A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held on Wednesday, January 9, 2002 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
Leonard Jason, Jr.
E. B. Collins
Also Present: Carol Borer, County Manager
Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant
David Kann, Wastewater Facility Director
Tad Crawford, Health Council
Chairman Leland called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., calling for election of County Commissioners’ officers.
Commissioner Sawyer nominated Commissioner Leland to continue as
County Commission Chairman. Commissioner Collins Seconded the
nomination. Commissioner Jason Moved that the nominations be closed.
Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The Commissioners voted by
written ballot, electing Commissioner Leland Unanimously with 7 votes.
Commissioner Sawyer nominated Commissioner Flynn to continue as
County Commission Vice-chairman. Commissioner Collins Seconded the
Nomination. Commissioner Jason Moved that the nominations be closed.
Commissioner Collins Seconded the Motion. The Commissioners voted by
written ballot, electing Commissioner Flynn with 6 votes. Commissioner
Elected officials were congratulated and thanked for their continued service.
Commissioner Collins Moved that the Minutes of December 5, 2001
be approved. Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The Minutes were approved Unanimously, as written.
Commissioner Alley Moved that the Minutes of December 12, 2001
be approved. Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The Minutes were approved with Commissioners Jason and Wey abstaining.
Chairman Leland announced that he would be making the Chairman’s appointments. He re-appointed Sandra Lothrop, as Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning Handicapped Persons and Marguerite Bergstrom, as Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning the Elderly. Chairman Leland mentioned that he received a letter of interest from Al DeVito for the position of Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning Handicapped Persons, and that he appreciated Mr. DeVito’s interest.
Chairman Leland said that Francis Daly had written a letter of interest for the appointment for the three-year term of Airport Commissioner.
Commissioner Flynn Moved that Frank Daly be appointed Airport
Commissioner. Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The vote to
appoint Mr. Daly was Unanimous.
Chairman Leland said that letters were received in which Edgartown recommended the re-appointment of Melissa Norton, and Aquinnah recommended the re-appointment of Derrill Bazzy for three year terms to the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority.
Commissioner Jason Moved that Melissa Norton and Derrill Bazzy be
appointed to the DCRHA. Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The
vote to appoint the two was Unanimous.
Chairman Leland suggested that the appointment for County Legal Counsel be for three years rather than one, as it currently stands. Commissioner Sawyer asked what the Administrative Codes said. Mrs. Borer said the Administrative Codes states the appointment for County Counsel can be for up to three years. Commissioner Sawyer asked what the County Manager recommended. The County Manager recommended that the term be three years.
Commissioner Flynn Moved that Marcia Cini be appointed for a term
of three years. Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The vote
to appoint Attorney Cini was Unanimous.
In reference to the proposed list of Health Council Appointments, Commissioner Sawyer said he had issues with the number of consumer seats. The County Manager explained that Sandra Lothrop, Associate Commissioner, and Jo Ann Murphy, Veterans’ Agent, submitted letters requesting appointment to the Health Council. Discussion followed about staggering the terms of appointees and about Sandra Lothrop and Jo Ann Murphy being appointed to represent their constituencies. Commissioner Sawyer stated that he believed the representatives of the three constituencies: Veterans’ Agent, and the two Associate Commissioners (Handicapped, Elderly), should be permanent voting members of the Health Council. Commissioner Sawyer asked that Tad Crawford bring the idea to the Health Council to see if they agree before the change is made.
Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the County Commissioners recommend
to the Health Council that the Veterans’ Agent, the Associate Commissioner
of Affairs Concerning Handicapped Persons, and Associate Commissioner of
Affairs Concerning the Elderly be made permanent voting members in
addition to the current 32 members. Commissioner Alley Seconded the
Discussion followed about Commissioner Sawyer’s suggestion that the Coordinating Committee of the Health Council be consulted before appointments are made. Commissioner Jason addressed Tad Crawford, Treasurer of the Health Council, and asked what seemed to be the problem? Mr. Crawford said that 32 members has been remarkably effective. He reviewed how the County Manager is an ex-officio member of the Health Council and said there was a need to fill a consumer seat that would represent the business community. Mr. Crawford said he and Commissioner Sawyer had reviewed the list of suggested appointees and that he welcomed Commissioner Sawyer’s suggestion. There was some discussion about filling the consumer slot with either Helen Green, whose recruitment had been actively sought by the Health Council, or perhaps by the new Executive of the Chamber of Commerce once that position is filled. Mr. Crawford suggested that since the Health Council generally operates by consensus, the County Manager, and other ex-officio positions (Associate Commissioners) wouldn’t necessarily change.
Commissioner Jason referred to a past discussion when he suggested Jo Ann Murphy be appointed to a voting seat and people seemed to think it was a great idea. Tad Crawford then said the Health Council didn’t realize she was a County employee and their policy was not to have County employees on the Council. Commissioner Jason asked if it was a sin to be a County employee? Mr. Crawford said over time, the body had come to recommend that members be independent of the County.
Mrs. Borer said she did not necessarily agree with Mr. Crawford and Commissioner Sawyer. She thought it was important to bring representation of the constituencies (veterans, handicapped people, elderly) into the Health Council.
Commissioner Collins questioned how the veterans were included. Mr. Crawford said that Ms. Murphy was encouraged to send a letter of interest, but that he hadn’t realized she was a County employee. The Health Council was recommending that the County Manager, and two Associate Commissioners and Veterans’ Agent, be ex officio members.
Commissioner Flynn stated that the Health Council was appointed by the Commissioners, and he found it offensive that Mr. Crawford was saying that County employees were not welcome on the Council. He added that these people were not told by the County how to function and to be denied a voting position, was offensive. Commissioner Flynn continued that it appeared to him that the Health Council was trying to be autonomous from the body that appointed it. He suggested that the Council not deal with politics, but service.
Commissioner Jason agreed that he also found it offensive that someone representing all the Veterans could attend the Health Council but not vote, but he realized Mr. Crawford was just the messenger. Commissioner Jason reminded Mr. Crawford that, “we appoint you.” He added it was up to the County Commissioners to decide who voted, not the Health Council members.
Commissioner Alley withdrew his Second and Moved to add Marguerite
Bergstrom, JoAnn Murphy and Sandra Lothrop to the list. Commissioner
Jason Seconded the Motion for purposes of discussion.
Chairman Leland noted that a Resolution would be needed to increase the number of Health Council appointees. Commissioner Sawyer requested that since Commissioner Alley withdrew his Second, someone else Second his Motion. Commissioner Wey said he would Second it, but the County Manager noted that there was a Motion on the floor.
Commissioner Sawyer said he’d worked hard to develop a line of communication with the Health Council. He said there was good communication now, and that wasn’t always the case. He asked that the Commissioners trust his judgment and follow the process he outlined, which meant going back to the Health Council and letting them approve the recommendation. Commissioner Sawyer said since he was the Commissioner on the Health Council, he wanted to take a softer approach and take the idea to the Health Council so the change could be done collaboratively.
Commissioner Collins suggested the three activities be included, not the names, so there would always be the three positions: the two Associate Commissioners and the Veterans’ Agent.
Mrs. Borer repeated the amended Motion:
To increase the Health Council membership to 35, 3 of them being the
Veterans’ Agent, the Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning Elderly
People and the Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning Handicapped
Commissioner Sawyer disagreed with this procedure, saying the Commissioners would be telling the Health Council a decision, not making a recommendation together. Mr. Crawford said he preferred the initial plan, but appreciated that the County Commissioners wanted to include these constituencies. Commissioner Jason added that he didn’t think 3 more people would make the group unwieldy. Chairman Leland Moved the questions.
Six Commissioners voted in favor of the Motion. Commissioner Sawyer
Voted “nay.” The Motion carried.
Commissioner Flynn added that this would move the process along, and if the Health Council objected, it would be taken up at the time of dealing with the Resolution. Mrs. Borer said she would prepare a draft Resolution for the next meeting.
Commissioner Jason Moved that the County Commissioners appoint the 31
people on the list (not including the Associate Commissioner or Veterans’
Agent. Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The Motion passed
Commissioner Jason asked that the public be notified of the vacancy. Mrs. Borer said the County would advertise the position.
Mrs. Borer reported that Emergency Management appointments were being held off to perhaps next month. Commissioner Flynn questioned why. Mrs. Borer said Search and Rescue was waiting for some certifications so people could be added to the list. Present appointees would remain in place until that time.
Commissioner Collins Moved that Rob Culbert be appointed representative
To the Pilgrim Resource Conservation and Development Area Council.
Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion.
Rob Culbert gave a brief history of the Council and said it would be important to bring the expertise this Council has to offer, to the Island.
The vote to appoint Mr. Culbert was Unanimous.
Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the Fire Chiefs of Tisbury, Oak Bluffs
and Edgartown be thanked for their excellent work at the scene of the
Tisbury Inn fire. Commissioner Collins Seconded the Motion.
Commissioner Jason asked that the Tisbury Police and EMT’s be added. Commissioner Sawyer agreed to add that to his Motion.
The Motion passed. Chairman Leland abstained.
Mrs. Flanders asked that the letters go to the newspapers. Everyone agreed that they should.
Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the County Manager be directed on behalf
of the County Commissioners to send letters of congratulations and support
with an offer of assistance, to the new SSA appointee and wish her well.
Commissioner Alley Seconded the Motion.
Commissioner Jason said he certainly wished her well and if he could help her, he would.
Commissioner Jason asked that the Motion be amended to send such letters
to all the appointees. Commissioner Collins Seconded the Motion to amend.
The Motion to amend passed Unanimously. The Motion to write the letters
Passed Unanimously as well.
Commissioner Alley said he would like to see the County Commissioners invite the new SSA representative to come in and talk with them. Commissioner Flynn noted that when the County Commissioners have interactions with appointees, it has to be in coordination with the Administrative Codes, that it should be done through the County Manager.
Mrs. Borer apologized that letters of thanks to Mr. Parker and Mr. Flynn were not included in the Commissioners’ packages.
Commissioner Alley Moved that the Commissioners ask the new SSA
Appointee Kathryn Roessel to meet with the Commissioners. Commissioner
Sawyer Seconded the Motion. It was decided this does not require a Motion.
Commissioner Sawyer distributed an announcement of a public forum on the SSA to be held January 23, 2002. He and Selectmen Warren Doty would be sponsoring the event. Discussion followed about the fact that the forum conflicted with the next County Commissioners’ meeting time.
The County Manager began her report by saying that the County’s website has been launched. She also reported that the County’s Grant Writer was researching foundations for funding projects such as a fire safety building, a community needs assessment, and lab equipment. Commissioner Sawyer asked that the County Manager stay in touch with the Health Council and collaborate on the needs assessment.
Mrs. Borer announced that there will be a testimonial luncheon for Chuck Clifford on February 3 and that she will present a plaque commending him on his devotion and commitment to public service.
Mrs. Borer mentioned that she has asked the Veterans’ Agent to relocate to the County Administration Building.
Also, a bid has been awarded for the infrastructure of the Community Corrections Building. Mrs. Borer reported that the Engineer and Rodent Control Officers are busy and their programs are running well. The County Manager will be meeting with her Cabinet to discuss new ideas for the County.
Mrs. Borer mentioned that State Law requires schools to have Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs and that the Rodent Control Officer and she would be meeting with Kevin Carr of the Regional High School.
Commissioner Alley questioned the relocation of the Veterans’ Agent’s Office. Chairman Leland referred to the central location, handicapped access as two reasons. Mrs. Borer said she was working on the logistics and having County offices in one building. She noted there was presently an empty office. Commissioner Alley asked about privacy issues and Mrs. Borer explained that there would be privacy, and that the Retirement Office is at the County Administration Building and confidentiality is maintained for that Office.
The Revenue Report dated 1/09/02 was reviewed. It reflected the first 6 month of the Fiscal Year. Mrs. Borer drew attention to the Lab fees that have already passed expectations. Mrs. Borer thanked Rob Culbert for his work in that Department. Chairman Leland asked Commissioner Alley to check why West Tisbury had not yet paid its assessment. Mrs. Borer noted that Cape and Island License Plate revenues are down this year. Commissioner Collins asked the County Manager if she thought the budget was in good shape and she said yes. Airport Parking was discussed because it was reported on different lines. Mrs. Borer mentioned that the Wastewater Treatment Plant still had a lot of revenue to collect.
The County Manager asked for questions on the Draft Report on Examination of General Purpose Financial Statements for FY01. Mrs. Borer said the true figure for Unreserved Fund Balance is $361,810 and the Airport $408,185 because of encumbrances. Commissioner Sawyer said he thought there would be a comparison to the previous year. Mrs. Borer explained that there had been a turnover at the office of the auditors, Powers and Sullivan, but she would remind them that they had committed to it. Commissioner Sawyer also asked about listing assets. Mrs. Flanders said that wouldn’t happen until 2003.
Mrs. Borer reviewed each page asking for questions. Commissioner Sawyer pointed out that the audit showed that the Advisory Board spent $10,000. Mrs. Flanders said that was an error and she would investigate it since the Advisory Board does not spend. The review continued. Commissioner Jason asked if the County could pare down unfunded liabilities. Mrs. Flanders answered that it would mean changing the Bylaws. It was noted that the Advisory Board appeared to have spent money on page 8 and 9 too and that was in error. Mrs. Borer asked the Commissioners to review the Draft and bring questions and comments to her or to Mrs. Flanders by the end of this month, January. Commissioner Jason added that it was “nice to see we finished in the black!” The County Manager and staff were commended.
Chairman Leland did not have a report.
Commissioner Sawyer reported that the Emergency Services Procurement Committee had come to an important decision to draft a new proposed Intermunicipal Agreement that provides for funds from the towns for any projects under the umbrella of Health and Human Services. He said the Committee decided to go to the 6 towns to have the Intermunicipal Agreement on the warrants for approval. The Committee would not be seeking funding this year. Commissioner Jason asked if the decision was unanimous. Commissioner Sawyer said Chilmark voted against it, so it was 7 to 1. Commissioner Collins said he thought the Committee agreed it would suggest to Selectmen that they continue funding the Emergency Room this year. Commissioner Sawyer said that wasn’t in the Motion. Commissioner Collins thought it had been agreed and voiced his disappointment. Commissioner Wey asked if the new procedure would be acceptable to Selectmen. Discussion continued. Chairman Leland suggested that the discussion be continued in committee.
Commissioner Jason Moved that the meeting adjourn. Commissioner Alley
noted that Mr. Frost was in attendance and welcomed him. Commissioner Alley Seconded the Motion. The meeting adjourned at 9:35 PM.
Complete text of meeting is available on tape at the County Commissioner’s office.
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO, JR.
CLERK OF THE COURTS