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request for expenditure from capital reserve account G2-3010-80 in the amount of $152.82 for the purchase of a 5x8 commercial area rug and office chair for the clerical assistant. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve a request for transfer of budget funds from account 3-3025-00 Community Benefit Funds to account 3-3025-05 Community Benefit Offset, in the amount of $90,000. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
CFO Roy requested approval for expenditure from capital reserve account 3011-01, Courthouse Technology, in the amount of $965.96 for the purchase of 2-computer monitors and 2-computers. The monitors are for the new employee and the computers are for the treasurer and MDOT workstation. Commissioner Joy stated that the items have already been purchased and questioned who approved the purchase. PC DePrenger stated that during the FY15budget process, the commissioners cut her request for computer and peripheral purchases and stated that she could purchase the computer under the Technology Reserve account which is how she made out the capital request. PC DePrenger stated that she was requesting to purchase the computers and CFO Roy would be requesting to purchase the furniture. Commissioner Brown stated that she probably had this in reverse, the commissioners should have been contacted prior to making the purchase, not after. When stating that she was told she could do so during the budget process, Commissioner Brown stated that it's "still not the same." Commissioner Joy requested that PC DePrenger look up the minutes that reflect where the commissioners said it, he is okay with it. The two monitors are going to the new workstation for the new employee. Commissioner Joy questioned why the UT is not paying for the MDOT workstation; CFO Roy stated that it was not thought about until this second. Commissioner Joy stated that this brings back the point of whether the commissioners discussed it and whether they approved the expenditure; he would like to hear the history of the purchase. CFO Roy stated that Commissioner Joy brought up a good point and the UT MDOT workstation will be paid for by the UT.
MOTION: to approve an request for expenditure from capital reserve account G1-3011-00 for the ABM final payment in the amount of $4,765. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that the $4,000 was part of the original contract.
Commissioner Blasi asked the following questions:
1) Does our Trial Balance balance? yes. 2) Have all county checking account statements for the prior month been reconciled, without error? yes. 3) Are the "due to/due from" accounts in balance? yes. 4) Do revenue and expense accounts reconcile to the control accounts? yes.
Manager Madeira requested to remove item 4b from the agenda. The contract with Hoyle Tanner will expire April 1, 2016, an extension will be needed in order to move forward with a current 2015 AIP Grant. The commissioners thought it prudent to go out to RFP for airport consulting services. Commissioner Joy suggested extending the contract to cover the 2015 Crack Sealing and Remarking Project as well as the PCN analysis and to initiate the RFP process.
MOTION: to remove item 4b. (Brown/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
2015 AIP Grant applications are due on May 1, 2015 to the FAA. BHB will be submitting two grant applications for 2015. One is for reimbursement request for the 2014 pavement remarking project; this is a straight reimbursement grant for work that has already happened; the other is for the 2015 crack sealing, pavement remarking and pavement repair project as well as the PCN (payment classification number) analysis. Manager Madeira requested a special meeting for April 17th to open bids, once bids are sent to Hoyle Tanner another meeting will be needed between April 27 and 29th to request a motion for the chairman to sign the 2015 Grant Applications. Manager Madeira warned the commissioners that the bid numbers were going to be large as they will be repainting the entire airport, every runway, every taxiway, every ramp area, every parking space; due to advisory circular requirements this requires removal of 75 or 95% of all existing paint prior to repainting. Old markings will be removed, crack sealing will be performed and then everything will be repainted. As the airport cannot be shut down in the months of July and August, some of the work will be done around the clock, at night with lights, for three weeks in September and the airport manager is going to require that a resident engineer be onsite the entire time to ensure that the work is done correctly. A lot of the work will be done in August, at that time the secondary runway will be closed; the airport will still function with the primary runway. As it is a 56 day project the end date is September 23rd. Manager Madeira assured the commissioners that there was enough funds budgeted for the Local Share and there is enough Entitlement Funds to cover the project.
The bid opening was scheduled for April 17th at 8:30 a.m. and the Special Meeting, to request signing of the grant application, was scheduled for April 28th at 8:30 a.m.
MOTION: to allow the Airport Manager to purchase a computer for the new Clerical Assistant for $800.00 from account: G2-3010-80. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to allow BHB ARFF personnel to travel outside the state on April 8th for Live Burn Training. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to contract with EMS and Fire Consultant of Chelmsford in order to conduct 2015 contract ARFF training in April at a cost of $4,500 from account G2-3030-22. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Manager Madeira stated that due to an inordinate amount of snow removal this winter, as of March 27, 2015 there is only $1,055.41 left in the airport diesel account #40-10-205 for the remainder of 2015. He requested to either overspend this account or with commissioner approval, transfer $5,000 from the airport contingency reserve account G2-3031-00. Commissioner Joy preferred to overspend the account, Commissioner Brown agreed. Commissioner Blasi questioned the airport undesignated fund balance; Manager Madeira stated that this was a CFO question but he thought that roughly the amount was between $300,000 and $350,000.
MOTION: to select Sixel Consulting as the airport Air Service Development Consultant. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Manager Madeira explained that an RFP went out, four firms responded, a selection committee reviewed the proposals, scored them and narrowed them down to two, telephone and e-mail interviews were conducted and Sixel Consulting was chosen due to their level of experience. Commissioner Brown questioned if this was a bid of service, the answer was yes. A market study is needed and a basic level of data to present to an air service supplier. There is a reserve account set up for this service, the cost is between $21,000 and $30,000 and a menu of services was presented. The contract would be paid from account G2-3011-06. Developing a comprehensive airport marketing plan could bring the cost up to approximately $30,000. Sixel is proposing a retainer of $5,900 each time. The contract states that within 15 days of a contract agreement $5,900 would be sent to Sixel.
MOTION: to approve the expense of $5,900 from account G2-3011-06 (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to authorize the chairman to sign the professional services agreement. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi requested progress reports prior to spending the second $5,900. Progress reports should be submitted as part of their contract.
MOTION: to approve the request of the airport manager to travel outside the State of Maine on May 6, 2015 to attend an airport marking technical conference in Boston. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion:
Manager Madeira stated that in March the DEP approved the permit for the installation of the floating dock system at the Seaplane ramp. He has yet to hear from the FAA regarding the project.
Commissioner Blasi asked Supervisor Billings to please explain a "force majeure event" from the DEP amended permit. A force of measure event is a catastrophic event or major disaster that cannot be planned for. Commissioner Blasi stated that the DEP Permit Amendment (for Hancock Wind) also mandates that the Community Benefit payments to the abutting towns be reported to the DEP annually. Commissioner Blasi expressed his disappointment that there are no Public Hearings requested regarding the use of higher towers for the Hancock Wind project. Commissioner Blasi asked Supervisor Billings to please remind Dave Fowler (of First Wind) that he said he would look into using aircraft activated flashing lights when it was possible to use them and we (the commissioners) have not heard since and all the lights still flash regularly; he questioned why we could not have the aircraft activated flashing lights on the new towers. Commissioner Joy stated that he believed that light requirements was an FAA requirement.
Commissioner Blasi asked Supervisor Billings to please explain his correspondence with Noreen Norton regarding the Hancock Wind TIF District on Rt. 179. Supervisor Billings stated that he e-mailed Ms. Norton and asked her if the commissioners could ask her to enter into an agreement/contract for the Broadband for Rt. 179 in the Hancock Wind TIF District before July 1st, she stated that the key words in the contract are "shall not commit TIF revenues until the TIF is approved." Supervisor Billings stated that they now have approval, however, to be safe, he advised the commissioners not to commit until the District enters into effect on July 1, 2015. Supervisor Billings has asked Ms. Norton, during negotiations with time Warner and FairPoint, that if we have to wait until July 1st to enter into an agreement or commit to the TIF money, if we could do an Memorandum of Understanding so that they could begin work; Ms. Norton responded "yes, it was possible." Commissioner Brown pointed out that this is what was done the last time and we had the State all over us for this; we used our own money to fund the project and they (the State) got all over us for that. He stated that he thought we could do this with our own funds and then pay ourselves back but "the dog and pony show that we went through last time isn't worth it."
Supervisor Billings stated that Fairpoint is stringing lines on 179 today, according to a discussion with one of Fletchers Landing township residents, one of the workmen stated that they are installing high speed internet and she should have it within 30 days. The City of Ellsworth IT personnel was not aware of FairPoint doing any work on Rt. 179. Commissioner Joy stated that if two businesses (FairPoint and Time Warner Cable) were willing to install lines, the County would need an RFP to do the work. There was a recent discussion at the Legislature regarding Broadband access.
MOTION: to approve the Fire Agreement with the Steuben Fire Dept. for T7. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: This is the county standard contract; Steuben did not request an annual stipend.
MOTION: to approve the Fire Agreement with Franklin Fire Dept. for T9 & T10. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this agreement is to start covering Township 9 until June 30, after which it will pickup Township 10.
With the signing of these contracts, all of the mainland territories are covered by structure fire contracts.
UT Supervisor Billings requested a commissioner’s special meeting on April 17, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. to meet with Time Warner Cable regarding UT Broadband Services. FairPoint will be contacted to meet after Time Warner Cable.
Commissioner Blasi read the following into the UT record: The coastguard agreed that weather permitting, Rockland Coast Guard Station will respond to emergencies on the off shore islands. Islands would need to have a wharf/pier that has six feet of water to be able to be serviced by the Coast Guard. There are two certified EMTs at Rockland Station one of them may or may not be on the responding vessel, but all crewmen are First Aid and CPR certified, and would have radio contact with a medic.
Commissioner Blasi asked the following question: Regarding the 5-year plan, please explain HVAC and comprehensive access control systems? HVAC is heating, ventilating and air conditioning and a comprehensive access control systems is the use of a proxy card system to access areas that would address some of our security questions in the EPP (Emergency Preparedness Plan). These are new items that have been added to the 5-year plan. Commissioner Brown was concerned with the cost of heating systems taking away from the roof project. Commissioner Blasi questioned if anyone has thought about the needs of the jail would fit into the 5-year plan. Commissioner Joy stated that he would not like to see the jail bond payments go into the jail, he would prefer to put it into jail capital improvements. Administrator Conlogue stated the jail bond has three years to go with a mature date of 2018. Commissioner Joy asked the administrator to look into the bonding proposal that is being proposed in the legislature.
MOTION: to authorize the maintenance director to go out to RFP for the propane vendor to serve all county accounts. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: This would cover the courthouse campus and the airport. Currently, we own all of our tanks. This would be for a 2-year period.
MOTION: to accept the resignation of full-time janitor, Margarita Crowley effective March 3, 2015. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the promotion of part-time janitor Ramsay Abraham of Surry to the position of full-time janitor at Step 4C, $11.68 per hour, effective retroactively to March 14, 2015. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Inside and outside, he is starting work on the basement floor.
Commissioner Joy questioned if they were creating issues by hiring a father and son. Director Walls did not believe so and stated that Ramsey II has not been working here. The position was advertised in the Ellsworth American, in house and on the website.
MOTION: to approve the hire of Ramsay Abraham II of Hancock as a part-time, on call, as needed janitor, at the rate of $12 per hour, effective retroactively to April 4, 2015. No benefits, not to exceed 29 hours per week. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Joy cautioned the Director to keep an eye on this.
Break for lunch: 12:08 p.m.
Back in session: 12:38 p.m.
MOTION: to remove administratively from the employment rolls: Part-time Civil Process Servers, Glenn Grant and Jerry Michaud, Part-time Deputy Ernie Fitch. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the hire Dale Wells of Holden and Kimberly Jordan of Eastbrook as part-time, on call as needed corrections officers at the rate of $12 per hour, no benefits and not to exceed 29 hours per week. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Jail Administrator Richardson presented the Community Health and Counseling and Safran contracts for commissioner approval. These are annual contracts for jail psychiatric purposes and the fingerprinting/photo machine.
MOTION: to approve the Community Health and Counseling Service contract and authorize the sheriff to sign the contract. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Brown stated that the sheriff usually signed the contract, but all contracts that involve expenditures have to be signed by the commissioners. Sheriff Kane preferred to have the commissioners view the contracts.
MOTION: to approve the Safran (fingerprinting and photo machine) contract and to authorize the sheriff to sign the agreement. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the 2015 Town of Stonington Law Enforcement Contract. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this contract is unchanged from previous years.
Commissioner Brown explained that the sheriff is asking to approvethe hire of Dana Austin of Ellsworth as a full-time patrol deputy at Step 12B $17.90 per hour, effective April 25, 2015. Chief Deputy, Pat Kane requested authorization to expend $18,000 to the Town of Mt. Desert as training reimbursement for Officer Austin. The actual cost of reimbursement is $24,000. CD Kane explained that savings occurred due to not filling the vacancy right-a-way, these savings included: $12,366 in the Regular Patrol account, $2,735 in health savings costs and $4,560 in the vacant MDEA position. Since the first of the year one position is still currently open, Commissioner Brown questioned if the position has been filled by part-time employees. The position has been filled by the Chief Deputy and a Patrol Lt. CD Kane stated that they have actual funds to pay the $18,000. $12,366 has not been expended in the payroll line. CD Kane requested to over expend the training line and the savings will be seen in the payroll line, the patrol health account and the MDEA health account adding that the total funds available are $19,662. Commissioner Brown stated that he was uncomfortable with utilizing savings out of the health care line; he would like to see the $2,700 come from another source other than health care. Commissioner Joy agreed. CFO Roy stated that they are not looking to charge the health care lines because this is not a health insurance issue; they would like to over expend the Training line 10-07-600, in order to show the cost of the officer for BAC purposes. Commissioner Brown questioned what would happen in the 3rd quarter when funds are needed to make purchases in the sheriff's department and there are no funds. Commissioner Blasi commented that the formula seemed unprecedented. Commissioner Joy stated that since it is a budgetary expense, it has to be discussed. This officer will be utilized throughout the county. Commissioner Joy stated that the town contract is an administrative expense for an experienced officer and that there has to be an expense for administration included in the contract. Commissioner Brown had no issue in hiring Mr. Austin; his issue was making sure the funds were spent from the correct account. Commissioner Joy stated that the Risk Pool offers training all the time, they also have grants and instruction available. The Maine Sheriff’s Association is also offering training and Major Bishop will be teaching some of the courses. Commissioner Brown stated that $12,000 could come from the sheriff’s payroll account. CFO Roy stated that they are asking for payment to come from account E10-07-600 Training and for the commissioners to authorize the over expenditure, the saving would come from sheriff’s patrol budget, their liability account and the DTF account.
MOTION: to approve the hire Dana Austin of Ellsworth as a full-time patrol deputy at Step 12B, $17.90 per hour, effective April 25, 2015, in the interest of public safety the commissioners are authorizing an over expenditure from the Training account E10-07-600 in the amount of $18,000. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to expend $18,000 to reimburse the Town of Desert for the training of Officer Dana Austin. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Emergency Management Agency:
EMA Director Sankey presented the name of Edward D. Pontbriand as Deputy EMA Director / Planner. Commissioner Joy was interested in the hiring process and Mr. Pontbriand's qualifications. Administrator Conlogue and Director Sankey received 6 formal applicants, 8 informal applicants and 1 withdrawal. Mr. Pontbriand was the best choice based on his qualifications and is an excellent fit for the department.
MOTION: to approve the appointment of Edward D. Pontbriand of Gouldsboro as EMA Deputy Director / Planner at an annual salary of $32,000 representing a thirty-two hour workweek including coverage on alternating weekends. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the duration of the appointment is as appointed by the commissioners. Mr. Pontbriand is opting out of health insurance.
MOTION: to remove administratively from the employment rolls: Part-time Clerks, Tena Austin, Jeri Barnes, and Andrea Noddin. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Administrator Conlogue stated that originally the Finance Assistant / Clerk this position was listed as a Step 7 on the Wage Scale, in reviewing the duties of the position; he felt that it rose to a Step 8. Commissioner Joy questioned which positions, on the Wage Scale, were listed as a Step 8. Currently the positions of Legal Secretary I & II and Deputy Register of Probate.
MOTION: to increase the Finance Assistant/Clerk position to Pay Grade 8 on the wage scale. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained)
MOTION: to approve the hire of Pamela Linscott of Gouldsboro as a full-time finance assistant/clerk at Step 8 C $14.41 per hour, effective retroactive to April 4, 2015. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed, Blasi opposed) Discussion: When asked about the hiring process, it was explained that the position was posted in the Ellsworth American, Bangor Daily, the website and in house. Eight applicants were received by deadline and two were received afterward that were in included in the process, interviews were conducted by the Personnel Coordinator, Administrator, and CFO. Four applicants were interviewed and scored and Ms. Linscott was the top choice based on her qualifications, her experience in bookkeeping and qualifications related to an accounting nature. CA Conlogue stated that her background is applicable to what we are doing here and she seemed to understand the basics of accounting even though she has not used governmental accounting working in the private sector, he felt that she could make the transition easily.
Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not see why we would want to add up to 30 hours a week to the existing 80+ hours between the three existing staff in that office. CA Conlogue stated that two out of three commissioners directed that the job be filled, therefore he fulfilled that duty and moved forward with the hire; he also stated that like any other employee, she will have six month probationary period and he will monitor her progress and continue to review the efficiency of the office to decide whether we need that position or not . When asked about the positions hours distribution, CA Conlogue replied that the position will probably be a 30 hour split between the OFA and 10 hours in Administration, training will be accomplished by the CFO, Deputy Treasurer and Personnel Coordinator. Commissioner Joy made himself clear that it is not 40 hours in the finance office and time will be dedicated in the commissioner’s office. Commissioner Brown stated that he believed she would be an asset to the county.
Administrator Conlogue discussed donation of employee sick time. The union contract addresses donation of sick time but the Personnel Policy does not. He asked the commissioners to consider this for non-union employees and asked for comments from the commissioners. Commissioner Joy questioned how much sick time an employee can accrue; 720 hours or 90 days, once it is reached, additional time is lost. Register Curtis stated that her employee is still in need of time and waiting a month to make a decision will not help her. Commissioner Brown was open to discussing the possibility but wanted to proceed under caution and requested more information. Commissioner Joy stated that 50% of our employees are covered under a contract; generally we try to treat all of our employees the same; he was happy that the clerical employees gave up their union and stated that there are reasons why employees want unions due to disparities like this; he was not in favor of the change at this moment but was open to discussing it sooner than a month from now. He questioned if other employees should be treated the same way and questioned the ramifications and cost associated with it. CA Conlogue requested to include the item on the April 17th agenda for further discussion and possible approval. Commissioner Joy asked the Register Curtis that if she had an employee out for several weeks, would she replace that employee. Register Curtis stated that she would only fill the spot with budgeted money.
Administrator Conlogue stated that he has looked into the AIP fund deficit and has researched A133 Auditing Standards from 2008-2013. During that time there was nothing to indicate mysterious entries to account for the $36,069. Kathy Tyson of Runyon Kersteen and Ouellette was contacted as well. CA Conlogue stated that the accounting of the funds was most likely the result of a clerical error in not posting the full amount of the local funds into a past AIP grant when a drawdown was requested and that this problem occurred prior to 2013. The second conclusion is that funds should be transferred from Fund 2 to Fund 5 to eliminate this $36,069 deficit. Thirdly, he found no evidence of willful wrongdoing. The funds should be written off and moved from fund 2 to Fund 5.
MOTION: that we have through our administrator, our CFO and our accountant, we have looked at the audit figures for the period of 2008-2013 and appear no mysterious entries to account for the $36,069 and he would then move that we write that figure off by transferring it from Fund 2 to Fund 5. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed, Blasi abstained) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that this is another example of poor work performance by the CFO. Commissioner Brown disagreed and explained that this came from the former airport manager. Commissioner Blasi questioned who was supposed to be checking the airport entries. Commissioner Brown stated that, at that time, the airport manager did all that work themselves, only until Manager Madeira arrived did the accounts "show up here about a year ago." Commissioner Blasi questioned why we were paying an airport fee and it is not getting checked. Commissioner Brown stated that it was done by the airport manager; we did not have control or access to their books prior until the new manager arrived. Commissioner Joy stated that the auditor found no evidence of willful wrong doing and that this is expected to drop off the audit after this is taken care of. Commissioner Blasi questioned how this would reflect in the reporting going forward. CFO Roy stated that this is going from Fund 2 to Fund 5; he will e-mail Commissioner Blasi the account numbers to be included in the records.
Administrator Conlogue presented the commissioners with an analysis of current sick leave policies and recommendations for selected actions. Recommendations included: including the Appointed/Exempt Policy in the Personnel Policies, clarifying the use of sick leave and notification to supervisors of sick time for appointed/exempt employees, full-day and partial day absences. It was CA Conlogue’s opinion that the Telecommuting Policy does not conflict with the Sick Leave policies. CA Conlogue would like to rewrite the policy for commissioner approval. Sick days have been traditionally used for doctors appointments, therapists etc. CA Conlogue stated that, in his opinion, sick leave should be taken in increments of 2 hours and be scheduled at the beginning or end of the work day. Use of sick leave should be deducted from the employees work day. Commissioner Blasi requested that the language in #4 be changed to "Use of sick leave will be deducted from the employees work day." Salaried employees are looked at as a 40 hour per week worker, but they do not get credit for additional hours, it should be clarified that if they utilize sick time during the work day, sick time should be taken off of 8 hour work day. Supervisors should be contacted should an absence be necessary. No changes were recommended to the Telecommuting policy. Commissioner Blasi stated that #5 should contain the language "by providing a signed physician's note when requested by the manager." Commissioner Brown preferred to thoroughly review the recommendations and discuss them at the May CRM. Commissioner Joy questioned if the appointed Exempt Policy changed from 30 sick hours per year, the answer was yes. Rehabilitation planning was suggested, this should be developed with employer and the employee participation/agreement.
Administrator Conlogue requested to postpone the health insurance buy-out change in order for him to further work on the policy. Commissioner Blasi was in favor of the suggestions offered in red.
Commissioner Blasi read the following introductory statement regarding the Commissioners' priorities for the County Administrator: Commissioners should state their priorities for business matters the County Administrator is to conduct on their behalf with department managers and the public to the County Administrator at the first meeting of each quarter of the year. Commissioner Blasi's priorities are as follows:
OFA - I request the County Administrator (CA) to provide the commissioners a detailed analysis:
1) of the tasks associated with each position, including the rationale for each task;
2) hours required to produce an auditor's report containing no suggested journal entries; and
3) of the hours required to assure internal control that results in accurate financial reporting.
Jail - I request the CA to form a jail committee consisting of himself, the Jail Administrator, and Sheriff to make monthly reco9mmendations on public relations, safety, finance, and infrastructure. I suggest that the committee refer to the Jail Administrator's letter that he handed to us on our jail visit.
Affordable Care Act - I request the CA to make periodic reports on the county's progress implementing the Affordable Care Act, and health insurance concerns.
Commissioner Brown stated that the jail is a statutory responsibility of the sheriff, we cannot tell him how to run the jail and have to be very careful how we approach this. Commissioner Blasi stated that he was quite pleased with the sheriff’s presentation this morning. Commissioner Brown stated that the commissioners should be able to address the Administrator anytime regarding their priorities, Commissioner Blasi saw this as a matter of public interest so that the public would know what the CA is being told. CA Conlogue stated that he would like to schedule a goal setting meeting to make sure his priorities stay on track.
Commissioner Joy would like CA Conlogue to look at the reorganization of county government; county services; ramifications of retaining the jail; the RCC, City of Ellsworth and Town of Bucksport coming together for communications services, look at the 5-year plan with the facilities director to prioritize items, work with the sheriff to work towards his goals, legislative emphasis especially for the jail with whole funding for 8 years or more. He stated that airport enplanements, usage and promotion is a priority; painting is not needed if we don’t have the enplanements.
Commissioner Brown stated that one project is going to depend on another project. The jail issue depends on the BOC, the RCC consolidation depends on the City and Towns, etcetera. It was stated that the Hancock County Commissioners do not support current jail legislation. CFO Roy stated that currently, the jail FY15-16 budget has not been approved by the BOC.
Commissioner Brown stated that he would like to forgo the executive session until another day.
MOTION: to postpone the evaluations until April 17th and 28th. (Joy/ 2nd inaudible, Commissioner Blasi voted in favor but Commissioner Brown and Joy were inaudible) Discussion: After further discussion, it was agreed that Supervisor Billings evaluation will be done on April 17th and Director Wellman's will be done on April 28th.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)