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County Commission Minutes 11/25/03


A special meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held on Tuesday, November 25, 2003, at 3:00 p.m. at the Dukes County Administration Building, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.~

Commissioners present: John Alley, Chairman; Leonard Jason Jr.; Robert Sawyer and
Leslie Leland.

Also present: Dianne Powers, Acting County Manager; Noreen Flanders, Treasurer; Erin Leighton, Acting Executive Assistant; Sheriff Michael McCormack; Ezra Blair, M.V. Times; David O’Sullivan; Senator O’Leary; Representative Turkington; and Russell Smith.~

Commissioners absent: Roger W. Wey; Nelson Smith, Paul Strauss.~

The Chairman opened the meeting at 3:09 p.m. ~

Discussion regarding legislation proposed by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority
Commissioners Alley, Sawyer, Jason and Leland commented on the proposed legislation. The general consensus was that the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority should remain a regional body, should include Gosnold, should continue to be appointed by the County Commissioners not the individual Towns and the name should remain the same. Additionally the Commissioners agreed that the proposed legislation would clarify and assist the DCRHA in setting fixed rents for its privately financed properties (a prerequisite of the state’s housing financing agency [see attached letter]).

Commissioner Alley reported that~some members of the Housing Authority have asked local towns to support the legislation. Commissioner Sawyer reported that the towns had been asked for funding by the DCRHA for the first time this year since the County is not in a position to provide the requested funding. Senator O'Leary asked which towns contributed, to which Commissioner Sawyer replied all towns. ~

Senator O'Leary asked if the board was unanimously opposed to the proposal as written, to which all present said yes.  There was no objection to the portion that referred to the fixing of rents as written. Senator O'Leary will look into the wording of the legislation and keep the Commissioners informed.

Commissioner Sawyer discussed potential avenues to increase revenues so the County can provide expanded services. Senator O’Leary felt it unlikely that any fees added to real estate transactions would be passed by the legislature. He did suggest that the local tax option (hotel/motel) that generates revenue for cities, towns and the state might be expanded to include a county option.

Sheriff McCormack reported that it was his understanding that there is currently legislation to transfer the Sheriff’s Departments in Barnstable and possibly Suffolk counties to State control. Senator O'Leary replied that there was legislation regarding Barnstable but that Barnstanble and Suffolk are separate issues. He also reported that there will most likely be further budget cuts for fiscal year 2005.

The Sheriff then explained that his department pays 100% of the going rate for medical and dental coverage for inmates. Currently MassHealth suspends coverage of inmates when they come into custody and reinstates it when they are released.  The Sheriff requested that Senator O'Leary look into options that might reduce these costs to the taxpayers.

The meeting Adjourned at 3:50 PM.


The County of Dukes County PO Box 190, Edgartown, MA 02539
Phone: 508.696.3840    Fax: 508.696.3841
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