DUKES COUNTY COMMISSION
May 10, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.
County Administration Building
Call to order
Chairman John Alley called the meeting to order at 5:01 p.m. A quorum was present. Commissioners Robert Sawyer, Roger Wey, Nelson Smith, Paul Strauss, and Leslie Leland were present as well as County Manager E. Winn Davis and Deborah H. Potter, Executive Assistant.
Other representatives or visitors present included Joanie Ames of MVTV, Jim Kinsella of the Vineyard Gazette, Dianne Powers, Register of Deeds, and Noreen Mavro Flanders, Dukes County Treasurer.
Adoption of Minutes:
Leslie Leland moved, seconded by Nelson Smith, to accept the minutes of February 8, 2006 and SO VOTED unanimously.
Leslie Leland moved, seconded by Nelson Smith, to accept the minutes of February 22, 2006 and SO VOTED unanimously.
Leslie Leland moved, seconded by Robert Sawyer, to accept the minutes of April 19, 2006 and SO VOTED (5-0-1) with Nelson Smith abstaining.
Robert Sawyer moved, seconded by Paul Strauss, to accept the minutes of the following Executive Sessions and SO VOTED unanimously.
June 25, 2003
July 2, 2003
July 23, 2003
July 30, 2003
August 13, 2003 6 p.m.
August 13, 2003 9 p.m.
August 28, 2003
May 26, 2004
September 22, 2004
Robert Sawyer moved, seconded by Leslie Leland, to accept the Executive Session minutes of May 19, 2003 and SO VOTED unanimously.
Robert Sawyer moved, seconded by Leslie Leland, to accept the Executive Session minutes of June 2, 2003 and SO VOTED 4-0-2 with Mr. Alley and Mr. Smith abstaining.
Robert Sawyer moved, seconded by Paul Strauss, to accept the Executive Session minutes of November 12, 2003 and July 14, 2004 and SO VOTED 5-0-1 with Mr. Alley abstaining.
Robert Sawyer moved, seconded by Paul Strauss, to accept the Executive Session minutes of June 9, 2003 and July 16, 2003 and SO VOTED 5-0-1 with Mr. Wey abstaining.
Robert Sawyer moved, seconded by Leslie Leland, to accept the Executive Session minutes of July 9, 2003 and SO VOTED 5-0-1 with Mr. Strauss abstaining.
Leslie Leland moved, seconded by Paul Strauss, to accept the Executive Session minutes of February 25, 2004 and SO VOTED 4-0-2 with Mr. Sawyer and Mr. Smith abstaining.
Robert Sawyer moved, seconded by Leslie Leland, to accept the Executive Session minutes of March 23, 2005 and SO VOTED 5-0-1 with Mr. Smith abstaining.
County Managers Report:
NACO: Mr. Davis reported that the county is joining the National Association of Counties starting on June 1, 2006 for a variety of reasons. He added that one of the primary reasons the county is joining is that as a member; the County can provide a discount drug prescription card to residents through CareMark. He stated that this service, available only through counties who are members, would be available to anyone residing in Dukes County at no charge. He noted that the pharmacies on the island participate and it is for individuals without insurance. He added that the average savings to consumers is about 20% and the Associate Commissioner for Health Care Access, Dr. Klein, was familiar with the program and offered a positive report on CareMark. He stated that it will be available soon at
the County Administration office and he will keep everyone advised on the progress.
Rodent Control Officer: Mr. Davis reported that the Rodent Control department held a successful seminar today that was free to residents or service providers. He noted that speakers included representatives from Residex and Bell Labs and it also served as recurrent training for service providers.
Other Information: Mr. Davis noted that the next meeting of the commissioners would be on May 17 to comply with the statute and would include reports from various departments.
Mr. Sawyer asked Mr. Davis to update the commissioners on the County Association meeting and Mr. Davis noted that he was helping with the local aspects of the meeting, invited our State Senator to attend, and arranged for revenue enhancement to be included on the agenda. Mr. Sawyer suggested a letter from E. Winn Davis as host county might help encourage attendance. Mr. Davis noted that he has already invited numerous individuals including the Treasurer, Register of Deeds, the Sheriff, and all of the Associate Commissioners as well to attend the meetings and luncheon.
Chairman’s Report and Communication:
Mr. Alley stated he had no report other than the Energy Fair conducted last Saturday was very successful.
Meeting with Congressman Delahunt: Commissioner Roger Wey reported that he had been invited to participate in a forum in Kingston on April 17th. He noted that he was part of a panel invited to speak on Medicate part D and prescription drug issues coming from the seniors on the island. He added approximately 60 people attended the meeting and a very healthy discussion, especially regarding extending the prescription drug advantage program, ensued between the participants.
Mr. Leland noted there was still a lot of confusion for many of the eligible individuals. Mr. Smith noted that he went through this with his mother and he went to the Medicare website and found that useful. Mr. Wey added that there are SHINE representatives at the Senior Centers who are available to help individuals enroll as well.
Mr. Davis noted that Veterans may find the VA programs provide an alternative to Medicare part D and Jo Ann Murphy, the county Veterans’ Agent, can assist Veterans in enrolling in VA programs.
Paul Strauss and Nelson Smith on Lyme disease Forum:
Mr. Smith advised that he, Mr. Strauss, and Mr. Jason all attended the Lyme disease public forum on Saturday. He noted the presentation was excellent and there were 5 physicians on the panel. He added that it would be difficult to pinpoint specific information but the most notable thing he came away with was if you can get the tick of you quickly (within 24hours) you are probably okay in that very few ticks actually carry the disease. He stated that the doctors based their diagnosis on symptoms and only use the Lyme test to confirm the diagnosis. He commended Dr. Klein and Kendra Reed who worked very hard on the project.
Mr. Davis noted that the Katherine Cornell theatre was full with standing room only. Noreen Mavro Flanders found it interesting in that she was misinformed in thinking that every tick carried the disease as opposed to just a few as advised by the doctors on the panel. She added that Dr. Klein was thrilled with the responses and she received over 90 questions including some from Oregon.
E. Winn Davis noted that the Friday seminar was well attended as well which was the practioners seminar. Ms. Flanders also noted that Dr. Klein was thrilled in that 100% of the practioners who signed up for the Friday night event showed up which was highly unusual. Paul Strauss added that it was an interesting and timely service for the people of the vineyard. Mr. Sawyer suggested sending a letter of thanks to all the people who helped with the event including the Zanes and the speakers.
EOY FY2006 Transfers:
Noreen Mavro Flanders noted this was the routine cleaning up of overdrafts that occurs at the end of every year. She noted the first section is transfers within county departments, the second section is transfers inter-departmental transfers, and the third section is a supplemental appropriation Mr. Davis will go over. She suggested the commissioners review the documents and then she would cover any questions.
Highlights of the Intradepartmental Transfers include:
o Commissioners Dept: Liability Insurance was inadvertently not funded in last year’s budget.
o Admin Building: Ocean Goldwire no longer cares for the Admin Building that is being temporarily serviced by Eric Goldwire.
o Misc: Includes FY04 Annual Report printing and EAP. Mr. Sawyer asked if the transfer from Legal to the other accounts still left us okay in the legal area and Ms. Flanders replied yes.
o Health and Environment: Increase is due to increased hours for towns that will be billed.
o Treasurers Dept: Misc. Computer equipment is due to an overage that occurred during the purchase of the new equipment.
o Increase in salaries: Noreen Mavro Flanders noted that several individuals received increases and this was due to the last COLA being approved and paid after the budgets were prepared.
Mr. Sawyer asked if the Department Heads were aware of the changes and Ms. Flanders replied that yes it had been discussed with them. Mr. Davis also noted that the Airport had not submitted their transfers yet because there was a new sub-committee and Mr. Flynn wanted to cover the transfers with that group first before submitting them to the Treasurer.
Ms. Flanders then noted that the next section included the Interdepartmental Transfers and highlights included:
o Associate Commissioners: Associate Commissioners have completed most of their work and would not use all of the available funds.
o Telephone: Many of the departments are now under a state contract and as a result many departments are showing significant savings.
o Group Insurance Retirees: As a result of unfortunate deaths, this amount is decreased.
o Natural Resources: The department has been eliminated so the funds are being transferred.
o Emergency Management: Noreen Mavro Flanders noted that Mr. Cotnoir was happy to help the county out with this end of year clean up but did not want to be penalized for cooperating in the future. Mr. Davis noted that when we do our first supplemental in FY07, the first priority will be to refund the Emergency Management department.
Paul Strauss asked what part of the total Emergency Management budget did this cover and Noreen Mavro Flanders advised it was about 13% of the entire budget. Mr. Davis noted that a policy had been established that any department that wants to expend more than 1/12 of their budget after March needs to ask for permission first.
Noreen Mavro Flanders noted that issues with building maintenance and the liability insurance have taken up a substantial amount of the budget. Mr. Davis noted that he and Sean Flynn are going to do a joint RFP for cleaning for both buildings in an attempt to reduce costs.
Mr. Leland asked if we put out RFP’s for the Rubbish pick up and Noreen Mavro Flanders noted that as of this moment we don’t. Mr. Davis stated that we would look into that for the future.
Noreen Mavro Flanders stated that none of the above changes affect the budgets bottom line; however, the last page is the Supplemental Appropriations which will have an effect. She noted that Mr. Davis has some information to distribute regarding these changes. Noreen Mavro Flanders noted that some of the changes were the result of the Registry of Deeds losing a member of their staff that resulted in the other employees not being able to take their vacations.
Mr. E. Winn Davis distributed his information packets to all the commissioners and he noted that the Sheriff’s Dept and the Registrar of Deeds have the resources available to fund a 3% Cola for their employees. He added that the county does not have the resources the pay a full 3% COLA for the whole year but in the spirit of cooperation, all the departments are willing to provide a COLA for six months, effective January 1, which comes to $6924.99 for the county employees.
He added that this request does not cover the Registry of Deeds or Sheriff because they have there own funds and this proposal covers only the employees listed on the distributed sheet.
Robert M. Sawyer moved to accept all the transfers; Intradepartmental, Interdepartmental, and Supplemental; as presented, seconded by Paul Strauss, and SO VOTED unanimously (6-0-0).
New Business: Mr. Davis noted that after speaking to the Chairman, the length of term for the county newspaper will be handled internally and will continue with a one-year process. He then continued to discuss the Annual Report.
Mr. Davis noted that the annual report as issued costs approximately $2000 per year and while he would like to get away from printing them entirely, there is a statutory obligation to print the treasurer’s reports. He noted that Deborah Potter prepared a “sample” report in an 8 ½ by 11 format that would be more cost effective, engaging, and timely to produce and therefore, providing there are no objections, the format of the Annual Report will change to the sample provided. After a brief discussion citing the benefits of the change and noting no opposition to the change, Mr. Davis advised that the change would go into effect with the FY05 report. Dianne Powers noted that she would like to see the Registry of Deeds added to the services page on the back of the report in the future.
Mr. Kinsella asked Mr. Davis about the delay regarding the reports and Mr. Davis noted that we are catching up as we speak and there should not be any delay in the reports in the future. Mr. Smith asked when the FY05 report would be ready and Deborah Potter noted that it was essentially complete but was being held to accommodate the format change to reduce spending.
Noreen Mavro Flanders noted that part of the problem was with some departments not submitting reports on time. She added that the financial part of the report was available in October and hopefully this delay will not occur again in the future.
· The County Advisory Board for Expenditures meets May 24, at 7:00 pm at the County Administration Building.
· The Dukes County Health Council meets on May 25, at 7:30 a.m. at the West Tisbury Public Safety Building
· The Martha's Vineyard Airport Commission meets June 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the General Aviation Building
· The Steamship Authority meets June 20, 2006 in Vineyard Haven.
· The Dukes County Regional Housing Authority meets June 20, 4 p.m. at the DCRHA building, State Road, Vineyard Haven.
Jim Kinsella asked what was the statutory meeting and Mr. Davis advised that the law specifies that the county is required to meet at least twice a year on specific dates and this meeting will comply with this requirement.
Mr. Kinsella also asked that when the prescription drug benefit goes in effect how will the cards be distributed and Mr. Davis advised that we will issue a press release and disseminate the information to as many groups as possible with the specifics of the program. Mr. Kinsella asked if individuals would have to physically come to the building and Mr. Davis noted that they would so that we can see their proof of residency.
Mr. Kinsella also asked if the contract with the County Manager allows for COLA increases and Mr. Alley stated yes. Mr. Sawyer noted that during his reading of the Executive Session minutes that issue was addressed and did not need to be voted separately.
Noreen Mavro Flanders reported to the Commissioners that every three years we get evaluated for our bond rating. She noted that three years ago we had an AA+ rating and she reported that we have been reaffirmed AA+ by Standard and Poors.
With no further business, Chairman John S. Alley adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts