A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was scheduled for Wednesday, February 12, 2003 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: John Alley, Chairman; Leonard Jason, Jr.; Leslie H. Leland; Nelson Smith; and Roger Wey.
Commissioners Absent: Robert Sawyer and Paul Strauss
Also Present: Dianne Powers, Acting County Manager; Diane Abbot, Temporary Administrative Assistant; Noreen Flanders, County Treasurer; Sheriff Mike McCormack; Ezra Blair, MV Times; Joanna Jernegan; Herb Putnam: Steve Berlucchi; Cynthia Schilling, Retirement Board; Tad Crawford; Marie Allen, Linda Malcouronne; Ned Orleans; Sarah Kuh; Marni Lipke and Jonathan Burke, Vineyard Gazette.
Chairman Alley brought the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Minutes of January 8th were approved as written.
Minutes of January 11th were approved as written.
Minutes of January 28th were approved as amended. Commissioner Wey asked that there be more of an explanation for his motion on page 3, stating that this was a compromise following the recommendations of Strauss and Smith.
Acting County Managers Report:
Dianne Powers reported that Mr. Alley wrote a letter to Ms. Borer requesting the return of $4,874.24 and asking her to contact Ms. Powers. Ms. Powers said that she had spoken to Ms. Borer and that the offer had been made to the Advisory Board to close the matter out. The Advisory Board chose not to accept the offer and it has been removed form the table. Ms. Borer said that she is willing to continue to cooperate with the County by offering her guidance and information, as she has done in the past 6 weeks. Commissioner Wey asked that Ms. Borer respond in writing.
Ms. Powers told the Board to think about where they want to go next. Ms. Powers reported that the Advisory Board met on February 10th and approved the transfer of $16,000 from line 51009 (CB Salary line) to 51101 (temporary help). They voted to reduce the amount transferred from line 51009 to line 51250 (Holiday & Sick Leave) by $4,874.24 and approved the amount of $16,283.01. They also transferred $450.00 in the Emergency Management Budget for computer equipment. Ms. Powers also informed the Commissioners that in their packet there was a letter from Warren Doty, explaining his “no” votes at the Advisory Board meeting of February 10th.
Ms. Powers informed the Commissioners that Ms. Abbot has been working 40 hours a week due to her work with the Screening Committee. Ms. Powers asked if there were any objections to the increased hours. Commissioner Wey thanked her for keeping them informed. Ms. Powers also included letters from Attorneys Gilman and Rogers concerning Ms. Smolev’s allegations. Commissioner Wey expressed concern that this matter be resolved as soon as possible. Also included in the packet was correspondence from the Public Records Division with a citizen’s complaint. Commissioner Wey expressed the need to follow-up on this.
Old Business: Retirement Board: Ms. Flanders wanted it known that she did not send her letter to the Times, but rather a draft was passed around at a Retirement Board meeting that Nelson Siegelman attended. She said that as Mr. Alley has resigned, she strongly suggests that the Commissioners advertise the vacancy.
Commissioner Smith made a motion to advertise the vacancy on the Retirement Board, seconded by Commissioner Wey. Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Leland expressed his disappointment that Commissioner Alley had lied to his fellow commissioners and misstated facts. He also stated that he felt this was unethical and unacceptable behavior for a County Commissioner who took advantage of his position as Chairman. He also asked if it wouldn’t be appropriate for Commissioner Alley to reimburse the Retirement Board for Meetings missed. Commissioner Wey asked wasn’t the stipend was per job, not per meeting. Commissioner Jason said that Commissioner Alley owes us an apology for shading the truth and misrepresenting the Board. Commissioner Alley stated that he will apologize, it was not his intent to mislead and he did resign. Commissioner Smith accepted Mr. Alley’s apology.
Dukes County Health Council: The Board received a letter from Marguerite Bergstrom asking to be reappointed as Associate Commissioner. Ms. Powers said that this was a Chairman’s reappointment and that it would be done.
County Manager Screening Committee: Chairman Marie Allen presented a job description and a letter listing questions for the Commissioners. The Commissioners thanked Ms. Allen and said that they would discuss the letter at the end of today’s meeting or schedule a meeting next week, if needed.
Health Care Access Program: Sarah Kuh, Coordinator said that at a Department meeting she spoke about the need for new housing for the program. The County Engineer, Steve Berlucci saw the New York Avenue building as a possibility. The estimate for the work is $12,000, which they hope to get donated and use volunteer labor. They also have a grant of $2000 from DCHC towards the project. There was discussion on the condition of the building. Commissioner Wey volunteered his company to help with the project.
Commissioner Wey made a motion to draw up an agreement for the Health Access Program to occupy the New York Avenue site, seconded by Commissioner Jason. Motion passed unanimously.
The Commissioners took a break at 8:27 p.m. and returned at 8:32p.m.
The Commissioners discussed the February 10th letter from the County Manager Screening Committee. The Commissioners discussed the Job Description First. Sheriff McCormack stated that this was a tool, guidelines for the applicants. The footnote is there to note that the law takes precedent over this job description. The Commissioners discussed calling the document a job summary, not job description (as MGL is the description). The Commissioners discussed changing some of the wording in the job summary. Under “Accountabilities”, page 1, 2nd item, delete the words “reporting to the County” as this could be construed as meaning that some departments did not report to the County Manager.
Commissioner Wey made a motion to keep the sentence as written, seconded by Commissioner Smith. Motion supported by Commissioners Wey, Smith and Alley. A no vote was cast by Commissioner Jason and Leland. Motion carries.
Under “Accountabilities”, page 1, 8th item: “Accountable for ensuring that county expenditures are within budgeted levels, unless authorized for excess expenditures…” It was discussed to end the sentence after levels and add “approved” before levels.
Commissioner Leland made a motion to add the word “approved” before levels and end the sentence after “levels”, seconded by Commissioner Jason. Motion approved unanimously.
Under “Accountabilities”, page 3, 5th item, change “sharing” to “distributing” and “with” to “to”.
Under “Accountabilities”, page 3, 8th item, change “of County government” to “for County government.
Under “Accountabilities”, page 3, 9th item, change ‘input” to “participation”.
Commissioner Jason made a motion adopt the job summary with changes as noted, seconded by Commissioner Leland. Motion carries unanimously.
The Commissioners discussed items 2 through 5. Although unavailable for the meeting, Commissioner Sawyer had faxed over his answers prior to the meeting. On question #2, Sheriff McCormack suggested that this question should be thought of as supervision. The Board agreed that the County Manger is accountable to the County Commissioners through the contract language. On question #3, the Board was in complete agreement that the County Manager have a thorough and comprehensible contract with a job performance evaluation by each Commissioner. On question #4, they agreed that they had stated previously the starting point of $60,000 and agreed that there could be a range to $80,000 depending on experience (bearing in mind the amount of money available in the budget). The Commissioners agreed that the salary would have no relation to other county salaries. The Commissioners were in agreement with the answer to question #5: The County Manager is the Executive Head of the County and the Commissioners are the Legislative Body.
Motion to adjourn at 9:32 p.m.
Complete text of meeting is available on tape at the County Commissioner’s office.
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO, JR.
CLERK OF THE COURTS