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County Commission Minutes 12/02/02

A special meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was scheduled for Monday, December 2, 2002 at 5:00 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
                                E. B. Collins
                                Leonard Jason, Jr.
                                John Alley (5:09 PM)
Roger Wey

Absent:                 Daniel Flynn
Robert Sawyer
Also Present:   Carol Borer, County Manager             
                        Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant              
                        Noreen Flanders, County Treasurer               
                        Sheriff McCormack                                                       
                        Dianne Powers, Register 
                        Ezra Blair, MV Times    
                        Nelson Smith
                        Tad Crawford, Health Council
                        Anson Krickl, Jr., Islanders for Universal Access
                        Joseph Sollitto, Jr., Clerk of the Courts
                        Susan Wasserman
                        Robert Wasserman
                        Member of the public
The meeting was called to order at 5:07 PM.  Joseph Sollitto, Jr. certified the votes with signatures by the County Commissioners, for County Treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders (elected for a term of six years,) and for the 9 people elected to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank and Water Commission.

Chairman Leland invited Susan and Bob Wasserman to the table to discuss their offer to donate time to coordinate the search for a new County Manager. Mr. Wasserman said the tasks that needed to be accomplished included: reviewing the job description, creating an ad, selecting a panel and orienting them (providing resources.) Chairman Leland thanked the Wassermans for offering their services pro bono.

        Commissioner Collins Moved that the Commissioners formally accept the
       Wassermans’ generous offer and invite them to participate in any way they can.
        Commissioner Wey Seconded the Motion.

Commissioner Jason invited Nelson Smith, newly elected County Commissioner, to join the Commissioners at the table.  Mr. Smith thanked the Commissioners and said he thought a selection committee was a good idea.

Mr. Wasserman said the Search Committee would allow citizen input to identify 3 candidates, each of whom could do the job and then the County Commissioners would decide on one, since they are the officials who would be accountable.

        The vote to approve the Motion was Unanimous.

Mrs. Borer added that she had worked with the Wassermans before.   She thanked them for their offer.

Chairman Leland suggested potential Search Committee members: a member of the Advisory Board, Clerk of the Courts, a Department Head or two, a representative of the NAACP, a Health Council member, an Airport Commissioner and a member of the League of Women Voters.  Mrs. Wasserman wasn’t sure if a member of the League could represent the League or if she would participate as an individual. There was also discussion about the size of the Committee. Mr. Wasserman suggested 7 or 8 members.  Commissioner Sawyer was absent, but his suggestions (already mentioned representatives, looking at the Job Description) were read.  Commissioner Jason suggested including someone from the original Charter Commission.  Nelson Smith suggested an Airport Business Park tenant.  Dianne Powers suggested including the County Treasurer and questioned why the Clerk of the Courts was included.  Chairman Leland said that Mr. Sollitto had volunteered his assistance.  Mr. Wasserman added that there had been 9 people on the search for the West Tisbury Chief of Police and that number had worked there.

Commissioner Alley questioned the inclusion of an Airport Commissioner.  Chairman Leland said the Airport was part of the County and he thought their inclusion was appropriate. Commissioner Alley suggested adding a member of the Personnel Committee.

Mr. Wasserman said the challenge of the Selection Committee would be to bring awareness to as many people from the community as possible.  Without a broad Committee, the community might think only the interests of government were included.

Commissioner Wey asked how to proceed from here.  There was discussion about the Job Description, Ms. Powers noting that it was in the Charter and would require Legislation to change.  The Sheriff suggested including someone to represent attorneys, the Rotary Club, and people from the medical and educational fields.

There was unanimous agreement that the Committee should be made up of 9  members.  Commissioner Jason suggested that there be someone representing Human Services, maybe someone from Community Services.  His list included that representative, a member of the original Charter Committee (because that group had a vision,) a Department Head, someone at large, a representative of the NAACP, and a Selectman from the Advisory Board.  Commissioner Wey thought there should be a representative of the Health Council and one from the Airport Commission.  Marsha Smolev suggested someone with an environmental background.  Mrs. Borer suggested Jennie Green, who was on the Search Committee for the MVC.

Discussion continued about representation.  Commissioner Jason added someone from the business community, the Lions Club or the Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Wasserman said he was Chair of the Airport Commission and it was his opinion that it was very important to have a representative from the Airport Commission because the County and Airport have become ‘too far apart.’  Mrs. Wasserman said the representative of the community at large would have standing in the community and represent a large number because of other memberships.

Commissioner Collins wasn’t sure the Airport Commissioner would be a ‘broad spectrum choice.’  Commissioner Wey said it’s been ‘a rocky road’ with the Airport and he thought it was important to include an Airport Commissioner. He added it wouldn’t be healthy to include people with no understanding of the County.

Chairman Leland recalled the importance of the Committee on the Airport Manager search.  He said the Committee went through the applications to see who matched the qualities for which they were searching.  Mr. Wasserman suggested the characteristics of the new County Manager be discussed so the Commissioners could agree on what they wanted to see in the person.  Then the ad would be written and resumes received.  The resumes would be sorted to see who met the criteria and who did not.  A discussion of those who met the criteria would take place.  The group size to be interviewed (8-9) would be decided. Candidates would be narrowed down to 3 or 4.  Any of these finalists would be a good choice for County Manager.  Mrs. Wasserman said the public had to be involved as much as possible. Commissioner Wey thought each group should choose its representative. Tad Crawford suggested that the Health Council already included representatives from Health and Human Services agencies and a representative from the Health Council would fulfill that need.

The final Search Committee list to be considered was:                   Votes tallied
·       Human Services – Health Council                                 6
·       Housing Authority                                                       4
·       Charter Commission                                                      4
·       Department Head                                                 6
·       Advisory Board member                                           6
·       NAACP                                                           6
·       League of Women Voters                                          3               
·       Business Park Tenant                                                    1
·       Lawyers                                                         0
·       Personnel Board                                                 2
·       Clerk of the Courts                                                     2
·       At Large                                                                4
·       Airport                                                         5
·       Chamber of Commerce                                             5

The Commissioners each chose 9 representatives and the votes were tallied.  The Search Committee would be:
·       Human Services – Health Council         
·       Housing Authority                               
·       Charter Commission                              
·       Department Head                         
·       Advisory Board member                   
·       NAACP                                   
·       At Large                                        
·       Airport                                 
·       Chamber of Commerce                     

Chairman Leland said this appeared to be a broad range of representatives.  He mentioned the need to discuss a salary range for the ad and voiced his opinion that there needed to be a 5 to 10 year plan for grade and step increases so that after performance evaluations, the Commissioners would know how to proceed with salary increases.  Commissioner Jason agreed.  He said the original Charter Commission wanted the County Manager to be in the County pay scale, but the first County Manager took the job out.  Commissioner Jason said it belongs there, that one ‘can’t lead the troops if not part of the system.’  Chairman Leland agreed. Commissioner Jason said there was a conflict because the County Manager was the head of the Personnel Board, but the Commissioners needed to make that work.  Chairman Leland said the transition was the opportune time to address written steps.  Mrs. Borer said the County Manager could be on a grade and step plan, but not in the 15 to 20 listed.  She added that in the Personnel Bylaws, the County Manager can change the Classification and Compensation Plan as needed.  Commissioner Jason said the Commissioners could change that and say that the County Manager couldn’t change them without the Personnel Committee.  Sheriff McCormack said the steps differ by 2% and said the County Manager’s steps could be 2% + COLA.  Chairman Leland said it should be in writing.  The Sheriff said a Resolution could be adopted to handle the County Manager’s salary.

There was discussion about how to proceed.  Mr. Wasserman advised that the criteria for the County Manager had to be the Commissioner’s criteria and the ad would reflect that. Commissioner Collins noted that there would be press coverage after the meeting and suggested that the letters to organizations be sent out so they can begin to choose their representatives.

Mr. Wasserman said he thought the process could be done in 3 months once the ad went out, so probably by March 15, 2003.  Discussion about professional publications and other opportunities for ads like MMA and the County Website followed. Commissioner Jason asked if there was agreement that the Job Description was in the Charter, and there was.  

Commissioner Jason reminded the Commissioners that the County would have to pay moving expenses.  Mr. Wasserman said the County had to pay the tab for finalists to come for interviews too.  

Mr. Smith asked if all deliberations for the Search Committee would be open and would adhere to Open Meeting Laws.  Mrs. Wasserman said public business would be done in public session, but she suggested thinking about it, since there would be issues of confidentiality, privacy and civil rights.  Mr. Wasserman added that some finalists might be at present jobs and would be concerned about media exposure.

Mr. and Mrs. Wasserman, and Tad Crawford left at 6:30 PM.

Mrs. Borer suggested she be retained as a Temporary Employee (for a maximum of 6 months) as Interim County Manager.  Chairman Leland said this would be taken up at another meeting.

Mrs. Flanders asked that the Commissioners review changes she was proposing to the Administrative Codes so they could be discussed at the next meeting.

Commissioner Alley moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Collins seconded the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 6:32 PM.

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


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