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County Commission Minutes 02/14/01
                County Commissioners Meeting

A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held on Wednesday, February 14, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. in Courtroom of the Courthouse, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.

Commissioners Present:  Leslie H. Leland, Chairman
                                Leonard Jason, Jr.
                                Daniel Flynn
                                Robert Sawyer
                                Roger Wey       

                Absent: John Alley
                                E. B. Collins

Also Present: Carol Borer, County Manager       
                 Noreen Flanders, Treasurer     
                 Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant
                 Sandra Lothrop, Associate Commissioner                         
                 David Kann, Wastewater Treatment Facility Director
                 David O’Sullivan, Special Sheriff
                 Armand Tiberio, SSA Manager
                 JB Riggs Parker, Representative to SSA
                 Deacon Perrotta, Oak Bluffs Water District             
                 Stephen Berlucchi, County Engineer
                 Ted Morgan     
                 Tom Richardson
                 Arthur Flathers
                 Warren Doty
                 Russell Smith
                 Robert Murphy, SSA Finance Advisory Board Member
Chairman Leland called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m. Commissioner Flynn Moved that the Minutes of January 24, 2001 be approved as written.  Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion.  The Vote to Approve the Minutes was Unanimous.

Deacon Perrotta of the Oak Bluffs Water District addressed the Commissioners about wanting to renegotiate the Oak Bluffs Water District’s lease with the Airport.  Commissioner Wey stated that he invited Mr. Perrotta to the meeting after Mr. Perrotta expressed frustration about his inability to get a response from the Airport.  Discussion followed about the issue.  Mrs. Borer thanked Mr. Perrotta for attending the meeting to inform the County Commissioners and encouraged him to meet with the Airport Commission to try to reach an agreement.

Chairman Leland introduced a letter from the Tisbury Selectmen announcing Margaret Curtin’s resignation from the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority and requesting the appointment of Nora Nevin.  Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the County Commissioners appoint Nora Nevin to the DCRHA.  Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion.  The Vote to appoint Mrs. Nevin was Unanimous.

Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the County sponsor two non-binding questions for town ballots about the issue of school regionalization.  
Are you in favor of school regionalization to include all six towns of MV for Kindergarten through Grade 12?
Are you in favor of either a regional junior high school (or a regional middle school) to include all six towns of MV?
Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion. Discussion followed. The Vote was Unanimous.

JB Riggs Parker addressed the County Commissioners, bringing them up to date on his activity since appointment.  He stressed that this is a critical time, with rising costs but flat revenues as service is being restructured.  Mr. Parker introduced Armand Tiberio who distributed handouts about the Ferry Transportation Service Model and gave a brief history of the SSA, mentioning constraints on vehicular traffic and recent concerns about passenger traffic and moving goods and services.  The need to look at capital expenditures over the next five years was stressed, as was the cost of refurbishing vessels and improving terminals.

The Service Model was introduced, noting that it needs to accommodate a reduced number of cars and that customer service must be addressed.  Mr. Tiberio stated that a philosophical change must take place when considering the Model.  If people have to leave their cars on the mainland, then parking must be included in plans.  Barging freight may become necessary.  

The allocation of vessels was discussed to introduce the inclusion of a high- speed vessel by 2003.  The task is to convince people that it is not necessary to bring a car to the Island. Policy decisions must be made to support the use of a high-speed vessel, to improve customer service and reduce cost, to cap the size of trucks coming to the Vineyard.  

Questions about the inclusion of barges include where they would unload, what products they’d carry.  Mr. Tiberio mentioned the possibility of using operators already here, making sure they are given enough volume of product.  

Mr. Tiberio believes the cost of a new vessel to travel to Nantucket would be between $22,000,000 - $27,000,000.  Commissioner Wey remarked that to work, this Model needs to include an integrated transport system on the Vineyard, something like the one found on Bermuda.

Chairman Leland asked if the SSA was planning to do away with vehicle traffic in Oak Bluffs and bring it all to Vineyard Haven.  Mr. Tiberio replied that that was not the case.

Commissioner Sawyer spoke about maintaining the delicate balance when dealing with critical Island needs.  Mr. Tiberio explained that the message to the SSA is, “what can you do to enhance the ability for residents to make the transition back and forth?”  He acknowledged that residents are all competing for the same vacant slots.  Mr. Tiberio stressed that he doesn’t see why this problem can’t be recognized.  He said the critical piece is dealing with the island resident in a totally different way than has been done in the past. Moving large numbers of residents on speed vessels will help.  Commissioner Sawyer stated that he was delighted to hear Mr. Tiberio acknowledge this.  Commissioner Sawyer added that he believes it important and appropriate if things are changed in a port town, to have that community participate in the decision.  He said Tisbury is distressed about the plans to move the Schamonchi to Oak Bluffs.

The County Manager asked about plans to use barges.  Where will the barges dock?  Will a facility need to be built?  What will be the ports of origin?

Mr. Tiberio said the purpose of barging would be to get the products out of existing facilities.  He suggested origins like New York, New Bedford, off Cape.  Existing facilities could be modified if need be.  Non-time sensitive freight (petroleum, large trucks with volume) could be barged.

Funding was discussed.  Federal funds are available but hard to get since the requirements are so specific from the start and they’re very competitive.  

Associate Commissioner Sandra Lothrop mentioned the need to link services and policies for handicapped travelers.  Mr. Tiberio agreed that time needs to be spent on this important issue.

Licensing private contractors was mentioned.  Mr. Tiberio agreed they play a role in moving people and need to be considered.  

Warren Doty commended Armand Tiberio on the proposed plan.  He said he believes the management of the SSA has heard the voice of the Island calling for a reduction in vehicular traffic, and is responding.  Commissioner Flynn agreed.  Commissioner Jason asked what the County Commissioners can do to encourage debate?  Mr. Parker said he was meeting with the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.  The Chairman thanked Mr. Tiberio and Mr. Parker for their presentation and hard work, and called for a break (9:07 PM.)

9:22 PM The County Manager began her report by announcing that the Governor’s Task Force for the SSA will meet in the High School Performing Arts Center on February 22.  Commissioner Jason asked that the Vineyard speak with one voice and not confuse matters.  Commissioner Sawyer urged people to attend.  

Mrs. Borer mentioned that work is continuing on the Intermunicipal Agreement for Emergency Medical Services, including looking at healthcare agencies proposals for the second and third years.  

Mrs. Borer reported that she drafted a revised job description for the Assistant Airport Manager as the County Commissioners had requested and the Assistant Airport Manager’s employment is now certified at a salary of $51,000+, retroactive to July 1, 2000.  Chairman Leland thanked the County Manager for seeing that through. Mrs. Borer added that the Charrette for the New York Avenue Property will be held April 7.

Mrs. Borer reviewed the Supplemental Budget that was distributed, explaining line item and departmental transfers.  Included in the Budget is money for a Rat Control Officer and an increase in the Veterans’ Agent’s hours.  The Budget also includes money for the Smart Guide ($5000) and a $30,000 request from the Health Council.  
Commissioner Jason referred to the money for the Health Council and asked if Phase II of the Health Plan has been completed. Chairman Leland added that he thought the $30,000 was for Phase III, after Phase II was completed.  Commissioner Jason agreed that was his understanding.  Commissioner Sawyer recalled that the Commissioners said they would deal with the issue of this money in the Supplemental Budget, but it was not a firm commitment.  Mrs. Borer recalled that the Commissioners said they would revisit the issue once they have the deliverables from Phase II.  Commissioner Jason suggested waiting to see Phase II before committing the money for Phase III.  Commissioner Flynn suggested earmarking the money. Commissioner Wey agreed and stressed the need for communication. Commissioner Sawyer Moved that $30,000 be earmarked or isolated to be dispersed when Phase II is completed and used specifically for Phase III.  Commissioner Wey Seconded the Motion.  The Vote to Pass the Motion was Unanimous.  

The meeting adjourned at 9:54 p.m.

Complete text of meeting is available on tape at the County Commissioner’s office.



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