A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was scheduled for Wednesday, May 14, 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; Robert Sawyer; Nelson Smith; and Paul Strauss
Absent: Roger Wey
Also Present: Dianne Powers, Acting County Manager; Diane Abbot, Deputy County Manager; Noreen Mavro Flanders, County Treasurer; Sheriff Michael McCormack; Ezra Blair, MV Times; Joanna Jernegan, Tad Crawford and Laurie Perry.
Chairman Alley brought the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Minutes of April 30th were approved.
Minutes of May 3rd were approved with a correction. In the third paragraph on the vote of the Commissioners, it should read “Commissioners Strauss and Smith voted for Mr. Davis.”
Minutes of May 5th were approved. Commissioners Alley and Sawyer abstained.
Acting County Managers Report:
Ms. Powers reported had she had contacted Attorney Perry concerning Steven Borer and the payment of the Computer Lab bill. Attorneys Gilman and Perry are working out the details. Ms. Powers reported that the Sheriff’s union negotiations are set for June 25th and she will represent the County. Ms. Powers also thanked Ms. Abbot for her help during the interim period. Commissioner Alley expressed his appreciation on behalf of the Board and Sheriff McCormack also expressed his appreciation.
Chairman Alley reported that he is the representative to the Cape Light Compact and that there will be an Energy Fair on Saturday, May 17th from 10 to 5 at the MV Regional High School. It will be informative and interesting.
Commissioner Sawyer discussed the report on personnel policies relating to the new County Manager that he and Commissioner Wey had delivered to the Commissioners. He said that this had never been discussed and needs to be addressed. Commissioner Jason asked if they had meet with the Personnel Board and if not to sit down with them first. Commissioner Sawyer said that they would sit down with the Personnel Board and then be put on the agenda to come before the Commissioners. Acting County Manager Powers suggested that the report was outside of the scope of what they had been asked to do. She told Commissioner Sawyer that she would bring to him the minutes from the appropriate meeting.
Commissioner Sawyer also brought up his concern over the SSA vote on the fast ferry proposal to be taken at the SSA meeting on Thursday, May 15. He felt that the Commissioners should discuss it and make any recommendations that they have to the Vineyard Governor. Commissioner Jason agreed that any decision made tomorrow could be disastrous. Commissioner Strauss agreed that any decision on SSA plans are crucial to the whole Island and need to be reviewed. Chairman Alley remarked that we did have the governor here and we did touch upon those subjects. Commissioner Strauss mentioned that at that time, the governor did not have all the information. There was more discussion and a recommendation that the Commissioners’ concern be relayed to their steamship appointee.
Commissioner Sawyer made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Leland that the Dukes County Commissioners respectfully request a delay in the New England Fast Ferry vote before you today until such time as adequate planning and public input has occurred. It is our belief that the current proposal is not sound financially and not in the best interest of the Vineyard community. Commissioners Alley, Jason, Leland, Sawyer and Strauss voted in favor of the motion. Commissioner Smith voted against it. The motion carried.
Chairman Alley stated that Cassie Roessel, Wayne Lampson and Art Flathers are on the agenda for the May 28th meeting.
Commissioner Sawyer noted that he has two agenda items for a future meeting: awards and a proposed funding concept. Chairman Alley said that he would get back to him on that.
Commissioner Strauss noted that he went to the MEPA Review and that the MVC session on Friday, May 16 will discuss the modifications.
Tad Crawford stated that Len Stewart, Chairman of the Department of Human Services will be visiting the Island in the next couple of weeks and he would like to introduce him to the Commissioners. He will let the Commissioners know when he will be here.
Noreen Mavro Flanders mentioned that there will be an All Island Health Fair for all municipal employees on May 21 from 10 to 5 at the Masonic Hall in Oak Bluffs.
Laurie Perry, the next County Manager asked the Commissioners that when writing the personnel contract for her, not be punitive in nature based on the former Manager’s performance. She said it is a new day, she has a lot to offer and she is ready to get to work.
Commissioner Sawyer stated that the Hebrew Center has hired a full-time, year-round rabbi. They are planning a reception for her in August.
Commissioner Sawyer made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Jason that the County Commissioners draft an appropriate letter welcoming the new rabbi to the Vineyard community. Motion carried unanimously.
Laurie Perry passed to the Commissioners a letter from Brona Simon, the State Archaeologist for the Massachusetts Historical Commission, concerning the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Improvement Plan. The letter states that an intensive archeological survey must be conducted for project impact areas. Ms. Perry brought this to the Commissioners’ attention as they were not listed as having received a copy.
Chairman Alley stated that the Commisisoners neede to go into Executive Session to:
1. Discuss litigation concerning Weibrecht/Flynn vs the Airport Commission
2. Discuss employee contract negotiation
3. Discuss the report concerning allegations by Ms. Smolev
Commissioner Jason made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Sawyer to invite Laurie Perry to sit in. Commissioners Jason, Leland, Sawyer and Smith voted in the affirmative. Commissioner Strauss voted no and Chairman Alley abstained. Motion carried.
Roll call vote to go into executive session and not reconvene in public session:
Sawyer – yes
Jason – yes
Smith – yes
Strauss - yes
Leland – yes
Alley - yes
The Commissioners took a break at 8:25 pm.
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO, JR.
CLERK OF THE COURTS