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County Commission Minutes 12/23/02

An emergency meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was scheduled for Monday, December 23, 2002 at 5:30 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
                                E. B. Collins
                                Leonard Jason, Jr.
                                John Alley
Roger Wey
                                Daniel Flynn
Robert Sawyer
Also Present:   Carol Borer, County Manager             
                        Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant              
                        Noreen Flanders, County Treasurer               
                        Sheriff McCormack       
                        Dianne Powers, Register of Deeds                                        
                        Paul Strauss
                        Tad Crawford, Health Council
                        Tim Carroll, Airport Commission
                        Bill Mill, Airport Commission
                        Marc Villa, Airport Commission Chair
                        Richard Combra, County Financial Advisory Board
                        William Weibrecht, Airport Manager
                        Sean Flynn, Assistant Airport Manager
                        Joanna Jernegan
                        Herb Putnam
                        Sarah Kuh, Vineyard Health Care Access Program
Chairman Leland called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m., stating the purpose being to review the Supplementary Budget Line Item Transfers that the Advisory Board sent back to be reviewed prior to the end of the calendar year.
Mrs. Borer began the review.  Commissioner Jason asked if it was necessary to review every item.  He added that he was under the impression the Advisory Board thought the Commissioners never saw the Budget Transfers, but that he had been faxed a copy and had reviewed it.  Commissioner Flynn said he had seen it too and had no problem with it.

Commissioner Flynn Moved to Adopt the Supplementary Budget Line Item Transfers as written. Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion.

Commissioner Alley asked for clarification on the County Manager’s Buy Back package.  He said he recalled discussion about the $45/hour contractual pay but did remember that the Vacation pay or Temporary pay was mentioned.  Chairman Leland said it wasn’t mentioned.  Commissioner Wey asked for an explanation about how the figure came to $22,791.  Mrs. Borer said it was Vacation and Sick Buy Back.  There were 72.25 sick days at 20% which equaled 14.5 days to buy at a rate of $38.01 equaling $4402.05.  That was a portion of the $22,791. The Vacation Buy Back was 55 days at a daily rate of $304.64 equaling $16,755.20.  

Commissioner Wey asked if Mrs. Borer had a Contract. She said no.  He asked how many vacation days she was allowed.  She said ten a year, then after 4.5 years, 15.  He asked how many years she had been here and Mrs. Borer replied a little over 5.  She added that she did take some days off.  Commissioner Wey asked if Mrs. Borer had been on vacations.  Commissioner Jason said Compensatory Time was the issue.  Mrs. Borer reviewed her days off: 1998 – off 4 days, 1999 – off 3 days, none in 2000, 2001 – off 6 days and 2002 – off 3 days.  16 days in 5 years.  Commissioner Alley asked what was the issue about Comp Time.  He said he’d never heard that the County Manager took Comp Time.  He added that he thought management didn’t get Comp Time.  Mrs. Borer said she didn’t get overtime, but she got Comp Time.  Commissioner Sawyer said that it was unusual for management to take Comp Time.  He questioned where it came from, why he never heard about it.  He said the nature of the job was that it wasn’t a forty hour a week job.  Commissioner Flynn questioned what was being discussed.  Commissioner Wey said the $22,000+ was being discussed, how it was arrived at.  He said the public should know.  Mrs. Borer said some employees are paid each fiscal year for buy back days, other employees have received more. Commissioner Wey asked if this was more that just Vacation and Sick Buy Back.  

Sheriff McCormack said he bought unused Vacation and Sick Time back too and explained that sick days are bought back at 20% but vacation time is paid 100%. He said management people get Compensatory Time based on Fair Labor Standard practices.  Commissioner Wey asked if it was gotten in time off and the Sheriff said yes.  

Commissioner Sawyer voiced confusion, stating that the County Manager had no Contract, yet Bylaws didn’t apply.  He said the Commissioners had never established policy for the County Manager and needed a reasonable basis for calculations.  He noted if the Personnel Bylaws were used as a basis, Vacation couldn’t be bought back beyond the past 12 months.  Chairman Leland said the Commissioners should keep this in mind for the future, but the County Manager had time not compensated and was entitled to it.  He added she used Compensatory Time for vacation.  Chairman Alley asked if Comp time was traded for Vacation and Mrs. Borer said she took Compensatory hours.

Commissioner Wey asked for an accounting of Compensatory hours.  Mrs. Borer responded: 1999 – 188.5, 2000 – 196.5, 2001 – 214.5, 2002 – 173.5. Mrs. Borer said the next County Manager should know how much extra time goes into the job.  The total was close to 800 hours.  Chairman Leland said Mrs. Borer still had more time coming to her.  Commissioner Alley asked if Mrs. Borer took Comp time for Commission meetings.  She said no.  Commissioner Sawyer asked about Advisory Board meetings.  She said sure but not if they’re during the work day.  Cape Light Compact, Housing meetings, Health Council and subcommittee meetings and All Island Selectmen’s meetings were mentioned too.  Commissioner Sawyer noted Section 10.3 of the Personnel Bylaws that states that “Vacation must be taken in the 12 months following the year in which it was earned.  Unused vacation may be carried over for one succeeding year, into the next 12 month period with the approval of the Department Head, provided at least 2 weeks vacation is taken each year.”  There was discussion about going back 5 years and not falling under the Bylaws.  Commissioner Jason said the County Manager did the work and was leaving, and ‘nobody’s cheating.’  Chairman Leland said Mrs. Borer was entitled to the Buy Back.

Commissioner Wey said he wanted to see how the figures were arrived at.  He said it was a lot of money and he thought it was a mistake that the County Manager got Comp Time.  Commissioner Jason said they’d have to talk about that.  Commissioner Wey questioned why he had no idea about this.  There was mention of how towns deal with it.

Mrs. Borer said the $22,000 comes from her salary line.  None of it comes from the Unreserved Fund Balance.  Commissioner Jason said the Treasurer worked out the number.  Chairman Leland repeated the Motion, but Commissioner Sawyer said the Transfers hadn’t been discussed yet.  The other lines were reviewed.  Commissioner Sawyer asked about the $6000 in miscellaneous contractual.  Mrs. Borer said it was it for the Search and the Appraiser.  Commissioner Sawyer said, for GASB? And Mrs. Borer said part of it.  Commissioner Sawyer asked how much the appraisal would be and Mrs. Borer answered $5000.  The Cape and Islands License Plate money was discussed, as was other money moved for the County Manager Search ($2300 for the Search.)  The cost of ads for the Search was mentioned.  Commissioner Alley asked about funds moved in the Airport for Retiree’s Health Insurance.  Mrs. Borer mentioned money was being moved to pay the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for the New York Avenue improvements.

        The Chairman called for the Vote.  Commissioners Leland, Flynn, Wey and Jason
Voted yes.  Commissioners Sawyer and Alley voted no.  The Vote to approve the Supplemental Budget Transfers carried.

Transfers for Capital Airport Projects were reviewed, matching funds for environmental permitting, and improvements to the General Aviation Building to modify it for passenger use.

Commissioner Flynn Moved that the Transfers for Airport Capital Improvements be Approved. Chairman Leland Seconded the Motion that passed Unanimously.

Mrs. Borer brought up the $70,000 Transfers for Airport salaries.  Sean Flynn and William Weibrecht left at 5:58 PM.

Commissioner Flynn said, before he left, he wanted to complain because the SSA had cancelled the boats leaving people stranded while they held a holiday party.  He voiced his outrage and asked the Commissioners to deal with the SSA about this.

Mrs. Borer mentioned two other requests: $7500 from the Health Council and $3854 from the Vineyard Health Care Access Program.  Commissioner Flynn asked if there was money for these and Mrs. Borer said no.  She added that VHCAP had received a grant for $15,000 that would help them and the County was offering them rent free housing for their office at the Extension Building on the New York Avenue property.  Mrs. Borer said there was only $9000 remaining in the Unreserved Fund Balance.  Commissioner Alley asked the County Manager to transfer some of that to the Health Council.
Chairman Leland and Commissioner Jason questioned having so little in reserve.

Commissioner Alley asked that $5000 be given to the Health Council.  Commissioner Wey Seconded that.

Commissioner Flynn said the County Manager had made funds available in the past during Supplemental Budgets and if possible, should do so again.  Commissioner Jason said it would be a disaster to cut reserves so low.  Commissioner Wey said a small amount would remain, but Commissioner Jason said everyone needed money and Chairman Leland added, ‘we might need money.’  He said it would be a poor move to leave the County with nothing to fall back on.  Mrs. Borer asked if the $5000 would go to the Health Council’s portion of the Martha’s Vineyard Report, or operating funds.  Tad Crawford was asked to comment.  He said the priority would have been to go to VHCAP, but Sarah Kuh had received a grant, so he thought $2500 should go to operating funds and that the Council would appreciate that.

Commissioner Alley asked that $4000 go for operating funds and
$1000 for the Health Report.  Commissioners Sawyer, Wey, Flynn and
Alley voted yes.  Commissioners Jason and Leland voted No.  The Motion  

Commissioner Flynn and Richard Combra left at 6:08 PM, as did William Weibrecht and Sean Flynn.

Mrs. Borer reported that the Airport was asking that $70,000 be transferred from unreserved fund balance to cover salary settlements.  The County Manager added that since the issue of Airport Manager and Assistant Manager’s wages is in litigation, the County Manager has been advised that the Commissioners cannot take a position nor have a discussion on the matter.

Commissioner Sawyer said that at the Advisory Board Meeting, Mr. Villa advised the Board that the Airport Commission had voted to enjoin the County to their suit.  Mrs. Borer said there was supposed to be no discussion.  Commissioner Sawyer said it happened at a public meeting, so it was public.  

Richard Combra returned at 6:10 PM. Tad Crawford and Sarah Kuh left at 6:11 PM.

Mrs. Borer said she had given the Advisory Board the ranking sheets and that the Advisory Board had asked that the Commissioners reconsider the step placements and increase the steps of the Airport Manager and Assistant Manager.  Mr. Weibrecht being at 19-1 and Mr. Flynn at 15-2.  Chairman Leland asked Richard Combra if the Advisory Board had asked to consider increasing the steps and Mr. Combra nodded yes.  Commissioner Sawyer reiterated that the Advisory Board had asked this.  Chairman Leland said it would be prudent to have the Airport Commission Chair make recommendations on this.  Commissioner Jason said that was part of the problem, that the Commissioners weren’t getting cooperation from the Airport Commission.  He said to go to another step arbitrarily would make a mockery of the Classification Plan.  He added there needed to be input from the people who maintain they’re doing the best for the Airport.

Mr. Carroll said he was confused.  He said the memo dated December 13 mentioned three transfers and two and three were already voted.

Mrs. Flanders said three had to do with wage settlement and if there was a settlement, appropriation wouldn’t have to be done because it would be a court order.  Commissioner Wey said that explained it, that there was nothing for the Commissioners to do at this time.

Commissioner Wey said he heard a rumor that there was a problem with the property here and that the parking lot property was leased to someone else.  He asked for clarification.  Mrs. Borer said the parking lot was swapped for another piece of land.  Herb Putnam said he was surprised this came up, but the land was never swapped.  The building was put on his property that he leases and shouldn’t be there.  Commissioner Jason said this was news to the Commissioners.  Mrs. Borer said perhaps the subcommittee on appraisal could bring this to Airport Commissioner Balco.  Commissioner Jason said he thought the land was traded and only for parking.   Commissioner Alley said the parking lot was traded for land next to the Hot tin Roof for greater space for parking.  Mr. Putnam said when the Hot Tin Roof was repurchased in 1996, additional land was leased.  Mrs. Borer said she needed a place to put her building and access.  It was an exchange of use.  That’s what’s in the written agreement.  The County Manager can use the land for parking and in exchange the Roof got land for parking but there was nothing about putting a building on this land.  It was an exchange of use only.  Mr. Putnam added that attorneys would be serving the County with a suit and that he had spoken to Mrs. Borer, but nothing was done.  Mrs. Borer, Mr. Putnam added, said it was an issue of National security.  Mr. Putnam said he was patient and had always tried to help the County but he’d been treated badly.  He said the situation was handled terribly and added that he’d spoken with the Chairman about it.  Mr. Putnam said the problem was that information doesn’t disseminate down to the people who need to hear it.

Commissioner Sawyer asked it this meant the building encroached on a leaseholder and wasn’t a survey done?  Mrs. Borer said the issue was a portion of the deck that encroaches on the paved area.  She added that the porch wasn’t drawn in the plan so now it was on the pavement.  Commissioner Jason said the Commissioners should stop talking in public if there was a suit and go into Executive Session.  Commissioner Alley said there was going to be legal action, but there wasn’t yet.  Commissioner Jason said there was a difference of opinion and Commissioner Wey said it should be Executive Session if there was litigation.  Commissioner Alley said it would be Executive Session when there was a lawsuit.  Commissioner Sawyer asked if the paved area was Mr. Putnam’s land and Mr. Putnam said yes.  Commissioner Sawyer asked about the use as a parking lot and Mr. Putnam explained it was so both could use the parking.  Chairman Leland said then continue using it.  Mr. Putnam said the problem was the building was on 16 of his parking spaces.  Chairman Leland said 16 spaces exist down the side, so what was the problem.  Discussion continued with Mr. Putnam saying he guessed about 2/3 of the deck was on his property. Commissioner Wey asked for more information.  Chairman Leland said perhaps something could be worked out.

Chairman Leland moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Jason seconded the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 6:26 PM.

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


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