DUKES COUNTY COMMISSION
August 23, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.
County Administration Building
Call to order
Vice-Chairman Robert Sawyer called the meeting to order at 5:02 p.m. A quorum was present. Commissioners Leonard Jason Jr., Paul Strauss, Leslie Leland, were present as well as County Manager E. Winn Davis, and Jennifer Caton, 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; Dianne E. Powers, Register of Deeds; Sheriff Michael McCormack, Dukes County Sheriff; Dr. Ilene Klein, Associate Commissioner Health Care Access; Ron Maclaren, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah); Sylvia Yeomans, Board of Health Chilmark; Matt Poole, Edgartown Board of Health; George Heufelder, Cape and Islands Health Coalition -------------------------------; Chris Kennedy, Trustees of Reservations, and Woody Williams,
Dress Policy Discussion
Winn Davis explained that he is presenting the amended draft proposed Dress Code Policy. The policy has been discussed at two different meetings, it has been sent out to all the employees, and we have received input from people. We have received one negative comment on behalf of a few individuals, other then that everyone else is in favor of the Dress Code Policy. He explained it has changed due to him trying to make it more accommodating.
Mr. Davis further explained that the current Personnel Policy does not address a Dress Code or requirements of being dressed appropriately for a business or profession. This makes it hard for management when employees show up not dressed professionally or appropriately. It could look like we are choosing our admonishment on a discriminatory basis instead of a code.
Mr. Davis explained that those who have to go into the field should have appropriate mode of dress that should not be expected to pay for the cost on their own. The County has purchased some shirts, pants, and hats with the County logo. The County has been able to make these purchases using the certificates from the telephone service. This has kept the cost very low.
Mr. Davis asked for a vote to advertise the policy to change the Personnel Policy to include the Dress Code.
Commissioner Paul Strauss / Commissioner Lenny Jason, Jr. MOVED to advertise a public hearing to change the Personnel Code.
Commissioner Leslie Leland expressed that he feels shorts could be appropriate and should not be eliminated. He also questioned the requirement of certain employees should meet special hygiene standards.
Mr. Davis explained that yes, certain employees must have special standards, such as Rodent Control who deals with poisons.
Commissioner Leland also asked about the penalty. There is not one spelled out.
Mr. Davis explained that there is a detailed disciplinary code that is spelled out in the Personnel Code that would be followed. It is a gradation procedure that increases in severity.
Commissioner Lenny Jason, Jr. asked what is it that we are trying to accomplish.
Mr. Davis explained that we are trying to set a standard that when people deviate from it, we can deal with it without issues of discrimination.
Commissioner Jason expressed that if there is a problem with an employee, we should just tell them.
Commissioner Paul Strauss answered that the action in telling an employee there is a problem, does not solve the problem. It has to be in accordance to a policy. Without it there could be issues. The real issue is, do we need a dress code and he thinks we do. It should be as benign as it can be and still effective.
Commissioner Jason asked if the first two paragraphs could be kept and the rest eliminated.
Diane Powers expressed that she feels a code needs to be adopted. Currently there is no code. She does not feel she can reprimand an employee without risking being accused of discrimination and or harassment.
Woody Williams asked how this got initiated.
Noreen Mavro Flanders answered inappropriate attire from her staff and she had nothing to hang her hat on.
Sheriff Michael McCormack said that those in his department wear a uniform; he said it seems appropriate to have guidelines. He suggested having a code for each department with approval of the County Manager.
Commissioner Jason withdraws his second.
Commissioner Strauss withdraws his motion.
Commissioner Jason / Strauss MOVED to adopt the Dress Code for publication with the first two paragraphs as written, the insertion of “ Each Department will adopt an individual code developed by the Department Head, that is consistent with the above expectations, and approved by the County Manager.” and deletion of the rest except for the last line of “Any employee who does not meet the standards of this policy will be required to take corrective action.” and so VOTED (4-0-0)
Update by Dr. Ilene Klein on Rural Health Network Development Planning
Dr. Klein stated that it is a little premature to give a report due to the final meeting is next month.
The Rural Health Network Planning grant is an $85,000 Federal Grant that began last August, with intention to develop a primary care network. The things they worked on were questions like, what a network might be and what are the key issues that should be focused on.
Dr. Klein talked about the Local Public Health Survey. She reported that the final statistics are not done yet and are waiting the report from the Center of Disease Control.
Dr. Klein recommended that we should use the fairs to get more information out on Public Health Issues.
Commissioner Jason asked when the video on the tick seminar will be ready to be aired.
Dr. Klein answered that it should be out in the next couple of weeks.
Commissioner Strauss asked what extent Counties in general focuses on Public Health.
Dr. Klein explained there are many different ways and extents that Counties deal with Public Health. A lot has to do with the size and funding of the Counties.
Commissioner Sawyer recommended that Winn Davis should communicate with the other Counties in the state to see what they are doing with Public Health.
Mr. Davis said that our website in the future will have the option to put streaming video on it. The video on the tick seminar will be able to be on our site.
Update by Chris Kennedy of The Trustees of Reservation
Chris Kennedy, the island regional director of Trustees of Reservation explained the County and the Trustees entered into an agreement in April that the Trustees would manage the Norton Point Beach. The Trustees goals were to allow the beach to be open as much as possible, the shore birds protected, and debris was cleaned off the beach.
He reported he feels they have met these goals. The beach is patrolled between 6AM to 3AM. They have made arrangements for 24hr. coverage when needed, such as with the Midnight Rider.
Mr. Kennedy reported the numbers of shore birds nests to be:
5 Piping Plover Nests in the middle, a couple near Chappy, and one on the western end.
The western side of the beach was only closed 3 days this summer.
The middle was closed for about five to six weeks.
The eastern side of the beach was open the entire season.
Mr. Kennedy also said that there was 9 birds fledged this season, while in the past there was only 1 in the three previous years.
Noreen Mavro Flanders said that was incorrect, that there were many more. She would be getting the information from those reports and forwarding them to the Trustees.
Mr. Kennedy continued that there were 54 Tern chicks total.
Mr. Kennedy also reported permit sales. As of August 20th there were 1500 annual permits and 300 daily permits. He also stated that as of July 31st revenue is $67,000. The expenditures may be around $194,000.
Mr. Kennedy stated that they may have some issues to address such as seasonal staffing. Currently they offer $9/hr and other agencies offer $14/hr.
Both the Commissioners and Mr. Kennedy agreed that the improvements were largely due to that conservation is what the Trustees are good at and they have the resources that the County does not.
Mr. Kennedy also said they he would like to have a couple of good years before raising the rates.
Commissioner Jason asked how the pumping station is working out.
Mr. Kennedy explained it is great. It is getting a lot of usage.
Update by Dr. Klein and Chuck Cotnoir on the Medical Reserve Corp and vote of Commissioners to administer the Medical Reserve Corp
Chuck Cotnoir asked the County to provide Administrative Support and to host the Martha’s Vineyard Medical Reserve Corp.
Mr. Cotnoir explained that the Medical Reserve Corp is made of every Board of Health from each town, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Wampanoag Tribe, Dukes County Emergency Management, Upper Cape Medical Reserve Corp, Dukes County Health Care Access, Cape and Islands Public Health Coalition, Visiting Nurse Association and the Visiting Nurse Service.
Mr. Cotnoir handed out and read the Mission Statement.
Mr. Cotnoir summarized as that they are recruiting and training local medical and non-medical volunteers to respond to issues that arise on the health island.
Dr. Klein explained the big issues are they need a home for funding, some grants are only available to governments, management of funds, and for handling liability issues.
Sylvia Yeomans expressed that it is important that they get together and in the past it was always an issue, but now things are coming together and quickly.
Ron Maclaren said that having being at the Tribe for less then 6 months when the flu pandemic questions were raised, he tried to figure out what he would do. He first thought the MRC would help man the Emergency Shelter the Tribe has for the Town of Aquinnah, then he realized that Tribal Members live in every single town on the island, not just Aquinnah. So the MRC seemed like the perfect way to handle that situation for the Tribe. He pointed out that 100% of one town’s work force could be effected, but it may only be 40% of the islands work force. So it is important to look at this collaboratively because you never know how the percentages will stack up. This seemed to be a good way to not only take care of the Tribal Members that live in every single town on the island, but also the island
residents. He said that they have gotten together with every group on the island in regards to health care with a single vision of doing something better for island residents. He expressed the Tribe is 100% behind the formation of the MRC and being able to do something for all island residents and appreciate being able to be a part of it.
Mr. Cotnoir said that the start up funding was being provided by the State through the Upper Cape Medical Reserve Corp. He also said another piece of funding came from the Wampanoag Tribe which gave $7,000 to help get started. He said this is a big benefit.
Mr. Cotnoir said after discussion with Winn Davis he was able to offer the MRC some infrastructure materials and services things such as office space, computer, phone, fax, and website. Now they need to find a home.
Mr. Davis explained the County will provide office and lab space to the MRC. The County will also provide computers, vehicles, administrative support from the Manager’s Office and Treasurer’s Office, and insurance. He explained the insurance will not cost the County much money. It will be a very minimal increase due to the good insurance the County currently has.
Mr. Cotnoir asked what the cost will be to the MRC from the County.
Mr. Davis explained it is the policy of the County not to charge administrative cost on monies that do not allow for it. The funds that do would be the exact cost of the actual administrative work done.
Commissioner Strauss asked what the annual operating expense would be.
Mr. Cotnoir explained that it is hard to tell right now. Some of the things that are in the grant form the state are coordinators and staff positions.
Commissioner Jason / Strauss MOVED to sponsor and administer the Martha’s Vineyard Medical Reserve Corp., SO VOTED (4-0-0)
Commissioner Strauss asked “What is the MRC going to cost?”
Dr. Klein answered that they don’t have the answer right now.
Mr. Davis explained that the monetary cost will only be the insurance with will be a minimal increase. He also asked that the meeting minutes should be sent to the County Sheriff’s Office.
Dr. Klein expressed that the other cost will be the Treasurer’s time.
Mr. Cotnoir asked Noreen Mavro Flanders how transparent is the accounting of the funds.
Noreen Mavro-Flanders said that they would be in the same bank account, but in a separate accounting.
Vote requested by the Dukes County Retirement System to accept the contemplated provisions providing COLA to dependents
Mrs. Mavro-Flanders explained that usually the Retirement and County Commissioners are kept separate, but she is asking them to be involved due to a possible increase in the un-funded liability.
Commissioner Strauss / Leland MOVED to accept the Local Option Accidental Death Benefit Increase as stated in Chapter 55 and Section 3 of Chapter 64 of the Acts of 2006. SO VOTED (4-0-0)
Tisbury Selectmen’s Visit update by Commissioner Sawyer.
Commissioner Sawyer reported on the Tisbury selectmen’s meeting he had attended with Winn Davis. He said that the comments were all positive. That their only criticism was that the County should be doing more is in public relations to get the word out of the great programs the County is offering.
Adoption of Minutes
· Commissioner Jason / Leland MOVED that the Commissioners vote to accept the minutes of May 17, 2006, and SO VOTED (4-0-0.)
· Commissioner Jason / Strauss MOVED that the Commissioners vote to accept the minutes of June 14, 2006, and SO VOTED (4-0-0.)
· Commissioner Leland / Strauss MOVED that the Commissioners vote to accept the minutes of July 26, 2006, with the deletion of the second Lenny Jason Jr. and the sentence on Page 8 where it states Commissioner Sawyer said “ he worried about the safety of those traveling along the roadway” and SO VOTED (4-0-0.)
· Commissioner Jason / Leland MOVED that the Commissioners vote to accept the minutes of the Executive Session July 26, 2006, and SO VOTED (4-0-0.)
· The following minutes were tabled until the next meeting.
Executive Session February 14, 2004
Regular Meeting May 10, 2006
Special Meeting May 24, 2006
Special Meeting May 31, 2006
Regular Meeting July 12, 2006
County Manager’s Report.
State Beach Parking:
Winn Davis reported that there is an ongoing issue with illegal parking on State Beach. He said that people are driving onto the sand dunes and parking. The Chief of Police from both Edgartown and Oak Bluffs said they would do more in monitoring. The Sheriff has also said he would do more. However it is not getting any better.
Mr. Davis said that Steve Berlucchi and himself would be appointed as a Special Sheriff to help issue tickets. Mr. Davis said there would be more split rail fencing put up. He expressed that they need to protect the sand dunes.
Commissioner Sawyer said that he has been getting complaints that there is a lot of debris on the beach and not enough receptacles.
Sheriff McCormick answered that there is a campaign that address that issues. The “Carry In Carry Off” signs are located at every path. There are deliberately not a lot of receptacles so that people take their trash with them.
Commissioner Strauss agrees that more enforcement will help, but would also like to see more education and public promoting.
Sheriff McCormick said that if any one sees a car parked illegally to give them a call and he will promptly give them a ticket.
Meeting with Jeff Burgoyne and Michael Dutton, Town Administrators for Aquinnah and Oak Bluffs:
Mr. Davis said that these meetings are good at focusing in on issues and coming up with good ideas. They will try to be meeting more regularly.
Mr. Davis reported that they talked about the Prescription Cards. The cards should be ready in about two months and will have the County name and seal on them.
Jennifer Caton’s Report on the Wampanoag Tribe’s Membership Meeting
Ms. Caton reported that she talked about the Veterans Services available. She said that Kristina Hook who is a member of Tribal Council and also works in Human Services for the Tribe would be getting together with Joann Murphy to get more involvement.
Ms Caton also reported that the Prescription Cards would be very beneficial to the Tribe. The savings will help stretch the monies received from Indian Health Services and also give a discount to the non-Indian individuals in the Tribal families. She said that she has spoken briefly with Ron Maclaren the Health Director for the Tribe and they will be working on incorporating them into the Health Program.
Ms. Caton also offered to the Tribe the services of the County Engineer and Rodent Control at the same rate the Towns currently pay. She said that the Tribe was pleased including Chairman Donald Widdiss, Tribal Council Members, and Tribal Members. They looked forward to working collaboratively with the County.
Chairman’s Report and Communication.
· Dukes County Contributory Retirement Board 9-5-06 at 9AM at the Retirement Office, at the County Administration Building.~
· Dukes County Airport Commission 9-6-06 at 5PM at the Airport
· Dukes County Commissioners 9-13-06 at 5PM at the Administration Bldg.
· Norton Point Beach Trial Map and Guide
· Norton Point Beach Shore Bird Nesting Map 2006
· Martha’s Vineyard Medical Reserve Corps Mission Statement
· Martha’s Vineyard Medical Reserve Corps Articles of Organization
· Dukes County Contributory Retirement System- Chapter 55 and 64 of the Acts 2006.
Commissioner Sawyer expressed that the County needs to be doing more in regards to Public Relations.
Commissioner Strauss said that he attended the Agricultural Fair and thought the location of the County booth was excellent. He said there was three signs that said Rodent Control, but none that displayed “County of Dukes County’. He feels that next year there should be a display of Dukes County with more information of the programs.
Noreen Mavro-Flanders said that Donald Rose was there most of the time. What was on the table was dependent on who was there at the time. She said that Joann Murphy went a few days and there was Veterans information there. She said that TJ encouraged people to go.
Commissioner Jason said that maybe we should put a video together and have it viewed on site.
Commissioner Jason asked how the roof was coming.
Mr. Davis answered that the warranty is with Attorney Cini’s office.
Commissioner Sawyer asked what the status of the room tax was.
Mr. Davis answered that he has not received a response yet.
Commissioner Sawyer offered his help in that regard.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned the meeting at 7:07 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts