Dukes County Commission
Advisory Board on County Expenditures
Joint Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Vineyard Transit Authority Building
11 A Street Airport Business Park, Edgartown, MA 02539
Commissioner Present: Tristan Israel, Melinda Loberg, Tom Hallahan, Lenny Jason, Les Leland, Carlene Gatting
Advisory Board: Arthur Smadbeck (Edgartown – 35.96%), Jeff Kristal (Tisbury – 14.86%), Skipper Manter (West Tisbury – 14.20%)
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer, Sarah Kuh – Director of Vineyard Health Care Access Program, T.J. Hegarty – Director of Integrated Pest Management Program, Jo Ann Murphy – Veteran’s Agent, Sean Flynn – Airport Manager, Elaine Graves – Airport Financial Administrator
*Others: Denys Wortman, Tad Crawford, Jonathan Snyder; Remy Tumin from Vineyard Gazette, Joanie Ames from MVTV
County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order at 5:15 PM
1. Manager’s Report
Planting on State Beach – 25 Rosa Rugosas, 25 beach plums and 50 bundles of beach grass were planted with help of the volunteers. Thank-you goes to Patrick Parker from the Barrier Beach Task Force and to Brian Kennedy for supplying the labor of the Community Corrections Program
Dredging of channel by Little Bridge – will be done next week.
Safety fence at Big Bridge – to prevent accidents by falling into the street. The State took the request for some permanent solution under consideration and will let us know the decision. We provided them with couple suggestions. Work on both bridges should be finished by the end of May. Russell said if the State does nothing he is planning to install the same preventive snow fence as last year, when it was done collectively with the Oak Bluffs and Edgartown Highway Departments. He will contact the state representatives and write a letter on behalf of the commissioners with concern.
County Advisory Board meeting was called to order at 5.25 PM
2. Joint Public Hearing on the FY2012 County Budget
Tristan read the notice of public hearing as printed in the newspaper. Russell said that this budget was presented to both boards previously and did not change since. Tristan read the whole budget coversheet by line. The total surplus is $9,564. The only pass was on line 3400 Registry of Deeds by Noreen. She stated that the amount in the general fund budget is only the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) but the actual Registry budget is not included and according to the Auditors’ Management Letter the Registry budget (about $370K) should be voted and money appropriated as well. It does not change the county budget as the difference between the MOE and the actual budget is paid from special funds other than county general fund. Russell said he will distribute it for a vote at the next meeting. Art Smadbeck said that the $501K that is being used to
pay off the Sheriff’s retiree unfunded liability (about $1 million) should only be there for another 2+ year and once the liabilities are paid off in full the town assessment will be decreased by that number.
Tom/Carlene moved to approve the FY2012 County budget as presented. Unanimous.
Skipper asked for the Advisory Board to take a vote on the budget after they have a change to review the Registry of Deeds budget as well. Martina made a comment that the Registry of Deeds budget does not affect the County budget as the MOE that is part of the County budget is set by law and can not be changed. The consensus of the Advisory Board was to wait.
3. Airport FY2011 Supplemental Budget No. 1 – Sean Flynn
The Airport is trying to correct their budget based on new demands during the year. The biggest changes are in personnel and expenses due to major technical upgrades (web server, phone system). Also the Airport’s portion of a grant project is included. There will be a new airline service added this summer with aircraft for up to 100 passengers and the Airport needs to buy new equipment (furniture etc.) to accommodate new needs. Originally the Airport was build for 35-seat aircraft and currently servicing up to 50-seat aircraft. The total increase in expenses is $414K, which is offset by $80K increase in revenue, $80K was encumbered and $253K is being transferred from the unreserved fund balance. The Airport Commission approved both the supplemental and FY2012 budgets as presented. Tom asked why the retiree health line went up so much. Sean
said that one person retired and this is the change to reflect it.
Carlene/Melinda moved to approve the Airport’s supplemental FY2011 budget as presented. In favor: Carlene, Tristan, Les, Lenny, Melinda. Abstained: Tom.
Jeff/Art moved to approve the Airport’s supplemental FY2011 budget as presented. In favor: Jeff (14.86%), Art (35.96%). Oppose: Skipper (14.20%). Motion carries. (50.82%)
Sean informed all that he plans to present another supplemental budget for FY2011 in June.
*Denys Wortman left.
4. Sheriff’s retiree unfunded liability – Noreen Mavro Flanders
The County employees’ and retirees’ assessment for FY2011 is $300K; we have appropriated $279K in the FY2012 budget. We will pay the difference from the Sheriff’s $501K, so not all of it will go to fund the Sheriff’s retiree unfunded liability. We could have a funding plan for up to 6 year according to PERAC.
Tom/Carlene moved that the Sheriff’s retiree unfunded liability will be paid under 3 years. All in favor.
Art said that the Advisory Board understands it and appreciates the vote and supports the decision that it be paid off in well under 3 years.
*all left, but the County Commissioners, Russell, Noreen, Martina, Remy from the Gazette and Joanie from MVTV.
5. Manager’s Report – continuation
CGI video production - thanks to the National Association of Counties we will be able to produce 7 – 60 second videos to promote the County and its attributes and put it on the county website. Russell contacted one person in each town to review the outline about their town. Each of the 6 island towns will have one clip; the Chamber of Commerce will have the 7th. Russell said that maybe we will be able to do one for Cuttyhunk as well.
6. Old Business List
Carlene asked about the long-term renovations at the Courthouse. Russell said he is currently working on repairing the windows. He would also like to get the building painted at the same time the gutters are installed, so the two contractors can share the cost of the electric lift. There is no funding for any other projects. The State pays 81% of the maintenance cost of the building and the changes we did last year the State will pick up 81% of this year. Noreen said that we received two quarters in September and nothing since. The 4th quarter is usually paid around July 15th and the 3rd quarter (reconciliation quarter) comes sometime in August. Noreen gave the state a report on how much was actually spent in FY2010 and they pay 81% of that. In recent years we did receive the full 81% and sometimes we
also get an administration fee. It all depends how much the state appropriated and how much money is left after they pay all their private leases.
Two years ago we received $170K for repair of the roof from DCAM which was an emergency. Carlene directed Russell to ask for funding again before the electrical system rises to the level of emergency. Russell said that before it became an emergency the State would give us permission to borrow the funds for capital projects, not give it to us. He agreed to write a letter to DCAM asking for new funding. He has estimate for the electrical work that needs to be done. Carlene raised a question if the County can carry out the cost of maintenance of the building long-term.
Melinda suggested looking into disposition of the building and developing a plan. Carlene said it was part of the Charter Study discussion and the State would have to agree for the County to turn it over to someone other than the State. Noreen asked what we would do with the Registry of Deeds. Tristan asked to be put on a future agenda for discussion.
Tristan asked Commissioners to look at the Old Business List and make suggestions of what should stay and what should be taken off.
Russell reported again on the House Bill 1304 to increase fees at the Registry of Deeds and the revenue coming to the County, which now had become an amendment of the House’s budget. Noreen said it has a better chance of passing as the State would pick up $10million in revenue. Les asked how it would affect the County budget. Noreen said she will get an estimate from Diane by the next meeting.
Tristan pointed out that the island residents do not utilize the Cape Light Compact programs as much as they could. There is a lot of money left in their budget and he encouraged people to use it. Martina added that the energy audit is free and available not only to private homes but to businesses also.
Next meeting is a mandatory date – May 18th at 5pm.
Tom/Carlene moved to close the open session and go into executive session for purposes of contract negotiations and not to return to an open session. In favor: Tom, Carlene, Melinda, Tristan, Lenny, Les.
All left but the county commissioners (will take minutes also).
Open session meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts
Documents presented at the meeting and part of the official records: