DUKES COUNTY COMMISSION
Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Chairman John Alley called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. A quorum was present. Commissioners Leonard Jason, Jr., Leslie Leland, Robert M. Sawyer, Nelson Smith, and Roger Wey were present. Deborah H. Potter, Executive Assistant and Acting County Manager was also present.
Other representatives or visitors present included, Joanie Ames of MVTV; Jim Kinsella of the Vineyard Gazette; Ezra Blair, Martha's Vineyard Times; Sheriff Michael McCormack, Dukes County Sheriff; Dan Flynn, Citizen; Lois Flynn, Citizen; John Coskie, Citizen; Tad Crawford, Citizen; TJ Hegarty, Rodent Control Officer, Ted Stanley, Citizen; and Michael Magaraci, Citizen.
Adoption of Minutes:
The draft minutes of February 8, 2006 were distributed and Commissioner Leslie Leland moved and Nelson Smith seconded the motion to defer approval to the next meeting and SO VOTED (4-2-0)
The minutes of February 15 and 22, 2006 meetings were deferred.
County Manager’s Report:
With Mr. Davis away on vacation there was no County Manager’s Report.
Nelson Smith on the MVC promote local products meeting: Mr. Smith reported on the meeting he attended on behalf of the commission. He noted the meeting was attended by both government agencies and local growers and the basic discussion revolved around the discussion of promoting locally grown products and what are some of the issues facing growers and providers. He reported that one of the key issues discussed included the development of an alliance of organizations and individuals who have an interest in the promotion of locally grown products. Another topic, he added, was that the Island Grown Initiative, who has produced a map of local farms, is producing a sticker that will available this summer to growers and producers to put on their products and there was some discussion on the requirements and management of
this item. He also reported that the group discussed the promotion of locally grown products in restaurants, improved distribution of products, and the promotion of local products on the County’s website. Mr. Jason asked if organic products were discussed and Mr. Smith explained that due to competition from large produce providers who are now providing “organic” products the thrust of this group was to promote “local” or “island” grown products many of which are organic anyway.
CY 2006 Appointments for DCHC
Deborah Potter requested a motion to appoint the following individuals to the DCHC:
Ron MacLaren, the new Tribal Health Director Exp. Dec 31, 2006
Tom Bennett, MVCS, inadvertently omitted earlier Exp. Dec 31, 2006
Janet Holladay, Consumer, inadvertently omitted earlier Exp. Dec 31, 2007
Robert Sawyer moved and Leonard Jason Jr. seconded the motion to appoint the individuals as described and SO VOTED (6-0-0).
Robert Sawyer, The Resource, Inc. Grant support letter: Mr. Sawyer gave a brief review of the program which provides funds of up to $30,000 per year to help rehabilitate homes for low and moderate income residents as a loan for 15 years; however, the unusual aspect of this program is that for each year the individual or family remains in the home, 1/15th of the loan is forgiven so that after 15 years the individual owes nothing. He noted the example of an older lady who needed a chair lift to stay in her home but couldn’t afford it; however, when she applied to this group, she received the funds and was able to stay in her home. Mr. Sawyer met with the group on Tuesday and he is hoping to get the support of the County Commissioners for their endeavors. He also passed out a survey that he
asked the Commissioners to fill out to help determine if other applicable grants were available to meet our needs. Robert Sawyer moved and Nelson Smith seconded the sending of the letter presented to the commissioners in support of The Resource, Inc (attachment 1) for discussion. Mr. Jason asked if was for the whole island because we should include Gosnold if possible. Mr. Sawyer noted that was easy to do but it does not include Aquinnah because they are working with Nantucket on this. Mr. Wey reported that Oak Bluffs is one of the leads on this program and Alice Boyd, during a report to the Oak Bluffs selectmen last night, advised that only the two towns who were on the grant, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury, would be eligible for the funds. He also noted that Oak Bluffs was a lead town last year as well as this year and he coordinated getting letters of support from State and Federal representatives on behalf of the program. Mr. Wey noted that
last year they received over a million dollars for the grant but this year they would receive less as the grant has become more restrictive in their requirements. Mr. Leland noted that it appears to be a town initiated application and perhaps it behooves the commission to encourage the other towns to participate. Mr. Sawyer noted that he felt it was important that the commissioners support the request as a sign of community support for the program. Mr. Kinsella advised that he also attended the Oak Bluffs selectmen’s meeting last night and confirmed Mr. Wey’s comments. He stated Ms. Boyd really emphasized only these two towns and gave the impression that it was just for Tisbury and Oak Bluffs. Mr. Wey suggested that before the commissioners sign on to the letter, the answers to these questions be discovered. Mr. Sawyer requested a vote to approve the letter pending clarification of which towns benefit. Mr. Jason suggested
waiting until the commissioners knew whether two towns or five towns would be eligible. No vote or further discussion occurred.
Mr. Sawyer also reported that next Tuesday would be the first meeting of the Prescription Drug Task Force and he would provide a report at the next commissioners’ meeting. Mr. Kinsella asked when and where the meeting would be held and Mr. Sawyer replied Tuesday, March 7, at noon, here at the County Administration Building.
Airport Commissioner Appointments: Mr. Alley noted that the commissioners would be voting on narrowing down the field of candidates for the Airport Commission. Deborah Potter explained the procedure requested by Diane Meibaum, General Counsel to the State Ethics Commission, in that each finalist would sign a consent form for the county to submit a letter of their affiliation, if any, with the airport and Ms. Meibaum would then clear the candidates of any potential conflicts. Mr. Leland stated that in his conversations with the State Ethics commission, he noted it was the responsibility of the individual to call them for the review. He felt this was more appropriate as then each candidate could answer any questions directly and then report back to the Commissioners. Mr. Sawyer noted that this would
normally be the procedure; however, Ms. Meibaum agreed to this alternative as a means to help us rapidly resolve the issue without further delay. Mr. Jason noted that the letter seemed to be just a release form. After some additional discussion on the matter, Mr. Alley noted that Mr. Davis worked out a solution with Ms. Meibaum which was emailed to everyone. He stated that meant the commissioners needed to vote on the finalists. Mr. Wey moved and seconded by Nelson Smith to fill out the ballot and vote on the candidates and Mr. Sawyer expressed a concern that he wanted to select seven finalists instead of just five. Mr. Sawyer then moved and seconded by Leslie Leland to vote for seven candidates and the motion was defeated (2-4-0).
Roger Wey moved to select five names. Leslie Leland reminded the commissioners that he felt there was still a question regarding the availability of two of the seats on the Airport Commission and asked if the County had received a letter from the Cape and Islands District Attorney. Both John Alley and Deborah Potter responded no. Mr. Leland stated that the County would be receiving a letter as he had asked the District Attorney to look into the current situation. Deborah Potter reminded the Commissioners that Roger Wey had already made a motion and seconded by Nelson Smith to fill in the ballots that had not previously been voted on and SO VOTED (5-1-0).
The ballots were filled out and the following Commissioners voted for the individuals as specified below:
Alley: Condon, Coskie, Craig, Ogilvie, Teixeira
Sawyer: Condon, Craig, Hegarty, Ogilvie, Teixeira
Jason: Condon, Coskie, Craig, Ogilvie, Teixeira
Leland: Clarke, Craig, Garfinkle, Hefler, Ogilvie
Smith: Condon, Coskie, Gildea, MacLaren, Teixeira
Wey: Condon, Coskie, Craig, MacLaren, Teixeira
Deborah Potter reported the following results:
Candidates with five votes: Condon, Craig, and Teixeira
Candidates with four votes: Coskie and Ogilvie
Candidates with three votes: None
Candidates with two votes: MacLaren
Candidates with one vote: Clarke, Garfinkle, Gildea, Hefler, and Hegarty
Deborah Potter then advised the commissioners they could submit a slate of six candidates if they desired or if they wanted to submit seven names, they could vote again among the five candidates that received one vote each. Roger Wey moved that the candidates appointed should be the top five and Mr. Sawyer stated he still felt the list was too short and moved to add two or three more names to the list. Mr. Jason stated that even if one is in conflict the others could still be appointed. After some additional discussion, Mr. Leland restated that it should be the responsibility of the individual to call and then have them report back to the Commissioners. Mr. Jason stated that the candidates that are selected should sign the release so that we can discuss the situation with State Ethics. Mr. Smith asked
that if one or more of the five selected was disqualified would the others be eliminated and the positions re-advertised. Robert Sawyer moved/Nelson Smith seconded that the list of candidates be cut to the top six vote getters. Mr. Wey stated he would like to see the process move forward and Mr. Alley noted that the top three appeared to have no conflict and he was trying to move the process forward in the manner requested by State Ethics. Mr. Jason stated even if two of the candidates were disqualified he would just return to the remaining pool of candidates and revote from that group. Mr. Wey noted that he agreed with Mr. Jason that they should vote for the top five vote getters. Mr. Sawyer withdrew his motion from the floor. Leonard Jason Jr. moved and Roger Wey seconded to go with the top five candidates Mr. Alley then asked if these five candidates were the people to be appointed or to be the finalists and Mr. Wey and Mr. Jason both stated
these were people to be appointed. Mr. Alley replied he would vote in favor of the motion now that he understood it. And the motion was SO VOTED (4-0-2). Mr. Kinsella also asked if these were the five appointments pending ethics review or the five finalists and Mr. Alley replied they were the five finalists. Mr. Wey stated he thought the five were the final appointees subject to an ethics review and thought that was what was being voted on. Mr. Leland stated that there were still other issues still pending. Mr. Alley noted that these five top vote getters are the ones that will be appointed. Mr. Wey stated again that he thought these people were the appointees subject to ethics approval. Mr. Sawyer then stated he believed that he thought the commissioners were just shortening the list but apparently the commissioners made five appointments. Mr. Alley noted for the record that these five people were the five appointments
to the Airport Commission pending Ethics approval. Mr. Leland again brought up that there may only be three positions available and that he believed the vote was to select finalists.
Ted Stanley noted that if the Commissioners wanted to make as a condition of the appointment each candidate sign a release that was fine but it was incumbent upon the individual to make the call to the Ethics commission. He added that since it was still somewhat unclear could someone state clearly what had been done. Mr. Alley stated that the Commissioners have appointed five people pending ethics scrutiny to the airport commission.
· The next Dukes County Commissioners Meeting is Wednesday, TBD at 5 p.m. at the Administration Building (time subject to change)
· The Dukes County Regional Housing Authority meets TBD at the DCRHA building, State Road, Vineyard Haven.
· The Martha's Vineyard Airport Commission meets Wednesday, March 15, 2006 5 p.m. at the General Aviation Building
· The Steamship Authority meets Tuesday, March 21, 2006 in Woods Hole
· The Dukes County Health Council meets Thursday, March 23, 2006 at 7:30 a.m. at the West Tisbury Public Safety Building
Public Comment: No further public comment received
Executive Session: None required
With no further business, Chairman John S. Alley asked for a motion to adjourn, made by Robert Sawyer, and Mr. Alley adjourned the meeting at 6:04 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts