Commonwealth of Massachusetts
County of Dukes County
ADVISORY BOARD ON COUNTY EXPENDITURES
Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
County Administration Building, 9 Airport Rd, Edgartown, MA
Members Present: Arthur Smadbeck - Edgartown 35.96%
Jeff Kristal – Tisbury 14.86%
Skipper Manter – West Tisbury 14.20%
Ron DiOrio – Oak Bluffs 14.87%
Also Present: County Manager Russell H. Smith
Exec. Assistant Martina Thornton
County Treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders
Meeting called to order at 2:10 p.m.
Skipper Manger/Art Smadbeck moved to approve the Minutes of a meeting on October 13, 2009. In favor: Art Smadbeck, Skipper Manger. Abstained: Ron DiOrio and Jeff Kristal. Motion carries (50.16%)
County Treasurer said that the Chapter 102 of the Acts of 2009 which required that we increase the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for the Sheriff by 2.5% and appropriate the entire year even though the Sheriffs are being transferred on January 1, 2010. This Act also states that we have to pay the second half of the MOE back to the Commonwealth ($265,122) to cover the second half of the retirement assessment for the Sheriff’s employees. The half of the retirement assessment is only $167K. So, as it stood we were required to pay to the Commonwealth $100K of our money without a Dukes is the only county that is negatively affected by the legislation; all other counties will pay much less than half of their actual retirement assessment.
Therefore, Russell and Noreen worked with Senator O’Leary’s and Representative Tim Madden’s offices to change Section 39 of the supplemental budget which amended Chapter 61 (the Sheriff’s Bill) to say that the payment shall not exceed half of the actual share of the FY2010 retirement assessment. This is reflected in the present draft#12 of the FY2010 budget (see attached) in line 3500. We can now use the rest of the MOE for payment of the Sheriff’s retirees’ health and other unfunded liabilities. There will be an actuarial study done by PERAC to see what the total unfunded liability is. The Sheriff’s MOE will continue to be assessed to the towns at the FY2009 level until the liability is paid off, it will be about $2 million, so the projection is that it could be
paid of in about 4 years. The original legislation said that after we pay it off the Sheriff’s MOE would go to the Commonwealth. This was taken out and now the County assessment to the towns can be lowered by that amount, which would bring it down to about $300K and the annual 2.5% increase will only be calculated on that amount. The other change in the Sheriff’s Bill was that if the Sheriff’s properties that are being transferred over to the Commonwealth are not being used by the Sheriff any more the County will have a right of first refusal for 60 days at a nominal fee.
Skipper would like to see reduction in expenses in the Treasurer’s Office due to the departure of the Sheriff and reduction of work. Art said that the DCC offered to MV Commission to do their books. Noreen said we offered the same to the Refuse District and the Housing Authority. It was one of the recommendations of the Charter Study not to duplicate the administration in all the regional organizations. She sees it as additional source of revenue for the County. Skipper said that could be shown as separate sub-lines under the Treasurer’s Office. The Center for Living is also asking to be under the County’s umbrella. The Airport is looking into having bi-weekly payroll schedule (26 pay periods per year instead of 24).
Russell said that the County is doing better going from FY2009 budget where $90K was used from the unreserved fund to balance the budget to FY2010 where the budget is balanced. Art said that the towns started taking over financing of the non-mandated programs, which is helping. The animal shelter is not intended to be a new county department, it is temporary. If the bills go higher than 2.5% of the increase of the assessment the towns will address the issue then. Skipper said that as long as County is paying 90/10 for health insurance it would be hard to argue an override. Noreen said that the 75/25 split will be in place for FY2011 as the DCC committed to it and a sub-committee is working on it. The County does not have a growth factor that the towns have. There was one County override in 1993. She would present a
comparison of county employee to town employees and if you look at a step increases and COLA’s even with the 90/10 health insurance split the county employees are still way behind the town employees. Noreen said that the MV Commission and the MV Land Bank is also using the 90/10. Russell said he will try to keep the employees harmless in the transition to 75/25. Noreen said that the Airport will only need to impact bargain the decision and Sean is on board.
Ron DiOrio/ Jeff Kristal moved to rescind the previously adopted FY2010 budget. In favor: Tisbury, West Tisbury, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown. Motion approved.
Ron DiOrio/ Jeff Kristal moved to approve the revised FY2010 budget as presented by the Treasurer. Discussion: Skipper would like to see reduction in expenses in the Treasurer’s office due to reduction of the workload when Sheriff leaves the County. In favor: Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury. Opposed: West Tisbury. Motion carries.
The County Treasurer presented a Letter from the Airport asking to move funds from the unreserved fund balance to capital project funds with explanation on what would each of the transferred funds be used for. See letter attached. It was approved by the Airport Commission. Skipper questioned if the money must be spent and that he would not be against reducing some of the fees like landing fees.
Ron DiOrio/ Skipper Manter moved to approve the transfer as presented. In favor: West Tisbury, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and Edgartown. Motion carries.
Meeting adjourned at 3:10pm.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts