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County Commission Minutes 05-17-06

May 17, 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., Paul Strauss, Leslie Leland and Robert M. Sawyer 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; Noreen Mavro Flanders, Dukes County Treasurer; Chuck Cotnoir, Dukes County Emergency Management Director, Sheriff Michael McCormack, Dukes County Sheriff; Sean Flynn, Airport Manager;

Adoption of Minutes
Accept the Executive Session minutes of February 11, 2004

Accept the minutes of May 10, 2006 and  

County Managers Report:

Gosnold Trip: The first date is July 12 with a rain date of July 26.

Alamo Rolling Roadshow:  The county has been approached to by

The Alamo rolling roadshow has requested…sponsored by Netflix.  They would like to show the movie on the Beach.  Initially, the proposal was at the little bridge, then they moved to the big bridge.  Eventually, it was decided that the big bridge was not appropriate and Edgartown is not willing to support the endeavor.  

Mr. Davis has spoken to Chief Blake who is still willing to listen to the proposal.
The idea is now to and when the final proposal is received by the Alamo Rolling roadshow

Mr. Smith asked what date they were considering and he was advised Aug 2-7.  Mr. Smith noted that was a good time since the plovers should be fledged by then.  

There are still many issues that need to be addressed prior to the final approval.  Mr. Kinsella asked how many tickets would they issue and Mr. Davis advised that they were going to allow the county to make the final determination.  

Mr. Jason ….   Leslie Leland noted that we do cater to tourists

Chairman’s Report and Communication:  

Subcommittee Reports:  
Emergency Management:  Mr. Davis noted that

Chuck Cotnoir advised that … would be a postion created by the Dukes County Commissioners as it does not currently exist.  


The purpose to brief the SSA governor on ….
That could potentially affect the island and its ability to sustain itself.  
He noted that he just received the Federal ….flu pandemic.  They are concerned about the infrastructure breakdown for the delivery of supplies.  He has heard numerous times from other managers about….

He noted that during the last winter storm, he was coordinating with NSTAR to bring some trucks over and …..
He noted that this particular position would help to bring this coordination about.  

Mr. Jason asked if Chuck had discussed this with the SSA and he replied that he had.  Mr. Hanover noted that he had confidence in the SSA and they are working on a COG plan.  He added that the SSA would …..

Mr. Hanover noted that there are new issues that need to be dealt with.  Mr. Davis added that this is not any reflection on the SSA but is merely an attempt to create a more formal structure for the dissemination of information.  Mr. Leland noted that he thought it was a win-win situation for it established a clear line of communication to discuss issues regarding a variety of situations.  Mr. Sawyer added that the emphasis was on communication and that remains the key.  It was not an issue regarding the SSA but really just identifes the lines of communication that can be used especially in the event of a disaster.  Mr. Strauss added that while communication is essential, it also would serve the purpose of

Mr. Strauss noted that instead of creating a separate position, the responsibility should just be added that addresses the need and that the
Steve Sayer noted that the purpose is correct but that if they had the time, they could discuss the structure with Chuck Cotnoir and that within the
Historically, the board has gone to the people

Robert M. Sawyer added that the title of the position really shouldn’t be an issue but that communication is really the key.  It is essential that Chuck Cotnoir be included within the process to be kept informed of what is going on.  

John Alley suggested that the issue be put off until Chuck Cotnoir and the SSA

Chuck Cotnoir distributed some pictures of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.  He noted that if our docks get knocked
Althought the SSA legislation alludes to SSA … rescue the island after an emergency.  

He would like to investigate the possibility of getting the various stakes holders to help determine.

Robert M. Sawyer moved that Chuck Cotnoir in his position as the Dukes County Emergency Manager meet with the SSA to help determine, Paul Strauss seconded, and SO MOVED unanimously.  

Mr. Davis asked Mr. Cotnoir to provide a brief description of his meeting tonight and Mr. Cotnoir replied

N moved, February 11, 2004, seconded by

SSA:  Mr. Hanover explained that there currently is a bill in the State that would seriously limit the ability of the SSA to negotiate with the unions.  It has been pushed through without any input from the islands, ports, public hearings by one particular union who has cancelled 19 meetings over the past few years.  

Mr. Lamson noted the positon paper that has been submitted in oppsition to the proposed bill.  As it is currently drafted, this would authorize a single arbitrator to decide wages and benefits for this union.  He feels that this is unreasonable and the SSA has worked satisfactorily with the other six unions and it is only this one union that is problem.

Mr.     noted that this bill would require t he SSA to enter nto binding arbitration if the SSA and Union do not agree to a contract within 5 months after the end of the period.  He stated that if any group feels that the SSA is acting unreasonable, they can go to the …. They are public employees and
They feel it is inappropriate to have a single person decide what is
It will take away from the islands any control they had over a variety of factors.

The specifics of the bill ….Only one other group has a binding clause and that is the MBTA.  

What this bill does it give the union the binding arbitration but omits the restoration of management rights.  He noted that the best way to get
The issues here are significant….without impacting negatively the employees financial benefits.  They are within the top 10% of well paid employees within their wage group.  What the SSA is trying to do is

He added that they want to have a SSA that serves the ….he noted that they SSA was going to decrease manning rights on some boats and the SSA agreed to keep the level for five years and they paid a severance package to those who were able to take the early retirement.  

Mr. Strauss noted that with the information that they have, he notes that he supports the SSA position but is concerned about portraying the union as the bad entity in this issue.  Neither of those position seems sustainable and he questions the inherent rights of management.

Mr.   noted that they have already agreed to many things that they did not have to in an attempt to be reasonable and fair to their employees.  The goal is to have everyone feel ……

Mr. Strauss noted that
A management that is not under any form of external control is likely to lead to a possible corruption….
He wondered if there was a process that could ….
Mr.  noted that they were in mediation and he reported that they were in a fact finding process and if you still can not make any agreement the facts become public therefore the public pressure from would help to keep the agency in check.  

Mr. Lamson noted that management is hired by the SSA Board and briefs them regularly.  They are all on board.  Nelson Smith noted that the bill as present seemed ill conceived and without asking for input from the affected communities.

Nelson Smith moved that winn craft a letter in opposition to the motion…, seconded by Leonard Jason Jr., and added to have a public hearing on the situation.  

Mr. Sawyer noted that one thing that disturbed him was the fact that this bill worked its way into the legislature without any public hearing.  Mr. Alley noted this was another attempt by the union to have Beacon Hill try to solve the problem with the SSA.  He noted it displayed a great insensitivity to the people who live on the island and that we should work together to defeat it.  AND SO VOTED unanimously.  

Mr.    noted that there is no time frame for the legislation and the joint meeting could be anytime in June.  Mr. Jason asked if

The timeframe was    

Mr. Hanover noted that he ……
He added that part of what is going on is that the Board is trying to make the SSA operate more efficiently and more responsive to the public.  

Commissioner Strauss on Energy Day:  Mr. Strauss advised that there was an Energy Day on Sarurday, may 6.  The main event was a talk by the Building Official from Aspen Colorado.  The surprise was that a very comprehensive set of building regulations govern that area.  Aspen/Pitkin County are proud of what they have accomplished.  The main idea was that we need to determine that there is sufficient interest in …reduce the amount of energy that the island people use.   The thought that lead to bringing this to the Commissioners came about from a few residents determining the need for a policy regulating …. And the county took the inititive to create these policy.  Mr. Strauss is wondering if the Dukes County commissioners are interested in having our county take the lead in

Mr. Sawyer noted that is a reason….
Mr. Sawyer asked if they talked about what they did for housing and Mr. Strauss noted that they described that the energy rules as related to building codes are based on the size of the structure become more stringent the larger the building becomes.  An applicant needs to ….earn
Nelson Smith added that the county as an initial action might want to invite builders, building inspectors, etc to sit and talk about it.  Mr. Jason noted that an appropriate role may be to have the county create a “county code” that is above the basic code that would be universal across the island.  

Mr. Strauss will coordinate with Kate Warner to schedule a meeting to bring …..

Mr. Alley and Mr. Strauss departed the meeting and Mr. Alley turned the meeting over to Mr. Sawyer.  

Mr. Revere noted that Mr. and Mrs. Cook had not arrived yet and he suggested attending to other business as well.

Old Business:

New Business:
Airport Transfers:  Noreen Mavro Flanders noted that the commissioners were provided a list of transfers provided by Sean Flynn today.  They are all intradepartmental transfers.  Mr. Davis reported that the airport subcommittee has just approved the transfers as requested.  

Noreen Mavro Flanders noted the transfers from new wages into union wages .  The bottom of the page from retirement into other departments is for an excess appropriation .  The holiday pay is high as the result of the loss of an employee.  
She added that some of the funds for the assistant manager….

Robert Sawyer asked Noreen if she had any reservations about any of the items and she noted that she wanted to ensure that the figures for Sean Flynn take into account the COLA.

Nelson Smith asked why there are so many transfers into and out of new wages and Noreen Mavro Flanders explained that it simplifies the transfers.  

Nelson Smith  moved to accept the transfers as presented, seconded by Leonard Jason Jr., and SO VOTED unanimously (4-0-0).

Island Wide Septage Management Proposal:  Mr. Revere introduced Dr Jan Cook who is the CEO of Northern Star industries who have the rights to the Hamstern Wasterwater treatment methods in effect in Sweden.  

Mr. Cook advised the commissioners about the comprehensive study regarding waste issues on the island.  It represents about 13 years of study and a comprehensive conclusion that denotes that …waste is an effective means for the island to resolve its waste issues.  

Mr. Cook noted that he provided a summary of solutions to Mr. Davis advised the creation of a Dukes County Waster Management Authority with the idea of serving ….  The service would be mobile, able to treat, compost solids to be distributed to island residents, would be fee based, managed and staffed by on island individuals.

The county would garage the equipment at county owned properties and could employ…by competitive bid process.  Revenue sources could be as follows:

Revenue from the service
Revenue from the composted solids
Revenue from the inspection of on-site systems
Public entities would be expempt from fees.

Nelson Smith noted that he was familiar with the process and asked if this has been done in Mass before and would they b
The only level that has been approved right now is the pilot level.  
The wastewater from a septic is replaced in the same system.  

Mr. Revere noted that the original presentation was different but that another option as presented was also available.  Mr. Cook noted that his company could also provide the service as well and that many options were available.  

Mr. Davis asked that what would happen if the supply exceeds the demand for the solid waste products.  Dr. Cook noted that he has spoken to at least one person on island and ……..  That has value instantly and it is an ideal substitute for the fertilizer that is sold.  

Mr. Davis asked if it was limited to flowers or could it be used on vegetables and Mr. Cook noted… would depend upon the classification of the compost.  Mr. Cook noted that UMASS Amhurst would be monitoring the project and would be testing the materials daily.  

Leslie Leland asked if tests would need to be done on each individual system to prevent contamination of the entire mix.  Dr. Cook noted that we are rapildly approaching the point where the systems will be tested annually.  Dr. Cook noted that based on his conversations with DEP and the Federal Government that cess pools will be eliminated and on site systems will need to be inspected annually.  

The new requirement will be for a small on site system.  Mr. Revere added that in Oak Bluffs the voted just authorized spending 3.2 million dollars to add a septage treatment capacity to the … under the idea that it will save money by not having to send the material off island.  This will be spread out over the entire tax base whereas in this process the burden is paid by the user of the service.  

Dr. Cook added that their recent sampling indicated the fee is currently 50 cents per gallon which could be doubled based on increasing in fuel.  Oak Bluffs discharge fields are already in trouble and are not capable of serving the additional need of the septage issue.  The hamsterns will address the issue.  

Nelson Smith noted that if there is a provisional approval would an individual be able to use it.  Dr. Cook stated yes and Mr. Smith asked why didn’t he bring one.  It makes sense to invest in and charge for the service.  Dr. cook

The ……  Mr. Revere noted they had this proposal in front of Oak Bluffs as a town solution and they choose not to continue in this way.  The real solution is to treat the whole island instead of just town by town.  Mr. Revere noted there has been a well organized lobby against the new technology and he ..

Nelson Smith stated that if it was feasible for someone to enter the market and make money that they would do it.  Dr. Cook has provided three options…


Mr. Davis noted this is a good time to begin discussing this options …..
Perhaps this is a good time to start discussing with various groups to determine if this is the venue to continue.  

Mr. Sawyer suggested appointing a subcommittee to develop a plan and some business models and then return to the commission with a recommendation.  Mr. Jason ntoed that he believed the board decided that we should ……..
Mr. Sawyer noted that when the inevitable questions came up they should be in a position ….

Mr. Revere noted that ….

Mr. Smith asked if the document was available in a computer format.  

Leslie Leland asked …
The technology is different that…it was specifically designed by the Swedish ….

It will also do grease waste etc.


·       The Steamship Authority meets
·       The Dukes County Health Council meets at 7:30 a.m. at the West Tisbury Public Safety Building
·       The Martha's Vineyard Airport Commission meets 5p.m. at the General Aviation Building
·       The Dukes County Regional Housing Authority meets 4 p.m. at the DCRHA building, State Road, Vineyard Haven.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned by Vice-Chairman Robert M. Sawyer S. Alley at  p.m.

Respectfully Submitted by:

JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts11142006_22558_0.bmp

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