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County Commission Minutes 04/10/02

A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held on Wednesday, April 10, 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
                                Daniel Flynn    
                                Robert Sawyer
                                Leonard Jason, Jr.
        E. B. Collins
                                John Alley

Absent:                 Roger Wey

Also Present:           Carol Borer, County Manager     
                                Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant      
                                Sheriff McCormack
                               Noreen Mavro Flanders, County Treasurer
                                Dianne Powers, Register of Deeds
Chairman Leland called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m.
        Commissioner Collins Moved that the Minutes of March 27, 2002
be Accepted as written. Commissioner Alley Seconded the Motion. The Minutes were Approved with Commissioner Jason Abstaining.

Chairman Leland opened the Public Hearing held in accordance with MGL Chapter 35, Section 48 through 56, to revise and amend the County’s Personnel Bylaws.  The County Manager announced that the intention was to make the Personnel Bylaws more comprehensive and up to date.  Amendments were based on recommendations by Counsel, policy decisions, additional definitions, practices that have become policy over time, as well as clarifications.  The Draft of the Personnel Bylaws was reviewed section by section, with the County Manager clarifying definitions and wording.  

Discussion over Section 7-4, Performance Evaluations, focused on what would happen if the Evaluations weren’t done in a timely fashion.  The Sheriff suggested that would lead to a Grievance.  Dianne Powers, Register of Deeds, suggested that the County Manager take action when Performance Evaluations were not completed.  Commissioner Alley also suggested that if the Department Head failed to submit an evaluation at the prescribed time limit, the County Manager take action.  The Commissioners agreed the time should be fourteen days prior to the anniversary date.  

There was discussion about clarification of exempt and non-exempt employees, compensatory time and overtime.  Commissioner Collins said he had a problem with exempt employees taking compensatory time when they are paid to get a job done.  The Sheriff referred to the difference between the public and private sectors, and said it was part of the Fair Labor Standard Laws that public employees were entitled to compensatory time.  Mrs. Borer agreed, and read the Fair Labor Standards Law.  Commissioner Sawyer said that set the stage for abuse, but the Sheriff noted that all employees were overseen by officials.

Mrs. Borer continued to review the Bylaws.  Discussion followed about holiday pay. The word “essential” was removed from the Draft section on non-exempt employees, thus clarifying Section 8-2 c.  

Sick Leave was discussed.  Commissioner Jason asked if the County funds Sick Leave Buy Back.  Mrs. Borer explained that Sick Leave Buy Back was funded in Uncompensated Absences.  

Commissioner Flynn asked that a Section be added to cover Injury (on the job) Leave.  Discussion about Workers’ Compensation followed, with Commissioners agreeing that employees should not have to use Sick Leave if they are hurt on the job.  Also, injuries must be reported and there must be guidelines.

There was discussion about Section 13-2.  Commissioner Jason and Commissioner Flynn were concerned about the loss of pay after 17 days when an employee was called for military service.  The Sheriff suggested that the differential in military and County pay be added after the eighteenth (18) day.  Commissioner Jason also asked if employees were accepted back into the Cape Cod Municipal Health Group after a period of Service when they were covered by Tri-Care.  Mrs. Flanders explained that there would be no waiting period or problem with returning to the County’s Health coverage.

Mrs. Borer reviewed the updated Sexual Harassment Policy, as well as the new Standards of Conduct section.  Commissioner Collins was concerned about who would determine if Conduct was within the standard or not.  Mrs. Borer said most of the Section comes from the Conflict of Interest Law.  

Commissioner Collins said the proposed change in Section 22-4 c., making the probationary period for disciplinary action 6 months rather than 3 months, was too long.  The Sheriff said the intent was to keep the employee ‘on notice’ for longer, but Commissioner Collins said he thought it just prolonged an issue and it was decided to keep the period of probation at 3 months.

Demotion was added as an option for disciplinary action.  Commissioner Collins disagreed with the concept of demotion. Discussion followed about the need for this choice as another option.  Mrs. Borer reminded the Commissioners that this was a disciplinary action, and not based on quality of work.  The Sheriff added that an event precipitated the demotion, that it was not a result of poor performance.  Commissioner Alley agreed it offered another option.  

The new Alcohol and Substance Abuse Section was discussed.  Commissioner Flynn said he supported the intent, but had concerns about liability.   He referred to the need for training and confidentiality and explicit policy.  He was also concerned about who would be responsible for enforcement.  Section 23-2 a. was amended because Commissioner Flynn noted that it included a felony, not just unacceptable behavior.  Commissioner Collins suggested the Commissioners look at the Transit Authority’s Drug and Alcohol Policy.  It was agreed that the Section would remain in the Bylaws, but that a Procedure Manual would be added as soon as possible.  The remaining sections were reviewed.  The Public Hearing was closed.

Commissioner Jason Moved to Adopt the Personnel Bylaws as
Amended April 10, 2002, with the understanding that the County
Manager would add a Section about Injury Leave and that a Procedures
Manual for the Section on the Alcohol and Drug Policy would be forthcoming.  Commissioner Alley Seconded the Motion.  Commissioner Flynn asked that Counsel review the Bylaws.  The Vote to Adopt was Unanimous.

Commissioner Sawyer read a Motion asking that the Kevin Burchill’s resignation not be accepted by the MV Hospital.  Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion.  The Vote to Pass the Motion was Approved.  Commissioner Alley Abstained.  

Commissioner Sawyer noted that eight years prior, he and Marie Laursen were appointed to deal with the parking issues in Woods Hole.  

        Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the County Commissioners Appoint
        Him and Marie Laursen or reaffirm their appointment to represent the
County on issues of parking in Woods Hole (in regard to the SSA.)
Commissioner Collins Seconded the Motion.  

Commissioners Jason and Flynn disagreed, saying we were already losing spaces and that our SSA Representative could work on it.  Chairman Leland called for the vote.

Commissioners Sawyer, Collins and Alley Voted to Pass the Motion.  
Commissioners Flynn, Jason and Leland Voted in opposition.  The Tie
meant there was No Vote.

It was noted that the Town Selectmen were signing the Amended Intermunicipal Agreement.  Mrs. Borer said there was no need to Vote on Commissioners Sawyer and Collins being the County signatories, as there was not a vote last time when they were chosen to represent the County.  Commissioners Sawyer and Collins signed the Agreement.  

Commissioner Alley Moved that the meeting adjourn. Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion.  The meeting adjourned at 9:46 PM.  

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


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