Dukes County Commissions
Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 4:30p.m.
County Administration Building
Call to Order:
Paul Strauss called the meeting to order at 4:30pm. Commissioners John Alley, Carlene Gatting, Tristan Israel, Lenny Jason, Les Leland, and Roger Wey were present.
Chairman’s Report and Communication.
Paul Strauss commented that under “New Business” is listed “Discussion for New Revenue Search Plan” as a reminder for the next opportunity for an agenda item. He would also like to address at some point a letter from the Oak Bluffs Park Commission regarding surplus path material. Roger explained that there is a need for the material at Ink Well Beach.
Tristan Israel / Carlene Gatting Moved to declare the pathway material surplus and to be given to the Town of Oak Bluffs, Motion was Withdrawn.
Discussion on the Motion:
Lenny Jason said that before the material was given he thought it was going to be looked into to see if Eastville Beach could use it. Tristan said it could always be used at Eastville, however it is partly owned by Oak Bluffs and would have to be consulted. Roger Wey suggested someone from the County speaking to Richie Combra, from the Oak Bluffs Highway Dept. to see where Oak Bluffs would like to use the material. Roger said he would like to see the issue resolved. It was agreed that the Commissioners would speak with Richie Combra. Tristan Israel withdrew the motion. Paul said he would contact Richie as well as Steve Berlucchi.
Roger Wey asked Paul Strauss if the letter that was to be written to the District Attorneys regarding resurrecting the “DA Round Table” was sent out. Paul said he was not sure.
Search Committee/Plan for New County Manager
Roger Wey suggested the following for the Screening Committee, one selectmen or their designee from each town, a member of the NAACP, and a member of the Tribe. He explained that the reason why one selectmen from each town is to get each town involved. He said he feels it is important to have participation from the NAACP and the Tribe.
Paul Strauss reviewed the composition of the last screening committee as a member of the County Advisory Board, Dukes County Charter Commission, Sheriff, Health Council, Airport Commission, Chamber of Commerce, NAACP, and a Member – At – Large. He asked if that many was needed from the various parts of the community or should it be representation from the Towns, NAACP, and Tribe.
Carlene Gatting said she felt it was important that the Towns buy into whom ever the new County Manager is and likes the idea of representation from the Selectmen.
Lenny Jason said he liked the idea as well.
Tristan Israel said either way would be ok. He questioned if the Selectmen would participate or if it would be better to ask the County Advisory Board, who are selectmen with some knowledge of the County. He feels the screening committee should narrow down the list of candidates to three names then submit them to the Commissioners.
Roger Wey / Lenny Jason Moved to create a screening committee for the hiring of a new County Manager comprising of a member of each Town’s Board of Selectmen or their designee, a member of the NAACP, and a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), So Voted, unanimous (7-0-0).
Discussion on Motion
Roger Wey pointed out that the key is to make sure the letter to the Towns, NAACP, and the Tribe get out as soon as possible stipulating a date the County would like an answer by.
Tristan Israel said that the letter should include language stating that the Commissioners would call the first meeting of the screening committee to start the process.
Paul Strauss said he would be in the office the next day and intends to have a draft letter done, to be mailed out.
Les Leland said the next thing that needed to be discussed was what should be included in an information packet that would be sent to the applicants.
Tristan Israel agreed. He also asked how many candidates would the screening committee be presenting to the Commissioners as finalist.
It was agreed that 3 finalist would be presented.
Les Leland stated a few questions that have already been asked by interested parties, such as pay range, job description, and responsibilities. He said most of it is covered in Mass General Law. He said that last time most of the wording was taken out of the Charter and then things like characteristics and preferred skills were added to it. He suggested using what was used the last time.
Lenny Jason said then the only thing left was the salary. He recommended to keep it as “what is budgeted”. He said there is criticism that the County pays the County Manager and he does not have enough to do. If the salary is started low the salary could be raised, however once it is set it cannot be reduced. He also said he likes the idea of a four day workweek.
There was discussion regarding what was in the budget for a salary and where the current salary was. Les Leland said the current salary is around $79,000 for full time. 4/5 of $79,000 would be $63,200.
There was some discussion on where the starting salary should be. Tristan Israel suggested $55,000. Paul asked if there should be a range or just one number.
Carlene Gatting said that equivalent positions would be like the executive positions at the Martha's Vineyard Commission, Land Bank, CEO of the hospital and the Superintendent of Schools. She said they make a lot of money and do a great job. She said sometimes you get what you pay for. She suggested taking the money that is budgeted for the full time position and pay it for a 4-day week.
There was discussion that a starting salary range of $50 to $70 thousand, which would attract someone already on the island. Les Leland expressed concern regarding having a range because it indicates room for negotiations and everyone wants to start at the top of the range.
Paul Strauss stated it was not decided if the position would be reduced in time. Tristan Israel said that it might be best to not define that and leave it as a negotiating tool. Lenny Jason pointed out that once a number is mentioned it never goes down, but only up.
John Alley recommended a 4-day week with a starting salary of $60 - $77 thousand.
Lenny Jason stated that if the job was compared to the Town Administrators none of them are getting paid $100,000. It should not be compared to the CEO of the hospital, which has a $30 Million budget. Tristan Israel agreed.
There was a motion to offer a 4-day a week job to reviewed in June with a range of $60 to $77 thousand, So Voted, (4-3-0) Roger Wey, Carlene Gatting, John Alley, and Paul Strauss in favor and Tristan Israel, Les Leland, and Lenny Jason in opposition.
John Alley Moved to reconsider.
Lenny and Les expressed concern with a range. They felt it should be one number offered. Les recommended $60,000
Tristan Israel / Lenny Jason Moved to offer the position at 4 days a week with a starting salary of $60,000 to be reviewed in June, So Voted, (6-1-0) Roger Wey in opposition.
Benefits would be the same as what was in the personnel file with additional vacation time. There was discussion regarding what the vacation time should be. It was agreed that after 6 months there would be 2 weeks vacation given and after the first year is completed an additional week would be given. Starting the third year (after 2 years are completed) 3 weeks would be given.
Holidays and personal time would be treated the same as the other County Employees.
There was discussion regarding sick and comp time. Lenny pointed out that in the towns the executive secretaries are subject to the same rules regarding sick time as the employees. Les and Roger agreed that there should be some numbers.
Paul Strauss disagreed. He felt the Chief Executive should not be held accountable or bound to a set number of sick days. He feels the position is at a certain level where the Commissioners should depend on the honor of that individual.
The Commissioners agreed that beyond the vacation time everything else would be the same as the County employees.
It was agreed that Jennifer Randolph would collect the applications and log them in and give them to Noreen Mavro Flanders, County Treasurer.
The Commissioners discussed residency requirements. Paul Strauss said it should be expressed that someone on the island is preferred. Lenny Jason said that the option to waive the requirement should be left open.
Discussion for New Revenue Search Plan
Roger Wey said that he wanted to speak briefly regarding revenue. He said one of the main issues that was discussed during the budget process was finding new revenue. He stated that if new revenue was not found then there would be some real issues for next year’s budget. He said he would like to have a meeting to discuss and review revenue options. He also thought it would be a good idea to send a letter to the Charter Commission and Selectmen to see if they have any ideas. He feels there should be some type of schedule set in order to have some direction for the start of the year.
Paul Strauss said it would get on the agenda and they would work on it. He said saying needing a new source is not enough. It really needs to be worked through.
· The Dukes County Charter Study Commission meets July 19th 7p.m. at the Tisbury Council of Aging
· The Dukes County Regional Housing Authority will meet on Friday July 20th at 4pm at the Vineyard Haven Housing Office.
· The Dukes County Airport Commission will meet on Wednesday, July 18th, at 5:30 p.m. at the Airport Administration Building.
· The Dukes County Commissioners will meet on Wednesday August 1st, at the Gosnold Town Hall.
With no further business the meeting was adjourned at 5:50 pm.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts