A meeting of the County Advisory Board was held on December 30, 2002 at 5:00 PM in the Conference Room of the County Administration Building, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.
Members Present: Ted Morgan, Chairman (Edgartown – 31.58)
Richard Combra (Oak Bluffs – 15.15)
John Early (West Tisbury – 14.18)
Tristan Israel (Tisbury – 13.58) (7:37 PM)
Warren Doty (Chilmark – 20.48)
Absent: Carl Widdiss (Aquinnah – 3.30)
Also Present: Carol Borer, County Manager
Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant
Noreen Mavro Flanders, County Treasurer
Dianne Powers, Register of Deeds
William Weibrecht, Airport Manager
Sean Flynn, Assistant Airport Manager
Robert Sawyer, County Commissioner
Roger Wey, County Commissioner
John Alley, County Commissioner
Leslie Leland, County Commission Chair
Paul Strauss, County Commissioner elect
Ezra Blair, MV Times
Jonathan Burke, Vineyard Gazette
Jacque Cage, Health Council
Joanne Jernegan (5:17 PM)
Chairman Morgan opened the meeting at 5:00 PM.
Tristan Israel Moved that the Minutes of December 19, 2002 be Accepted with an amendment stated by Tristan Israel adding to his statement in paragraph 2 of page 2 that ‘so he could explain to people who were asking about it.’ John Early Seconded the Motion. The Minutes were Accepted with Warren Doty Abstaining.
Carol Borer reviewed that the Advisory Board had sent the Supplemental Budget Transfers back to the County Commissioners for review. The Commissioners met December 23, 2003 and voted to approve the Supplemental Budget Transfers, to approve Transfers for Capital Airport Projects and to approve an appropriation of $5000 for the Health Council, $4000 for operating costs and $1000 for the MV Health Report. Warren Doty asked about the Unreserved Fund Balance. Chairman Morgan asked where money would come from if something suddenly happened and there was a problem. Carol Borer said prior to June 30th, the County should receive the $108,000 plus interest that was being held by the Airport, pending a rental agreement for this County building.
Commissioner Roger Wey said that he had attended the County Commission meeting and voted to approve the Supplemental Budget, but had he known then what he’d learned since, he wouldn’t have. He voiced concern about using up the $40,791.50 and wondered how the County would pay a new County Manager if hired in March. He added the Temporary Help line could be ‘eaten up’ quickly. Commissioner Wey suggested that since there were still so many questions, everything else be approved but the decision on this be put off.
Carol Borer said the $108,000 had been held in reserve through two audits and its release (by FAA) would follow approval of an appraisal of the County Administration Building, the Communications Center and the Ropes Course.
Commissioner Sawyer voiced concern, saying he did not know all the details of the issues. He added that the vote to approve had been 4 – 2 and that the vote to approve Budget Transfers would not have passed had it been done now. Commissioner Sawyer said he’d asked the County Manager to provide, for the January 8th meeting, a list of payables so the Commissioners could see what bills were sitting out there. Commissioner Sawyer suggested dealing with everything except the County Manager’s lines and respectfully asked that those be sent back to the Commissioners.
Tristan Israel said he had reservations and questions. He said it was the people’s business and it needed to be clear. He added that people were commenting on it and that he’d received a packet of information from Joanne Jernigan containing the Fair Labor Standards Act that says one needs a prior agreement in order to take compensatory time. He mentioned many issues, including whether the $18,000 for Temporary Help would end up being spent in court because of issues with the Airport. He said he was not suggesting there was anything improper, but he said there were issues and he suggested the County Commissioners look at this again.
The County Manager said $18,000 was 40 hours/week for 10 weeks and that she’d talked with the Chair and knew it would mean not being available for all meetings so money could be saved for the new County Manager.
Chairman Morgan asked about the advertisements for the new County Manager. Carol Borer said there were ads on 5 websites and in the Gazette. She added the Globe would cost over $1400 and she wasn’t sure about that yet. Tristan Israel asked again if this would be used to go to court about the airport. The County Manager said it was an hourly wage. Tristan Israel said the issue was that there was a legal action against the County and he assumed the County Manager would be involved and paid to go to court. Carol Borer said it should be discussed with the County Commissioners who needed to set the priorities for the County Manager’s time. Mrs. Borer added that the suit was filed in Superior Court either Thursday or Friday and not everyone had been served yet so it was up to the County
Commissioners or perhaps attorneys.
Richard Combra asked Treasurer Flanders if any portion of the money had been paid and Noreen Flanders said yes. Richard Combra asked about that process. Mrs. Flanders said there were calculations that were normally signed by Department Heads and the County Manager and the employee so the County Manager and the Chair of the County Commissioners signed and the Treasurer paid. Mrs. Flanders said as with other employees, the pay was Vacation Buy Back, then Sick Buy Back.
Chairman Morgan reiterated then that a portion had been paid and the Treasurer said yes. Chairman Morgan asked how much and the Treasurer answered $21,157.25. Richard Combra questioned how it was paid when the Advisory Board had not yet approved the transfer from the salary line. Treasurer Flanders said the separate line was an accounting issue and this was a ‘run of the mill thing.’ Mrs. Flanders added if she thought it was going to be a major discussion, it wouldn’t have happened. She said other employees had received large sums of Buy Back and that she hadn’t known it was an issue.
Tristan Israel said this made the Advisory Board superfluous. He asked what was the point to seeing this now? He said the Board needed to know about things like this as it carried forward.
Chairman Morgan said something was wrong. He said the Advisory Board was there to act on the Transfers and they shouldn’t have been paid until the Advisory Board understood the questions. Chairman Morgan said the Advisory Board didn’t have the majority feeling of the County Commissioners. He said he read the Job Description and realized that Carol Borer had many responsibilities and that the County functioned differently than towns, but he said it seemed when it came to finances, the County Commissioners should be aware of what was in Supplementary Budgets and the Advisory Board should have a recommendation from the County Commissioners first. In this case, they didn’t have that, so they postponed the decision and Chairman Morgan said it was disappointing to see that they were to act after the fact.
Warren Doty asked for clarification of the Vacation pay, noting the Sick Buy Back seemed clear, 20% of the total days, equaling 14.75. He asked how Vacation time was carried over and how it could be accrued without ever taking any.
Noreen Flanders explained that people could be paid for ½ of their accrued vacation, though not in the first year. She said Carol Borer was different because she was not under the Plan. Employees and the County Manager and Department Heads could agree to carry vacation and some employees can’t take vacation sometimes and were paid. Warren Doty said most towns have policies that allow carryover into the second year of only so many hours. In this case, he noted, 55 days accrued. He asked shouldn’t there have been a cut off according to Personnel Bylaws?
Carol Borer said there was never any written policy for the County Manager regarding carryover or use of comp time, never written or oral. Warren Doty said in town, the Executive Secretary didn’t get comp time. It would have to be approved. Chairman Morgan said Personnel Bylaws in towns cover comp time and one could not collect for it. Discussion followed with Chairman Morgan saying it would have to be in the Bylaws.
Tristan Israel referred to Fair Labor Standard Act sections noting that Compensatory Time use in lieu of Overtime required an agreement prior to work.
Ted Morgan, Chairman
County of Dukes County Advisory Board