A meeting of the Dukes County Advisory Board was held on January 23, 2003 at 12:00 Noon in the Conference Room of the County Administration Building, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.
Members Present: John Early (West Tisbury – 14.18)
Tristan Israel (Tisbury – 13.58)
Richard Combra (Oak Bluffs – 15.15)
Warren Doty (Chilmark – 20.48)
Absent: Carl Widdiss (Aquinnah – 3.30)
Vacant (Edgartown – 31.58)
Also Present: Dianne Powers, Deputy County Manager
Ezra Blair, MV Times
Paul Strauss, County Commissioner
Vice Chairman Early opened the meeting at noon, the purpose being to elect a new chairman and act on a budget transfer and appoint a representative to the County Manager Screening Committee.
Tristan Israel nominated John Early as Chairman, Richard Combra seconded
VOTE: 3 Ayes, 1 Abstention (Early)
Chairman Early reviewed the request that the meeting be postponed and informed the committee that in order for the County to move forward with an interim plan and reviewed the requested transfer of $18,000.00 from line 51009 (Carol Borer) to line 51101 (Temporary Employees).
Ms. Powers informed the committee that the County had hoped to have a plan in place by now but were not able to hold their regularly scheduled meeting on January 22 due to an error in posting. The Commissioners will meet on Tuesday January 28 and will have a plan in place by then. Chairman Early reported that he had spoken with the Chairman of the County Commissioners and that he had asked that this transfer be made and the expenditure of funds be contingent on the submission of a plan to the Advisory Board. Mr. Doty expressed his frustration with the current situation in the County, specifically that there is no resolution to any of the issues this Board has asked the County Commissioners to resolve. Ms. Powers reported that Commissioner’s Smith and Strauss are working on their investigation regarding the events leading up to Mrs.
County Advisory Board Meeting
Borer’s departure and that they hope to have a report completed by the 28th. She also reported that administrative leave was granted to the Executive Assistant pending resolution of letters received by the County from her attorneys. Mr. Combra felt he would not be willing to vote the $18,000.00 without seeing the interim plan first. He suggested that a smaller sum of money be transferred to the Temporary Employee line for a short-term solution.
Richard Combra moved that there be a transfer of $2,000.00 from line 51009 to line 51101. Seconded by Tristan Israel.
Mr. Israel reminded all that we need to review the open meeting law on a regular basis.
Discussion followed between all parties.
The Chairman called for the vote:
Oak Bluffs yes
West Tisbury yes
Mr. Doty expressed concern over the County assessment, the expense and what it is used for. He wanted to know what our income was from Cape & Island license plates. Ms. Flanders responded that it was approximately $40,000. He asked if the income from C & I license plates could be targeted for the MV Commission. He also wanted to know if the County got an assessment from the MV Commission and if not, has the County contributed to the MV Commission. Ms. Flanders responded that the County does not have an assessment by the MVC and that it has not contributed to it since it left the County. Mr. Doty requested that the County Commissioners consider that the income from C & I license plates be earmarked to the MVC. Ms. Flanders reported that by statute the monies generated through the C & I license plates must be used for tourism and economic development and that currently it is used for the Recreation Department. Mr. Israel would like to see monies earmarked for human services and he suggested that there are other sources available to generate revenue.
Mr. Doty and Mr. Israel spoke about their concerns with the rise in budgets Island wide and possible suggestions. Mr. Early reminded the board that the County is structured by statute and that it is the Advisory Board’s responsibility to bring the information to their Towns since there is no other mechanism to do it.
Mr. Early asked the Board for a representative to the County Manager Screening Committee.
County Advisory Board Meeting
Warren Doty moved to appoint Tristan Israel as the Advisory Boards representative to the County Manager Screening Committee. Seconded by Richard Combra.
The motion carried unanimously.
Joanna Jernegan asked if the Committee knew when the last performance evaluation was done for Mrs. Borer. She heard from a former County Commissioner that there has not been one done in the last three years. Mrs. Flanders replied that the evaluation is done by the County Commissioners on an annual basis. Mrs. Flanders offered to look up minutes from past meetings to determine when those were done. Mr. Early clarified that this information was furnished to a County Commissioner’s meeting, not the Advisory Board.
Woody Williams commented on the necessity to review the open meeting laws. Discussion followed.
Paul Strauss reported that the investigation into the situation surrounding Carol’s departure is moving along. He and Nelson Smith have had interviews with several people. To date they have found that the numbers that Carol Borer used for buybacks (sick leave and vacation) are consistent with the dollar amounts on the checks. The question that immediately comes to mind is, are the days right? Sick days appear to be correct. The vacation buyback has more uncertainties and unanswered questions at this point. The next question is do the personnel by-laws apply to Carol Borer or not? They will be looking to speak with County Counsel as well.
The Board members discussed the usage of vacation days and the concept of vacation buyback along with the process of payment of those monies. Mrs. Flanders reminded the Board that by law we must pay the departing employee within a prescribed amount of time.
Ms. Jernegan brought up the issue of compensatory time for discussion. Mr. Strauss assured the meeting that the issue is being looked into.
Tristan Israel moved that the meeting be adjourned. Richard Combra seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 1:10PM
John G. Early, Chairman
Dukes County Advisory Board
County Advisory Board Meeting