COMMISSIONER AGENDAS & MINUTES
COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING
Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown Jr., called the meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 in the conference room of the county courthouse located in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Blasi and Joy in attendance.
MOTION: to add item b. a discussion regarding the detective position with the DA or Sheriff’s Department. (Joy/Brown 3-0 motion passed)
The following bid was opened for the airport 1,000 gallon fuel tank:
No Frills Oil Co., Inc. - $4,399 trade in $399 total bid: $4,000. The bid was according to bid specifications.
Bids were turned over to the airport manager for review and recommendation.
Commissioner Brown stated that after speaking with the sheriff, Sheriff Kane has agreed to the proposition of retaining the DA Detective in the DA’s Office and funding a detection for a half year in the sheriff’s department. The New Clerk position in the DA’s office would be removed at a cost savings of $30,572. Commissioner Brown stated that there may be a union issue should the DA Detective transfer to the Sheriff’s Department; Commissioner Brown suggested leaving the budget like it is and funding the New Clerk position in the DA’s office should funds become available later in the year. One of the problems with moving the DA Detective to the SO Detective position is that the employee would be moving to a union position, this would require advertising as it is not a lateral move financially. Leaving the DA Detective budget would save approximately $30,000.
DA Foster stated that his office is stressed due to new duties that they have been mandated, it is going to be very difficult the next year without additional clerical help; the Legal Secretary III is doing a tremendous job with the added workload but needs help. Commissioner Blasi stated that the budget sent to the advisors is the budget he is going to stay with.
For clarification purposes, Commissioner Blasi asked to split the discussion up into two different discussions. Commissioner Brown stated that if the detective was moved to the sheriff’s department it would cause a union issue. McFarland was in the original budget (at ½ salary) in the DA’s office with the clerk position fully funded; under the commissioners proposal, the detective is the sheriff’s budget; moving him back to the DA’s budget would save over $15,000. Commissioner Blasi asked the sheriff’s opinion regarding the proposed change; Commissioner Brown stated that the sheriff has nothing to say about the union contract other than it will be an issue adding that Sheriff Kane has stated that he is okay with leaving the detective in the DA’s office and funding an additional detective for July 2016.
Commissioner Joy stated that this did not feel right to him and said that the county has not had two detectives (in the sheriff’s office), now we (the commissioners) are trying to make sure the sheriff has two detectives when the DA needs a clerk he was not ready to add an additional person to the sheriff’s budget because the DA has stated twice that he needs a clerk. Commissioner Joy stated that what is done in the Sheriff’s Office is up to them, but they are going to have to make some hard decisions; he was not in favor of the proposal at this time but if the commissioners can find a way to fund a clerk position in the DA’s Office by July 1st he would be in favor of that.
Commissioner Brown stated that we (the commissioners) are not adding two people in the SO, he proposed to not to fill the vacant detective position until July 1st. Commissioner Joy questioned if the DA Detective could work for the sheriff as of January 1st without union issues stating that until the end of the year the employee can work in the SO, it’s a compromise but the DA has made it known that he has a need and he is not using the detective. Commissioner Blasi questioned if the sheriff has changed his position about a detective, the response was no.
DA Foster requested funding a part-time clerk position in his office and stated that if the DA Detective was kept in the DA’s office until June 30th maybe a clerk could be hired through the rest of the year. CA Conlogue stated that the cost of a full-time clerk is $30,572, if the DA Detective were retained in the DA’s office the savings would amount to $16,661 for a total savings of $47,233, the savings is based on leaving the DA Detective in place for a year. Commissioner Brown was unsure if the DA Detective could be moved laterally. Commissioner Joy stated that the DA detective was created by a grant and grew into a full-time position and has turned into a position that the DA does not utilize as much, so he is used in the sheriff’s department. Commissioner Brown stated that he wanted to get the discussion on an agenda so that the Budget Advisory Committee could see what “we” are trying to do; if you lock in the DA budget the sheriff’s department budget will be locked in at the same time.
Commissioner Joy stated that he is struggling with the sheriff’s budget again this year, he will have something to say when they come to the BAC meeting that he has already discussed with Sheriff Kane. The Sheriff’s Department budget has grown 6-8% last year and again this year and he is not willing to see that happen. The proposal helps save some money but it does not do what the DA needs. Commissioner Joy requested more time to find savings to provide what departments need. BAC Chairman Grindal stated that the DA’s budget will be scheduled at the beginning of the BAC agenda on October 28th.
MOTION: to table the discussion. (Joy/Brown 2-1, motion passed Blasi opposed) Discussion: there will be another meeting on Friday to continue the discussion.
MOTION: to accept the No Frills bid. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the bid includes installation.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)