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Advisory Board Minutes 2000-05-31

A Public Hearing on the FY 2001 Budget was held before the Regular Meeting of the County of Dukes County Advisory Board on Wednesday May 31, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the County Courthouse, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.

Members Present:        Ted Morgan, Chairman (Edgartown – 30.27)
                        Warren Doty (Chilmark – 18.88)
                        Roger Wey (Oak Bluffs – 16.62)
                        John Early  (West Tisbury – 13.51)
                Carl Widdiss (Aquinnah – 4.08)

Absent: Tristan Israel (Tisbury – 14.67)

Also Present:           Carol Borer, County Manager
Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant
                        Noreen Mavro Flanders, County Treasurer
                        Sheriff McCormack
                        Robert Culbert, Recreation, Water Testing, Director
                        David Kann, Director WWTF
                        Stephen Berlucchi, County Engineer
                        Dianne Powers, Register
                        Members of the Public
Chairman Morgan opened the Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m. Mr. Morgan asked the County Manager to present the FY2001 Budget.  Mrs. Borer ran through the various Departments and line items, noting significant increases and other points of interest.

Chairman Morgan invited questions.  Mr. Doty began by saying the 24% increase in the Budget as reported by the newspaper created a stir.  Mrs. Borer explained that 17% of what she thought was the 20% increase, is due to an increase in the Airport Budget.  Mrs. Borer noted that the County can only increase assessments to the towns by 2 ½% by law.  Mr. Wey asked if the surplus money could be used to reduce town assessments.  Discussion followed.  Mrs. Borer explained that the County is going to Bond.  Additional funds will help the County receive a good credit rating, so while Mrs. Borer agreed it could be done, she said it would not be considered good practice.  Mr. Morgan agreed, the County would not be able to do anything then.  There’d be no raises, no new programs.

Discussion followed about the $50,000 in Department 1500 that is set aside for the new Health & Human Services Coordinator.  Kathy Logue explained her belief that since the Access Program is up and running, it should be funded with the $50,000, rather than funding a new position.        

Advisory Board Public Hearing                                                   page 2
May 31, 2000

County Commissioner Sawyer introduced Sandra Lothrop, Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning Disabled Persons and mentioned the Survey for Independent Living that she conducted.  

Commissioner Sawyer stressed that the Dukes County Health Council (DCHC) does not administrate personnel in the County.

Murray Frank questioned the County’s decision to fund a new Health Coordinator, rather than putting the money into the existing Access Program.  County Manager, Carol Borer, explained it is a management decision, that the Advisory Board is here to discuss finances, not the function of the Coordinator.  Mr. Doty remarked that he was pleased to see more money being spent on Health Services, but he would like to see the DCHC receiving funding like the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority (DCRHA), and let them flourish.  The County Manager explained that the DCRHA was formed by special legislation.  It’s a regional agency.  Mr. Wey agreed with Mr. Doty.  Mr. Morgan asked where the money would come from?  Mr. Doty suggested allocating the $36,000 and making the new Coordinator a ½ time job.  Commissioner Sawyer voiced concern over the role of the Advisory Board.  He asked that the Board trust the way the County Commissioners and County Manager manage the County funds, that the Board trust their judgement. Discussion continued.  Mr. Early asked when the Budget was due.  Mrs. Borer explained that the Budget is late, and should be in Boston June 1.  Mr. Early said he was not prepared to act on the Budget.  Mrs. Borer said it didn’t make sense to fund ½ of a position.  Perhaps the $50,000 should be removed, and the $40,000 of it that came from Unreserved Fund Balance put back.  Mr. Morgan reminded the Board that the sooner the Budget is submitted, the sooner it can be passed and a Supplemental Budget submitted.  

Sandra Lothrop remarked that many of the suggestions she made after tallying the results of her Survey are incorporated in the new job description for the Health and Human Services Coordinator.

Commissioner Sawyer spoke about making the Access Program position a County employee, rather than a contract position.  Cynthia Mitchell asked if the $36,000 can be transferred from Department 1500 to the DCHC.  Mrs. Borer answered that it was not her recommendation.  Cynthia Mitchell wanted to know if it is possible if the County Commissioners and Advisory Board wish and Mrs. Borer said it would be up to them.  

Advisory Board Public Hearing                                                   page 3
May 31, 2000

Murray Frank asked about the Survey for Independent Living Results.  He would like to see them.  Mrs. Borer responded that they’re still being collated into a packet to distribute.  

Mr. Morgan asked for a description of the CAP regional Grant application.  Cynthia Mitchell gave an update.

The Public Hearing adjourned at 7:55 p.m. and the Advisory Board opened its meeting.

Mr. Widdis said he was comfortable with the fact that the County Commissioners acknowledge the needs of the Health Council and will deal with funding in the Supplemental Budget.  Mr. Early requested that the Budget be given back to the County Commissioners.  Mr. Doty said he applauds the work that’s already been done in health care, but feels the Intermunicipal Agreement process has been divisive.  He would like to see the DCHC funded in this Budget.  

Mr. Morgan called for a Motion.  Discussion followed, but no motion.  Mr. Morgan asked to hear from the County Commissioners.  Commissioner Jason said the idea is to serve the people of the Island.  The County Commissioners would like to see the Access Program position be made a County employee.  He wondered if the question was a matter of who the person is working for?  

Mr. Morgan said he wants to see the Budget approved so work can begin on a Supplemental Budget.  He said he is not in favor of taking the Budget apart after the County Manager and County Commissioners have worked on it.  That wouldn’t be good management.  He added if the Health Council needs money, they’ll get it.  They may just have to wait for it.

Discussion followed about the timing of the Supplemental Budget.  It would probably be in mid-July.  Again, Mr. Morgan called for a Motion.  Mr. Widdiss Moved that the County Budget be approved as presented and the Health Council be provided with additional funds as available in the Supplemental Budget.  Mr. Wey Seconded the Motion.  

Ted Morgan, Chairman (Edgartown – 30.27)   -Aye
                        Warren Doty (Chilmark – 18.88)                  -Aye
                        Roger Wey (Oak Bluffs – 16.62)                  -Aye
                John Early  (West Tisbury – 13.51)              -Nay
                Carl Widdiss (Aquinnah – 4.08)                  -Aye

The Motion passed.  

Advisory Board Public Hearing                                                   page 4
May 31, 2000

Mrs. Borer presented the Supplemental Budget Requests, remarking that they are primarily about benefits.  Discussion followed about the Administration Building.  Mr. Early asked for more than the floor plans that were presented.  He would like to see more drawings and elevations.  He also voiced concern about vegetation and visibility from the main road.  Mr. Morgan suggested approving everything except the funding for the Administration Building.

Mr. Early Moved that the Advisory Board approve the Supplemental Budget except the $150,000 transfer to Capital Projects.  Mr. Wey Seconded the Motion.
Ted Morgan, Chairman (Edgartown – 30.27)   -Aye
                        Warren Doty (Chilmark – 18.88)                  -Aye
                        Roger Wey (Oak Bluffs – 16.62)                  -Aye
                John Early  (West Tisbury – 13.51)              -Aye
                Carl Widdiss (Aquinnah – 4.08)                  -Aye

The Vote Passed Unanimously.
Mr. Early Moved to Adjourn.  Mr. Wey Seconded the Motion.  The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Ted Morgan, Chairman
County of Dukes County Advisory Board

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