Commonwealth of Massachusetts
County of Dukes County
Advisory Board on County Expenditures
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA 02539
Advisory Board: Arthur Smadbeck (Edgartown – 36.54%), Jeff Kristal (Tisbury – 14.86%), Skipper Manter (West Tisbury – 14.20%), Frank Fenner (Chilmark – 15.83%), Ron DiOrio (Oak Bluffs – 14.84%)
County Commissioners: Tom Hallahan, Melinda Loberg
County Staff: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant, Carol Grant – Assistant Treasurer, T.J. Hegarty – Director of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program
Meeting was called to order at 2:30 PM
- FY2012 Budget – 2nd draft (see attached)
Russell presented the changed budget with $4,364 surplus. Changes made:
- After the job description review some people were re-graded and some were red lined. The changes were incorporated into each department. The total additional expense is about $9-10K.
- In line 1210 there is $10K reserved for 2% COLA.
- Dept. 1400 - Economic Development there was $10K removed for the Chamber.
- Dept. 600 – Courthouse there is increase for repair & maintenance of the building so the railing can be installed by the front steps and lawn repaired.
- Dept. 610 – Administration Building – increase in miscellaneous contractual line to fix a broken window and to plug in the generator.
(The brackets are error in formatting, they are not negative numbers.)
Ron asked Russell if he rejected the grant writing idea since he took the $10K out and is there any specific percentage of the license plate money that we need to spend on economic development? Russell said that we do things that would fall under the obligation. Art said that if all the money ($100K) which was historically put into general operation of the County was truly spent on economic development the County would be in trouble. Tom said that we should for the record identify activities we are doing that could be interpreted as economic development. Martina made couple points why the generator would be useful, mainly because the County is required to have a disaster plan and Treasurer’s Office is required to be able to produce payroll checks on time and we do not have any alternative option right now for continuation
of county operations. The cost could be lowered by only budgeting enough for the material needed and acquire labor through community correction program. Russell said it would be place close to the communications center and the Airport that could be used in cases of emergency for coordination efforts. Skipper, Jeff & Ron were against the idea to hook up the generator and requested to take the $5,200 out. Art said that there would be additional cost needed in the future for maintenance too. Tom said that since the generator was a surplus property donated to us by the Coast Guard we can not sell it. Question was raised if the County is required to pay employees in case of power outage and their inability to work. Skipper suggested exploring if County could use the Airport or VTA facility in case of longer power outage.
Line by line review:
Skipper suggested taking out the 2.5% increase on assessment ($21K) and adding it at the bottom if needed.
Jeff asked for actual revenue numbers for FY2009 and FY2010 to be on the cover sheet as opposed to budgeted numbers.
Dept. 300 – The increase is due to re-grading. Skipper asked if there was any discussion for reorganization in Commissioners office due to Sheriff’s departure and reduction of work load. Martina said that there was not much the office did for the Sheriff. At the last meeting a spreadsheet was presented by the Treasurer showing how the responsibilities of the Treasurer’s Office changed and hours were reduced and some were picked up by the Parking Clerk’s office for processing of tickets etc.
Skipper wanted to see the money that was freed up by the towns taking over higher percentage of the non-mandated programs and the savings shifting back to towns. Art said that there are lots of little increases in expenses that ad up and use up the money even though we were hoping to reduce the county budget this way.
Dept. 310 – Parking Clerk – Carol said that Noreen at the last meeting gave a breakdown of reduction in hours at the Treasurer’s Office due to the Sheriff’s departure and what other activities were picked up instead. Ron asked if the parking tickets processing is a losing proposition. Art said that once the software is paid off, it will break even. Carol said the towns receive 85% of the revenue from parking tickets and treasurers receive monthly revenue reports and how many tickets were processed. Some towns cut back on writing tickets. The processing of tickets on-line will be done shortly. Jeff asked if Carol figured out the difference of charging $10 fee instead of 3% for credit card payments.
Dept. 600 – Skipper said that the Courthouse needs lots of work and the county does not have the money to do it and we should be looking for a long term solution to take care of the historic building in the heart of Edgartown (possibly give it to other organization in order not to lose it to the State). Art said that the Preservation Trust does not have the money to fix it. Skipper said they at least don’t have to pay prevailing wages to contractors etc. Art hoped that the State will be involved in the long run and help us financially.
Pine Street rent – $12K for a back lot behind the jail from the State to rent it. One building is housing county emergency equipment, the other as women’s holding cell.
Dept. 1000 – the $2K is for our share of the actuarial study for OPEB. There was no study in FY2011.
Dept. 1210 – reserve for COLA for employees (7), no COLA for the Manager and elected officials. Oak Bluffs will have no COLA. West Tisbury will be giving 1%, Edgartown 1.56%, Tisbury 1.7%. All but Ron agreed to give the 2% COLA. Skipper asked if the COLA can be built into each department after it is voted by DCC.
Dept. 2000 – Trustees of Reservations contract will end this year. They are coming to inform the DCC about raising the fees.
Dept. 2200 – Emergency Management - questions about education cost, number of vehicles, Chucks role as logistics coordinator for the town emergency managers.
Dept. 3200 – Integrated Pest Management – the payroll increase is due to re-grading after the job description was revised. Skipper asked to see the results of the re-grading at their next meeting, where people where and where they ended up.
Dept. 3500- there will be two more years after FY2012 of Sheriff’s Maintenance of Effort. After that the assessment will drop by that amount.
Total $4,364 - $21K (2.5%) + $5,200 (generator hook up out) = - $11, 436 – this is how much extra revenue would be needed if the 2.5% is taken out.
Frank asked if the $5K for homeless that was voted to be added to the FY2011 budget will be budgeted for FY2012 or if there are any plans in that area. Russell said not at this time.
Tom said that the reserve fund has $95K and the audit suggested having about $100K.
Ron, Jeff, Frank, Art agreed to the 2.5% to stay in the budget. Skipper was against it.
Ron/ Skipper moved to adjourn the meeting at 3:50 p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts
Documents presented at the meeting and part of the official records:
- 2nd draft of FY2012 budget
- Letter from Jo Ann Murphy, the employees’ representative regarding COLA
- Letter from MA DOR with weighted vote calculation for FY 2012 & 2013