Commissioner Meetings Minutes Archive
Commission Chairman, Percy L. Brown, Jr., called the special meeting of the Hancock County Commissioners to order at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, December 13, 2013 in the meeting room of the Hancock County Courthouse located at 50 State Street, in Ellsworth Maine with Commissioners Joy and Blasi in attendance.
Adjustments to the agenda:
Commissioner Blasi stated the following: The Reserve Account Management Policy was on the agenda but was removed. It needs revision, the items should be heard. Commissioner Brown approved the 2008 and now I understand that the Office of Financial Affairs wrote a policy and it has been approved by the auditor, it is an inner office type policy and it is in effect superseding the policy that we have in our policy book, so I would like to have the Reserve Account Policy placed back on the agenda. Commissioner Joy requested supporting information on his request. A copy was not available at the time of the request. Commissioner Brown stated that it was removed because there is a policy in effect done in the OFA, it is checked by the auditor and was not something he wanted to take up in this meeting. The policy done prior to Commissioner Blasi's term. CFO Roy stated that the auditor's have required department heads to put in writing a written form of operations, they are submitted to auditor for checks and balances, all departments have to do this, the auditor reviews them. he was not prepared to discuss it at this meeting.
MOTION: to reinsert the reserve account management policy onto the agenda. (Blasi/ motion failed for lack of second)
Registry of Deeds:
MOTION: to approve the hire of Anna Jordan of Ellsworth and Blake Curtis of Eastbrook as part-time, on call, as needed clerks. To be paid from surcharge, no benefits included. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the hire of Margarita S. Crowley of Gouldsboro as a full-time janitor at Step 4C-$11.50 per hour, effective December 21, 2013. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve the hire of Twyla Bryant of Ellsworth as a full-time dispatcher at Step 9-A, $14.44 per hour, effective December 28, 2013. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this employee will be sent to school, as she does not have a background in dispatch. She is a retired Battalion Fire Chief.
MOTION: to approve the hire of April Canavan of Harrington as a part-time dispatcher at the rate of $12 per hour, effective December 28, 2013. No benefits. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this is limited to 29 hours per week.
Office of Financial Affairs:
MOTION: Beginning January 1, 2015 fulltime employees, working 30 hours or more, that cannot prove coverage with another health insurance carrier must participate in the county health plan. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi asked if a spreadsheet has been created to track this. CFO responded, as far as the health insurance cost, the answer is yes. The implementation date is January 1, 2015 which is a look-back to 2014.
Sheriff Clark requested guidance as to what 30 hours per week meant. CFO Roy was directed to send a memo to department heads advising them as to the parameters/criteria/definition of 30 hours.
Unorganized Territory Budget:
MOTION: to approve the $320,363 as submitted by the Budget Advisory Committee. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the reason for exceeding the LD1 Cap is due to work on the Nicatous Road.
MOTION: to exceed the LD1 Cap for the 2014-2015 year by $159,956. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: this is largely due to work on the Nicatous Road.
Commissioner Joy requested to change the previous policy regarding the personnel policy.
MOTION: to reconsider our health and major medical policy. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: Beginning January 1, 2015 full time employees that cannot prove coverage with another health insurance carrier must participate in the county health plan. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Airport revenue suggested changes:
R40-110 - $710
R40-150 - $3,000
R40-160 - $2,000
R40-162 - $2,000
R40-315 - $11,984
R40-510 - $50
MOTION: to approve airport revenues in the amount of $670,461. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: R40-510 $50, was inserted by the commissioners at a previous meeting. The number is an unknown and is being used as a place holder.
Airport expenditures suggested changes:
E40-05-300 - $95,685 if these funds are not spent, it saves the airport money. The funds do not roll over automatically. Commissioner Joy stated that if the airport is charged actual cost, they should receive actual credit, as should the jail. CFO Roy stated that it would be up to the commissioners. Sheriff Clark questioned budgeting health insurance costs to the Stop Loss. CFO Roy explained how the Stop Loss is calculated. Sheriff Clark stated that he cannot afford this kind of budgeting in his jail. He felt that this line will be over budgeted and others will have to be under budgeted. Commissioner Joy stated that the county is responsible for a capped amount of money towards the jail, the state of responsible for the rest. CFO Roy stated that we are within 1% of the aggregate Stop Loss for 2013, we may go over. Sheriff Clark stated that if you have a fund balance at the end of the year, you have over budgeted. Commissioner Brown stated that the sheriff is talking two different things, you cannot know what is going to happen to the health of employees. Commissioner Brown agreed that this is a good conversation to have but moved the meeting forward.
E40-05-400 - $12,035
E40-07-500 - $350
E40-10-010 - $600
E40-10-100 - $1,825
E40-10-700 - $1,000
E40-10-750 - $5,000
E40-20-100 - $600
E40-20-450 - $3,000
E40-20-500 - $.00
E40-20-600 - $900
E40-20-650 - $1,100
E40-30-110 - $200
E40-30-200 - $3,500
E40-30-300 - $4,200
E40-30-315 - $2,000
MOTION: to approve airport expenditures in the amount of $770,302. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1 motion passed. Blasi abstained) Commissioner Blasi opposed the vote due to the inclusion of the Airport Administrative Fee under account E40-60-400 and referred the commissioners to the last two paragraphs in page 3 of the November 26th minutes. He requested to see the cost allocation formula, to which CFO Roy replied that he has stated 4 or 5 times, yes we do have it adding that next week the airport manager and CFO, by instructions of the county commissioners last year, will meet and agree on what the actual cost will be and will put it in the next warrant. Commissioner Blasi stated that he thought it would be here for this budget meeting. CFO Roy reiterated that he originally said that it was going to be done the second to the last week of the month, "this is not the second to the last week of the month and we want to make sure that we can log as much of the expenses so that we don't have any problems with the audit." Commissioner Brown questioned Commissioner Blasi as to where else he could get this work done for $14,000. Commissioner Blasi stated that he did not think we should have this account and that he expected the County to do this work in house or on behalf of the airport further clarifying that he would like the airport manager to do as much of the work as he could. Commissioners Joy and Brown questioned if Commissioner Blasi wanted the tax payers to pay for this service rather than having the airport, which is not under taxation, pay for the service. Commissioner Joy stated that he has spoken to Barry Hammer of the FAA and this is a formula that has been approved by the FAA during the last audit, it is a formula that they came up with, it is a formula that works for the airport and the FAA and it is a number that is acceptable to both. This is not done for any other department because we do not have another separate entity other than the airport. The UT pays an administrative fee, by statute.
CFO Roy stated that this is an OMB86 formula that was approved by the FAA, FAA auditors and the county commissioners. Commissioner Brown stated that if we could get this done for $3,000 outside, he was all for it. Commissioner Blasi questioned if the airport manager and a part-time clerical person could to do the work instead. He asked Commissioner Joy if he ever sees a time when the airport manager and clerical help can accomplish this task. CFO Roy stated that under that scenario there would be no checks and balances. Commissioner Joy's response was, "it is a fee that is now acceptable, we got a little onerous in it at one time and we were charging maybe a bit too much but now it's based on a formula that both parties have agreed to." When asked if he had anything further to add, the airport manager was not in opposition to an administrative fee by the county.
MOTION: to move the sheriff’s request up in the agenda. (Joy/Brown 2-0-1, motion passed Blasi abstained)
Sheriff Clark distributed a spreadsheet depicting a proposal to purchase cruisers in 2014. Currently the Town Cruiser Account has $13,664 in it. $30,000 is proposed in the Sheriff’s Department Cruiser Account for 2014, the DA has proposed $18,000 in a new cruiser account. Sheriff Clark proposed to increase the sheriff's cruiser account to $35,000 and reduce the DA cruiser account to zero. Sheriff Clark stated that he would purchase 2 vehicles so that Steve McFarland would have a vehicle and his cruiser needs would be met for the entire year of 2014, he also stated that he would not be asking for another vehicle in 2014. Steve McFarland would receive a new vehicle and a patrol officer would receive the other vehicle. These are clean sales with no trade-in. There is currently $48,000 + $13,500 in funding now. Commissioner Joy questioned if the balance of $13,664 in the Town Contract cruiser account was as of today. The answer was yes. Commissioner Brown stated that the last vehicle was purchased out of the contract account. There is currently approximately $25,000 of unencumbered funds in the account that will carry over into 2014. The need is $48,500, therefore the sheriff needs $25,000. Detective McFarland will be utilizing a sheriff’s department vehicle, as has been done from the inception of the position. Commissioner Joy questioned if he would respond if there was an incident near his home. The answer was yes. Because of that, Commissioner Joy felt that because he responds to incidents, he needs a vehicle that responds to worst case scenarios.
E and R accounts represent proposed account changes:
E02-05-300 - increase to $23,746 ($1,746)
E02-05-400 - reduce to $1,069 ($12)
MOTION: to approve EMA expenditures in the amount of $125,905. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi requested that the changes be listed as stated. Commissioner Brown stated that it will take a unanimous vote by all three commissioners to make changes.
R02-100 increase to $62,953 ($867)
R02-315 (new acct) $2,340.
MOTION: to approve EMA revenue in the amount of $65,293. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
E03-05-400 - reduce to $1,861 ($149)
E03-70-300 – reduce to zero.
MOTION: to approve District Attorney expenditures in the amount of $342,185 (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
E04-05-400 - reduce to $333 ($33)
MOTION: to approve Commissioners expenditures in the amount of $199,835. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
E05-05-400 - reduce to $323. ($32)
E05-07-600 reduce to $750. ($250)
MOTION: to approve expenditures in the OFA in the amount of $158,370. (Joy/Brown 2-1, Blasi opposed) BAC vote stands. Discussion: Commissioner Blasi read the following prepared statement: OFA Manager position should not exist; as stated in Title 30A, sec 181 the county treasurer shall keep the books…and as determined on P4 of 5/7/13. The treasurer is equally qualified; account 05-01-100 should be closed and $50k should be transferred into account 05-01-115 to pay the treasurer to head the finance department. The Deputy Treasurer should be trained to perform all financial transactions, as stated on the same page in the minutes.
District Attorney Bassano requested to discuss the rental of the space in the Andrew Peters Building.
MOTION: to discuss the issue of the Peters Building storage space at this point in the agenda. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Sheriff Clark stated that he and the DA have been corresponding regarding this space, his IT person has been working out of this office. He and the District Attorney would like to share this space. District Attorney Bassano stated that she had previously requested that this item be on an agenda due to security issues for her office. She has an obligation to maintain files depending on the classification of the crime committed. Sheriff Clark stated that the back stairwell is considered as an emergency exit and was concerned that the State may want to seal that door, which would create problems. Jeff Henthorn of the State of Maine has inspected the space to see of the court system could use it. Sheriff Clark requested to leave the item alone until the commissioners can speak with the DA and Sheriff. Commissioner Joy suggested emptying the law library for court storage. He understood that the DA and sheriff needed storage and was willing to speak to the issue at the next meeting.
E06-05-400 reduce to $5,210 ($1,002)
E06-07-600 reduce to $1,000. ($1,500)
MOTION: to approve the maintenance department expenditures in the amount of $387,655. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to increase RCC revenue to $98,497. (Joy/Blasi 1-2, motion failed, BAC vote stands) Discussion: Commissioner Brown requested an increase of 5% in RCC revenues. Commissioner Joy preferred to keep the increase at 3%.
E07-05-100 increase to $39,688. ($766)
E07-05-400 - reduce to $2,701. ($254)
E07-07-100 - reduce to $2,980. ($520)
E07-30-150 - reduce to $25,000 ($15,000)
MOTION: to approve RCC expenditures in the amount of $591,161. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: the one year for the radio maintenance came in at almost $9,000. She has calculated for 3 years at the commissioner’s request. They chose not to go with a three year contract and approved a one year contract, therefore reducing the cost of radio maintenance.
E08-05-400 - reduce to $402. ($40)
MOTION: to approve Registry of Probate expenditures in the amount of $177,289. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed)
E09-05-400 - reduce to $514. ($51)
E09-30-500 - reduce to $41,000 ($2,000)
MOTION: to approve Registry of Deeds expenditures in the amount of $255,417. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi requested the CFO and Register of Deeds settle on the exact account number for surcharge funds. This has already been done.
E10-05-400 - reduce to $20,117. ($2,310)
E10-70-300 reduce to $25,000. ($25,000)
MOTION: to approve sheriff’s department expenditures in the amount of $1,062,160. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
R12-315 (new acct) $157
MOTION: to approve Town Contract revenues in the amount of $172,157. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi questioned if the employee contribution discussed at the last meeting was being applied. The answer was yes.
E12-05-300 increase to $7,201. ($157)
E12-05-400 - reduce to $2,641. ($304)
E12-70-300 – increase to $32,432 ($304)
MOTION: to approve Town Contract expenditures in the amount of $172,157. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: CFO Roy stated that this will be a drastic change from the way expenses and revenues have been done for the past 4-years. Sheriff Clark stated that he was trying to show a balanced budget from expenditures to revenues. The difference is shown in the vehicle account 12-70-300. If there are funds left over in 2014 they will be reserved to the 2015 budget. Commissioner Blasi stated that the BAC approved this change. Sheriff's Administrative Assistant, Michelle Cote questioned the increase in Workers Compensation.
E13-05-400 - reduce to $2,352. ($271)
MOTION: to approve Civil Process expenditures in the amount of $117,998. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
MOTION: to approve 3rd Party Donations in the amount of $173,335 that was approved by the BAC. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi stated that he would like to see the additional Planning Commission money be used for failing septic remediation. Commissioner Joy asked if he was trying to tell them what to do with their money, his response was yes. Commissioner Brown stated that we should not be in the business of telling the Hancock County Planning Commission what to do, they are quite capable and have been doing very well, they're not an entity of Hancock County Commissioners like the airport is so why are we trying to tell them what to do? Thom Martin stated that HCPC greatly appreciates the support they receive from the County Commissioners and the taxpayers, in response to Commissioner Blasi's comment, there is currently a number of programs under way, they are working with WHCA and the USDA Rural Utility Service in doing training for septic replacement and failing systems. He stated that it's already in their purview and in a backhanded way, they are already utilizing county money for that purpose. County funds are used to match the program they have to identify failing systems. The funds are already being used as requested. Commissioner Blasi questioned what would happen to Soil & Water. It would stay the same as the BAC vote if this vote passes.
R20-250 reduce to $9,042. ($422)
R20-315 increase to $97,588 ($2,088)
MOTION: to approve Health Insurance revenues in the amount of $119,221. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
E20-05-300 - reduce to $911,207. ($54,493)
E20-05-320 - reduce to $46,927. ($34,687)
MOTION: to approve Health Insurance expenditures in the amount of $958,134. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Commissioner Blasi was curious as to how the other commissioners felt about the proposed decrease. Commissioners Joy and Brown did not have an issue with the numbers as it was funded to the Stop Loss. Commissioner Blasi questioned if the reduction should be somewhere in the middle. The response received was no.
R46-111 increase to $35,000. ($10,000)
R46-112 increase to $116,673. ($14,000)
R46-315(new acct) $5,539. ($339)
MOTION: to approve DTF revenues in the amount of $157,212. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed) Discussion: Sheriff Clark questioned if $25,000 would be made as revenue for 2013. CFO Roy stated that they should be short for 2013 by $11,000. Sheriff Clark suggested increasing forfeiture revenue to $35,000. Commissioner Blasi questioned how much the DTF has gone over in revenues during past years. It is required by agreement that forfeiture funds stay with law enforcement. Projected revenue has been met in previous years, 2013 is the first year that projected revenues were not met.
E46-05-300 - increase to $47,103. ($27,803)
E46-05-400 - reduce to $3,439. ($174)
MOTION: to approve DTF expenditures in the amount of $249,098. (Joy/Brown 3-0, motion passed.
Total Expenditures: $7,053,663
Estimated Revenue: $1,693,380
Estimated Transfers: $200,000
Total Revenue of $1,893,380.
Jail CAP and Jail Bond $2,014,136
Amount to be raised by taxation $5,160,284.
2013 Taxation was $5,178,972
2014 decrease of $18,689
.36% decrease from 2013 fiscal year.
Commissioner Blasi stated that he was willing to pay, personally, any difference in Department 5 Workers Compensation that may have been incurred by his no vote. Commissioners Joy stated that we are all set, thank you.
MOTION: move the amount to be raised by taxation in the amount of $5,160,284. (Joy/Blasi 3-0, motion passed)
Commissioner Brown thanked the department heads for their work in helping the commissioners get through the 2014 budget.
Sheriff Clark requested approval to purchase two 2014 Dodge Ram pick-up trucks from Darling's at a cost of $24,264 each, to be paid from the Sheriff's 2014 vehicle account and the Town Contract Reserve Account. Sheriff Clark stated that this will be the last time that he will ask Commissioner Brown to purchase vehicles for 2014.
MOTION: to approve the sheriff's request to purchase two 2014 Dodge Ram pick-up trucks from Darling's at a cost of $24,264 each, to be paid from the Sheriff's 2014 vehicle account E10-70-300 and the Town Contract Reserve Account E12-70-300. (Brown/Joy 3-0, motion passed)
Hendrik Gideonse addressed the commissioners regarding the Meeting & Agenda Policy. He verbalized his disappointment with the result of the policy and presented ideas as to how to develop an accessible and user-friendly mechanism for public comment. The commissioners thanked Mr. Gideonse for his attendance and comments.
MOTION: to adjourn. (Blasi/Joy 3-0, motion passed)