A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was scheduled for Wednesday, February 26 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.
Absent: Paul Strauss
Also Present: Dianne Powers, Acting County Manager
Diane Abbot, Deputy County Manager
Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant
Noreen Flanders, County Treasurer
David O’Sullivan, Special Sheriff
Robert Culbert, Recreation Director
Stephen Berlucchi, County Engineer
Ezra Blair, MV Times
Chairman Alley called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Commissioner Leland Moved that the Minutes of February 12, 2003
be Accepted as written. Commissioner Wey asked to make sure Minutes of
January 28, 2003 were amended as he had requested. Commissioner Jason
Seconded the Motion. The Minutes were Approved. Commissioner Sawyer
Ms. Powers reported that it was requested on Friday that Marsha Smolev return to work and that she was happy to have her back. Also, on Friday, Ms. Powers appointed Diane Abbot Temporary Deputy County Manager. Ms. Powers said this would allow her to return to her work at the Registry of Deeds. Ms. Powers said Marsha Smolev and Diane Abbot would put together a good team and accomplish a lot during the Interim period, that they could handle most of it without her ‘interference.’
Ms. Powers reported that she had received additional information from Attorney Rogers and she was starting to pursue different avenues of investigation. She asked that the Commissioners bear with her while she got responses to inquiries and put together an appropriate plan with which to progress.
Woody Williams asked how it would work now that Ms. Smolev was back at work, would Ms. Abbot be Ms. Smolev’s boss. Does Marsha Smolev report to Diane Abbot? Dianne Powers referred to the Interim Report which was approved and that stated that when Ms. Smolev returned, Ms. Abbot would shift and free Dianne Powers so she could return to the Registry. Ms. Powers said she was not saying Ms. Abbot was Ms. Smolev’s boss and she expected the two to work as a team.
Woody Williams said Ms. Smolev was dismissed then asked to return and Diane Abbot was appointed. At what public meetings were these issues discussed and under what authority did it happen? Dianne Powers said under her authority as Acting County Manager under advice of Counsel and with discussions with the County Commissioners. Woody Williams said he just wanted it in the record.
Diane Abbot reported on the progress of the Search Committee. There were 54 applicants. Of these, 23 were selected to receive packets and questions to answer by March 15. The remaining 32 were sent letters of rejection. Commissioner Wey asked that there be an update of the Search Committee’s timetable at the next meeting.
Steve Berlucchi reported on the reconstruction of the bridges on Beach Road.
Commissioner Sawyer Moved that Engineer Berlucchi be appointed to serve as the
County’s representative to monitor and oversee the bridge reconstruction project.
Commissioner Wey Seconded the Motion. Commissioner Jason suggested that
Engineer Berlucchi report to Oak Bluffs and Edgartown Selectmen. The Vote to
Approve the Motion was Unanimous.
Commissioner Wey agreed there was a sense of disapproval about the proposed bridge’s handrail designs and a real concern that closing the bridges to traffic would create safety issues and hardship for shell fishermen. Commissioner Jason voiced concern about budget cuts affecting completion of the projects. Robert Culbert distributed a letter to Mr. McCourt of Mass Highways, asking that consideration be made for best management practices to control and treat contaminants in road-related storm water runoff in the bridge projects.
Mr. Berlucchi reviewed the building construction for the New York Avenue Health Access building, thanking volunteers like Commissioner Wey and asking for further donations. Mr. Berlucchi suggested calling the building a residential not commercial building to reduce NSTAR costs, but Commissioner Wey suggested speaking to an electrical inspector since the building really was commercial.
Mr. Berlucchi said there could be a possibility of problems with the new Community Corrections building since the electrical pole is already loaded.
Chairman Alley asked Commissioners to review the SSA Fast Ferry packets for discussion at the next meeting.
Woody Williams asked for an update on Commissioners’ Wey and Sawyer’s review of the Personnel Bylaws, referring to the ‘Borer scandal.’ He also asked for the Board’s position on getting money back from her. Commissioner Sawyer said the review was delayed due to his illness, but there would be a report next meeting. Dianne Powers said it was up to the Board to decide whether to pursue getting the money back or not. It was recalled that the Commissioners were waiting for a written response by Mrs. Borer. Commissioner Wey asked if the County had written to request a written response. Ms. Powers said she had not been directed to do so but that Mrs. Borer was aware of the Board’s request.
Woody Williams asked if the Board was willing to seek an independent state investigation into ‘the Carol Borer situation.’ He said the Board was stalling and he was asking the Board to seek an outside state investigation. He added that now there were two assistants and he wanted the problem solved, not ‘swept under the rug.’ Commissioner asked that Mr. Williams separate his requests and not confuse the review of the Bylaws with this.
Dianne Powers referred to a letter from the Ethics Commission handed to her by Commissioner Leland dated February 14, 2003, stating that the Commissioner was satisfied that the buyback issue didn’t require further action on their part according to information supplied by Commissioner Leland. Woody Williams said there was new evidence since that time and the issue would not go away.
Commissioner Wey asked about the bill for fixing Mrs. Borer’s computer that was a result of tampering. Ms. Powers said Mr. Borer admitted inadvertently removing files and the bill was about $980.
Commissioner Wey Moved that the bill be sent to Steven Borer. Commissioner
Jason Seconded the Motion. The vote to pass was Unanimous.
The meeting adjourned at 8:27 PM.
Complete text of meeting is available on tape at the County Commissioner’s office.
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO, JR.
CLERK OF THE COURTS