A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held Wednesday,
July 23, 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: Leonard Jason, Jr.; Robert Sawyer; Leslie Leland; John Alley, Chairman; Nelson Smith; Paul Strauss; Roger Wey.
Also Present: Dianne Powers, Acting County Manager; Marsha Smolev, Executive Assistant; Sheriff McCormack; Ezra Blair, MV Times; Mandy Locke, Vineyard Gazette; Laurie Perry; Mandred Henry; Finbarr O’Connor.
The Chairman opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m.
Commissioner Jason Moved that the Minutes of June 9, 2003 be Accepted as written. Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The Motion Passed. Commissioner Strauss abstained.
Commissioner Jason Moved that the Minutes of June 16, 2003 be Accepted as written, but added that he wanted to clarify that the reason he asked a letter to be written to Senator O’Leary and Representative Turkington was to ask them to speak to the Vineyard community before they proposed their amendment. Commissioner Wey Seconded the Motion. The Motion Passed. Commissioner Wey abstained.
Ms. Powers reported that several problems with the Ion Chromatography machine had been corrected and Rob Culbert was presently running samples to be sent to Dionex. Commissioner Sawyer asked if after a year of having problems with this machine there had been movement towards some kind of credit from the manufacturer. Commissioner Strauss said he had met with Mr. Culbert and that as far as he knew he Mr. Culbert had not yet asked formally for any kind of reimbursement or extension of the warranty or anything else, but that he certainly had it in mind. Commissioner Sawyer suggested that Rob have some kind of guidance on this and that there was a ‘terrible inequity there.’
Tad Crawford reported on the Grant that Congressman Delahunt announced was awarded for Island Health Care. The outreach Grant included funds for extending the reduced fee program, cultural competency (medical interpreter) and a rural health clinic.
Commissioner Strauss reported there would be a meeting of the Barrier Beach Task Force the next day.
Commissioner Smith reported that discussions were continuing in Executive Sessions at the Airport regarding the Manager’s and Assistant Manager’s salaries. He also noted that fuel sales were down over the July 4th weekend. He said the Airport Commission had abandoned their efforts to put a new Jail and House of Corrections on the Northeast Quadrant and instead would seek to put this structure on a parcel near the Hot Tin Roof. Commissioner Smith said the Hot Tin Roof had requested permission to put a trailer on their property but the Airport Commission had voted against allowing this until the Hot Tin Roof took care of other business with the County.
There was discussion about the new location for the proposed Jail and House of Corrections. Sheriff McCormack said he was pleased that a site had been picked considering the immediacy of the problem. Commissioner Jason asked about the structure being discussed noting that he’d heard people were planning to use it as a meeting place. Chairman Alley said the structure would have to be able to be moved in the future (like the Ropes Course could be moved if necessary.) Commissioner Jason voiced concern about abandoning the Northeast Quadrant idea without getting something in writing about this new parcel. The Sheriff said the Chair of the Airport Commission was writing to FAA and MAC to say the Northeast Quadrant had been taken out of the picture and to ask confirmation about this new idea.
Commissioner Leland Moved that the Commissioners Approve the carryovers for the Airport. Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion. The Vote to Approve was Unanimous.
Commissioner Smith Moved that the Commissioners Approve the carryovers for the Recreation Department. Commissioner Sawyer Seconded the Motion. The Vote to Approve was Unanimous.
Commissioner Sawyer distributed a list of suggested members of the County Funding Plan Task Force (attached.) He asked that Commissioners review the list for discussion and suggestions at the next meeting.
Chairman Alley asked how the Commissioners wanted to proceed regarding the discussion about the County Manager situation. Commissioner Smith said, in reference to a quote attributed to him in last week’s Gazette that the “County was limping along,” that he meant that the Commissioners were having difficulty with this situation. He said he did not mean anything disparaging towards the County Employees and added that he thought Dianne Powers was doing a wonderful job.
Commissioner Smith reported that as a citizen and not only a Commissioner, he had spoken with Michael Trudeau, Assistant DA, about if it had been proper to make the Motion he had made the way he did last week. Commissioner Smith said Mr. Trudeau said it was proper but the Motion could be made under Contract Negotiations and suggested that it be done both ways (referring to a Motion to go into Executive Session for reasons concerning character and reputation.)
Commissioner Sawyer Moved that the Commissioners go into Executive Session to conduct a strategy session for negotiations with non-union personnel and include Ms. Smolev, Ms. Powers and Ms. Perry and not return to Open Session. Commissioner Jason Seconded the Motion. Chairman Alley called for a Roll Call vote on the Motion: Commissioner Sawyer – aye; Commissioner Wey – aye; Commissioner Jason – aye; Commissioner Smith – aye; Commissioner Strauss – aye; Commissioner Leland – aye; Chairman Alley – aye.
Commissioner Smith Moved that as recommended by Mr. Trudeau the Commissioners also go into Executive Session to discuss the reputation and character of Laurie Perry. There was no second.
The Commissioners moved into Executive Session at 8:05 PM.
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO, JR., CLERK OF THE COURTS -