County of Dukes County
Advisory Board for County Expenditures
May 24, 2006 at 7 p.m.
County Administration Building
Call to order
Chairman John Early of West Tisbury (15.11%) called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. Also present were Art Smadbeck of Edgartown (31.40%) and Frank Fenner of Chilmark (19.2%), and establishing that 65.71% of the weighted votes were present. Other attendees included E. Winn Davis, County Manager; Dianne Powers, Register of Deeds; Noreen Mavro Flanders, Dukes County Treasurer; Sean Flynn, Martha's Vineyard Airport Manager; Bea Phear, Martha's Vineyard Donor’s Collaborative; and Deborah Potter, Executive Assistant to take minutes.
Chairman Early addressed the Airport Transfers first to assist Sean Flynn who needed to leave.
Airport Transfers: Mr. Flynn advised that transfers 1-18 are related to employees who have left, started, or to address necessary changes in salaries as a result of the Union contract being signed.
Mr. Flynn advised that transfers 19 and 20 relate to transferring funds from unused retirement to overtime and part time personnel expenses while number 21 is the result of some employees leaving and some with vacation buy outs.
Mr. Flynn also reported that numbers 22 and 23 related to increased electric and fuel expenses while number 24 relates to paying the newly hired Assistant Airport Manager.
Mr. Flynn noted that number 27 related to expenses incurred to correct a drainage problem while number 28 regards changes to the security fencing.
Mr. Flynn advised that transfers 31-37 relate to the wastewater. He noted that there were no unpaid bills for the wastewater treatment plant and that Mr. Eldridge’s salary was increased two steps as the result of his superior performance.
Art Smadbeck asked about the difference between the transfers regarding some employees that are dramatically different. Sean Flynn explained that the differences arise from whether it relates to a Step/Cola increase as opposed to someone being no longer employed with the airport. Frank Fenner asked that if the two-step increase for Michael Eldrigde will skew the next year’s budget and Mr. Flynn stated it would and that at the first advisory board meeting for next year there will be a transfer to cover the change.
With no further questions, Art Smadbeck moved, seconded by Frank Fenner, to approve the transfers as recommended by Sean Flynn and SO VOTED with the following roll call vote:
West Tisbury: Aye
Adoption of Minutes
The minutes of April 12, 2006 were deferred due to a lack of a quorum of CAB members present.
Mr. Davis advised the board that the decision for the ongoing litigation has been decided and the treble damages have been removed. He noted that county will just have to pay the attorney’s fees while the previous unpaid salary and interest will come from funds already set aside by the Airport. He reported that the County Commissioners and the Airport Commissioners have both agreed not to pursue any further action on the underlying case with 4-1-0 for the DCC (with Robert Sawyer against and Paul Strauss and Nelson Smith absent) and the airport commissioners were 5-0-0 (with Mr. Condon and Mr. Craig absent).
Mr. Davis also reported that they reached an agreement this evening with the Airport Commissioners regarding the rent/back support issue that identifies the rent relative to the time of occupancy. He noted that based on these figures the county will get a credit of $79,868.20 providing the FAA approves of the arrangement.
Mr. Davis added that other highlights of the numbers show the payment of expenses and that based on the efforts of the Sheriff, Register of Deeds, and the County, the departments are able to offer a 3% COLA for a six month period. He noted that while the Sheriff and the Register of Deeds can pay a full 3% for the entire year, the County Administration is not in a position to do so. Consequently, he added, the Sheriff and the Register of Deeds are willing to do a six month COLA, back to January, in the spirit of cooperation between all departments.
Mr. Davis continued that a couple of major issues included the omission of the liability insurance, the increased fuel and electric expenses, and other increases dramatically impacted the budget but through a variety of changes, such as not replacing employee vacancies, savings did occur. He added that one savings that I did not want to see was the loss of Ms. Potter to the airport; however, as part of the new level of cooperation between the Airport and the County, she is currently on their payroll but will be working between both positions to help keep things on track until a replacement can be hired.
Mr. Davis noted that based on recent developments the following changes need to be made to the presented documents (but correctly show in the documents on file):
Line 51014 Deborah Potter: Change to $1762.41
Line 52710 New Line: Change to $210 for a recent auto repair bill.
Page 4 Interdepartmental Transfers
From County Commissioners: $3,628.00 (Salary)
$3,318.20 (Health Insurance)
Misc. New Line 52900: Cape and Islands EMS $5383.38
Mr. Davis added that the Cape and Islands EMS charge went from $5,500 to $11,000 without notice. He noted that he has complained to them and to our representative noting that the County earns nothing for the service but pays for it to the benefit of the town’s ambulance services who are reimbursed by the insurance companies. He added that he notified Cape and Islands EMS that he will not pay for the full amount next but will continue paying the $5,500 budgeted with the towns picking up the other half. Mr. Smadbeck asked if the towns have been notified and Mr. Davis stated that he was in the process of doing that. Mr. Early asked what services do the Cape and Islands EMS service provide and after some discussion Mr. Early suggested getting an accounting from them for exactly what it covered as this may not be a
good use of funds.
Mr. Davis noted that the budget is still balanced and the transfers just move monies around within departments. With no further questions, Art Smadbeck moved, seconded by Frank Fenner to approve the Intradepartmental Transfers as presented (with amendments) by the following roll call vote:
West Tisbury: Aye
With no further questions, Art Smadbeck moved, seconded by Frank Fenner to approve the Interdepartmental Transfers as presented (with amendments) by the following roll call vote:
West Tisbury: Aye
Mr. Davis stated the Supplemental budget for FY06 takes the surpluses and redirects them to the COLA that keeps county employees from falling even further behind the towns.
With no further questions, Art Smadbeck moved, seconded by Frank Fenner to approve the Supplemental Appropriation as presented (with amendments) by the following roll call vote:
West Tisbury: Aye
Mr. Davis reported on one last item noting that the county is always looking for revenue enhancements. He stated that one idea was the Martha's Vineyard license plate. He noted the county would need 1500 applications with a non-refundable fee plus a bond of $100,000 to start the process with the registry. He added the bond is to ensure that 1500 applications will be processed over the first two years. He continued that once the 3000 applicants have signed up, the bond would be dissolved and returned to the County. Mr. Davis added that because we are a municipality we could get the bond issued with little problem while the actual cost to us will be about 5 to 10 percent of the bond and he thinks that the county might be able to pay for it with the regular budget.
John Early asked how much revenue would be generated and Mr. Davis noted that if all 3000 are sold how much revenue $90,000 will be generated. Mr. Smadbeck asked how much revenue is generated from the Cape and Islands plate and Mr. Davis replied about $115,000 but that is earmarked for tourism issues. Mr. Davis added that the effects on the Cape and Island plate should be minimal as 75% of the purchasers of the Cape and Islands license plate are not residents of the Cape and Islands.
Bea Phear noted that the Martha's Vineyard Donors Collaborative is going forward with their license plate and they have submitted a request to the high school for the design of the logo. She noted that the group would put the money into a revolving fund with the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha's Vineyard to be used for grants for island charities. She added that Mr. Davis met with the group and they felt there was no benefit to collaborating with the county other than the ability of the county to provide the bond. She noted that the Martha's Vineyard Donor’s Collaborative is willing to take the funding for the bond but any collaboration must be within the mission they have identified for the group. She noted that the VHCAP should be an eligible recipient of funds from their project.
Mr. Smadbeck stated that he doesn’t support the effort because if another group is already fairly far down the road he doesn’t feel the county should get involved. Mr. Early noted that he agreed. Mr. Fenner questioned the use of public funds to support the efforts of a private group.
Dianne Powers noted that if the Martha's Vineyard plate goes into effect, the County would have to keep an eye on the effects that it has on our budget. Mr. Smadbeck added that we need to monitor the status of the revenue changes to the Cape and Islands license closely and adjust our efforts accordingly.
Upon MOTION by Arthur Smadbeck, seconded by Frank Fenner, the meeting Adjourned at 7:41 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts