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County Commission Minutes 09/19/01

A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held on Wednesday, September 19, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Room of the County Administration Building, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.

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

                Absent: John Alley
                 E. B. Collins

Also Present:  Carol Borer, County Manager      
                  Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant
                  David O’Sullivan, Special Sheriff
                  Philippe Jordi, Executive Director, Dukes County Regional
                                Housing Authority (DCRHA)
 Robert Potts          
Chairman Leland called the meeting to order at 7:38 p.m.

Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the Minutes of September 12, 2001
be approved.  Commissioner Flynn Seconded the Motion.  Commissioner
Flynn asked that the word, “heard” at the bottom of page 6 be corrected to
read “hurt.”  The Chairman called for the Vote.  The Minutes were approved as amended, with Commissioner Jason Abstaining, since he’d arrived late to that meeting.

Chairman Leland asked Philippe Jordi to update the Commissioners on the DCRHA.  Mr. Jordi gave a brief history of the DCRHA, stressing the focus of the DCRHA: rental management, and planning and development, technical resource assistance.  The DCRHA hopes to have 100 rental conversion units by the year 2005. Mr. Jordi distributed a handout about rental conversion, development of rental properties, and Vineyard Housing Office support.  Mr. Jordi said the rental assistance program was being phased out, and the rental conversion program and revolving loan fund were being developed.

Mrs. Borer asked the County Commissioners if they had a preference for any of the programs in terms of support.  Discussion followed about the revolving loan fund, a program designed to assist buyers with down payments and closing costs.

Mr. Jordi explained that the no interest loan is part of the rental conversion program.  This program is being designed to offer $20,000 - $40,000 to landlords to winterize seasonal rentals and make them year-round.

Commissioner Jason asked about the status of the Needs Assessment.  Mr. Jordi said the Assessment should be out in October, and will probably show that about 1000 units are needed.  There was discussion about the affordable housing waiting list, previously about 80 people and presently 50.  Commissioner Jason asked if 30 people got housing.  Mr. Jordi answered that a number of people moved, found housing, or did not respond to the request to update the list.  Commissioner Jason asked what was the difference between the Rental Conversion Program and the Program that Alice Boyd had presented.  Alice Boyd’s Program, Mrs. Borer answered, is not about seasonal conversion, but rehabilitation of year-round housing.  Discussion followed about the programs and costs of units.  Mr. Jordi mentioned that the DCRHA is also looking at the MA Housing Partnership, with the idea of buying housing.

Commissioner Jason noted that there were 600 families needing housing in 1986 when the DCRHA began, and there are 1000 now.

Commissioner Sawyer suggested that Mr. Jordi begin a dialogue with the schools about faculty housing.

Commissioner Jason asked Mr. Jordi to which programs he thought the County funds should be applied? Mr. Jordi suggested Rental Conversion, Developing Rental Programs and the Vineyard Housing Office.  Commissioner Wey asked how much money was being discussed and Mr. Jordi answered, $30,000.  There was discussion about the Rental Subsidy Program.  Commissioner Jason suggested that $15,000 should go toward the Rental Subsidy Program which would subsidize 2 families.  Commissioner Flynn added that Mr. Jordi appeared to be asking to broaden the scope of DCRHA services.  Mr. Jordi also mentioned that the DCRHA is hoping to put together an endowment fund.  Mr. Jordi reported that 5 families are presently subsidized.  

Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the County Commissioners appoint Derrill Bazzy to the DCRHA.  Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion.  The Vote was Unanimous.  

Mr. Jordi thanked the County Commissioners for the informative trip to Cuttyhunk.  

Mrs. Borer updated the County Commissioners about the redistricting issue and reported on her conversation with Senator Rob O’Leary about it.  There are presently the following choices:
Island stays with the Cape and Senator O’Leary gives up Mashpee and 2 Falmouth areas
Both Islands go to Senator Murray with part of Falmouth
Martha’s Vineyard goes with Senator Murray and Nantucket stays with the Cape

Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the County Commissioners send a letter
to Stan Rosenberg, Chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee stating that
Martha’s Vineyard should remain part of the Cape and Islands District.  

He noted the similarity of interests on all levels, bonds, resources, etc., and said it would be detrimental to lose that commonality.

        Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion.
        The Vote was Unanimous.

Commissioner Wey said that members of the American Legion were requesting a meeting with the County Commissioners about the Veterans’ Agent position.  Mrs. Borer reported that Veterans’ Agent Jo Ann Murphy is on the Agenda for the meeting of October 10.

Commissioner Flynn reported on the meeting about County Police.  In attendance were Commissioner Flynn, Sheriff McCormack, Chiefs Toomey and Condlin, the Airport Manager and Assistant Manager.  Commissioner Flynn said meetings will continue as there appears to be no urgency in the matter.  Sheriff McCormack will be looking into several issues that were discussed.  A brief discussion followed about the new requirements for Airport security.

Mrs. Borer began her report by reviewing the documents in the Commissioners’ packets, including the final audit for FY2000.  Mrs. Borer asked the County Commissioners whether they thought there was a need for another visioning session and workshop on the Charter.  She stated that recent newspaper articles had given the appearance of a split between the County Commissioners and reminded the County Commissioners that they had taken an oath to support the Charter.  She asked them to focus on how the County can help the Community and added that split opinions affect the County departments.  She recalled that the Commissioners had previously agreed to remain silent in the press about differences of opinion, and asked the Commissioners to be proactive, united, and to take the high road.  She asked the Commissioners also to take a positive approach, to talk to residents and officials about issues and ideas.  She noted that the County now had an Engineer, a Rodent Control Officer, that the Commissioners have responded to the requests and needs of residents.  Mrs. Borer said she met with a grant writer and asked the grant writer to investigate other regional services such as obtaining equipment for the Water Lab, dredging, and funding for economic development (aquaculture, agriculture, dormitory housing.)  Mrs. Borer would be presenting this information to the County Commissioners when it becomes available.  

Commissioner Wey asked how the Grant Writer was hired.  Mrs. Borer answered we would pay a stipend if required and the funds would come from our Miscellaneous Contractual line.  Commissioner Wey asked that the County Commissioners have some input in possible programs and that they have the opportunity to discuss them at a meeting. Commissioner Flynn suggested the Commissioners have quarterly meetings with the Financial Advisory Board so they would understand programs before they are presented as final documents.  

Commissioner Wey Moved that the meeting adjourn.  Commissioner
Sawyer Seconded the Motion.  The meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.

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


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