Dukes County Commissions
Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 5p.m.
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Paul Strauss called the meeting to order at 5:10pm. Commissioners Tristan Israel, Les Leland, and Roger Wey were present.
Acceptance of Minutes
Les Leland/Tristan Israel Moved to accept the Minutes of 7-18-07 as amended, So Voted, unanimous (4-0-0)
Amendment: Page 3 Motion to be corrected to read “So Voted”. Page 4, 3rd paragraph last sentence to read “Starting the third year (after 2nd Year completed) 3 weeks would be given.
Chairman’s Report and Communication.
Paul Strauss reported that he attended a meeting concerning a group of people who were interested in establishing an Environmental Health Clinic. It was agreed that Paul would put them in touch with the Dukes County Health Council and offer an invitation to speak with the County Commissioners.
Appointment of Acting County Manager
Tristan Israel / Les Leland Moved to appoint Noreen Mavro – Flanders Acting County Manager effective September 15,2007, So Voted, unanimous, (4-0-0)
Letter from Chairman to Gosnold Selectmen
Paul Strauss informed the County Commissioners he had sent a letter to the Board of Selectmen of Gosnold. The letter asked for input regarding their concerns and challenges that the County could possibly help with. The letter also stated the County Charter Study Commission would also like their input regarding their thoughts of County Government. Paul said he is waiting for a response.
Deputy Manager’s Report
Legal Opinion regarding Pay Roll Notices
Noreen Mavro – Flanders reported that Marcia Cini’s opinion is not currently ready, but should be sometime next week.
FY08 Budget Update
Noreen Mavro –Flanders informed the Commissioners that the County Government Finance Review Board would meet September 5th. The Sheriff would be at the meeting. She has spoken with Bill Meehan and believes things are all set.
Noreen Mavro – Flanders delegated the signing of the Warrants to Les Leland. The Co-Chair position on the Barrier Beach Task Force was delegated to Paul Strauss.
Bids for County Carpenter, Electrician, Plumber & Newspaper
It was agreed by the Commissioners not to advertise for bids for a county carpenter, electrician, and plumber. If the towns would like the positions to be put out to bid the Commissioners would revisit the topic.
It was agreed by the Commissioners would advertise for bids for a county designated newspaper.
The Trustees of Reservation (TTOR) Update
Noreen Mavro – Flanders said that TTOR had submitted the FY08 1st Qtr report. According to the report the total amount collected from beach sticker sales was $67,422 thru June. There was a question of where the issue of the sale of T-shirts stood. Noreen said that in the original agreement between TTOR and the County there was to be meetings twice a month. That has never happened. She would like to have herself, the Sheriff, and Lenny Jason start those meetings with TTOR. There was a discussion regarding what the possibilities were for the County to take over managing the beach. It was agreed that a better overall picture of TTOR’s budget and revenue needed to be looked at. Noreen Mavro – Flanders said she would distribute
TTOR’s FY07 report along with a 5-year history to the County Commissioners. The Sheriff pointed out that his department does not have the capabilities to provide bird monitoring. It was an expense that the Commissioners would need to consider. It was agreed to have TTOR on a future agenda and a separate discussion for the Commissioners to follow at another meeting.
Meetings with O’Leary & Turkington Update
Noreen Mavro – Flanders reported that over the last few weeks there had been meetings with Senator O’Leary and Representative Turkington concerning revenue issues and the room’s tax. She said there is no encouragement from either of them. There is a real attitude of “no new tax” in the legislature and even the proposed rooms tax legislation for the towns from the Governor would most likely not pass in the legislature. Noreen also said that Representative Turkington was not very encouraging with the type of options for the County. He said not to try legislation similar to Barnstable County deed’s tax. It would never pass again. He also said that anything that would cut into possible State revenue would never pass either. Noreen said
that although Turkington told the Charter Study not to abolish the County he needed to be reminded of the improvements the County had made since the first Charter, such as the County Engineer, expanded Rodent Control, full-time Veterans’ Agent, the Vineyard Health Care Access Program, and the construction of the Administration Building at no increased cost to the towns beyond their 2.5% increase in assessments.
Noreen Mavro – Flanders informed the Commissioners that Fred LaPiana had written a letter to the County Engineer Steve Berlucchi requesting all of the time allotted to Tisbury would be used for the Department of Public Works. He also claimed that it was his understanding that there would be a certain number of hours allotted to the town with no charge and above the allotted hours would be at the rate of $35 an hour. Noreen asked Tristan to go back to Tisbury and get direction from the Board of Selectmen as to where they would like the engineer’s hours used. She also asked him to clarify to Fred and anyone else that there is a charge of $35 an hour for all of the hours allotted to the towns and above that would be either at $51.50 or contracted directly with Baseline
Engineering Inc.. Tristan Israel requested a copy of the letter and agreed that he would go back to Tisbury to try and resolve the issue.
Noreen Mavro – Flanders informed the Commissioners that the County Engineer is Chairman of the Joint Transportation Commission. The meetings are held during workdays. In addition to the two hour meetings there is prep and follow through work that needs to be done associated with being Chair. She explained that the other members are “on the clock” and getting paid for their participation. During the budget process, Steve had said that he would serve on the Committee as a volunteer. However now he is chair and has extra work beyond attendance at the meetings. Noreen said that it would be a good idea to have Steve at a future meeting to decide if he should sit on the JTC as a volunteer of if there is a way to compensate him for his time. There was
discussion that a portion of the time that is allocated to the County could possibly be used for the JTC. There was also a discussion that the Martha’s Vineyard Commission could help contribute to the funding of the time spent on the JTC. It was agreed that a dialogue would start with the MVC in regards to the County Engineer. Noreen Mavro – Flanders would contact Mark London to start the communications.
Noreen Mavro – Flanders said that in regards to the Drawbridge, the problem is that Mass Highway contacts Steve with questions. He has never billed his time to either Oak Bluffs or Tisbury, but billed the County. Noreen said it is important to make sure the time allocated to the County is used well. The Commissioners asked to see what the hours were before they were reduced and what they are now. They asked that the County Engineer be put on a future agenda.
Hamstern (Dr. Cook) Proposal
Noreen Mavro – Flanders informed the Commissioners that Dr. Cook had called inquiring on the status of the decision of the Commissioners regarding the Hamstern proposal. He had called a second time wondering if it was better to postpone a decision until there was a new County Manager.
Les Leland / Roger Wey Moved for a letter to be written to Dr. Cook stating that the County is not in a financial position to invest in the proposal and would not be able to continue any further, So Voted, unanimous (4-0-0).
Appointment Process for Associate Commissioner for Youth Affairs
Tristan Israel / Les Leland Moved that the Associate Commissioner for Youth Affairs would be added to the Appointment Policy for the Health Council and Housing Authority, So Voted, unanimous, (4-0-0).
The appointment policy would be that the position would be advertised. The Youth Task Force would submit their recommendations to the County Commissioners. The County Commissioners would not require an interview, but the applicants would be invited and encouraged to meet with the Commissioners to discuss their role as Associate Commissioners.
Discussion of Regional Needs
Regional Principal Assessor Discussion with Jeff Burgoyne
Jeff Burgoyne presented, on behalf of Selectman Camille Rose, a report of recommendations made by the Mass. Department of Revenue to the Town of Aquinnah. In the report it discussed Island-Wide cooperation and collaboration, specifically in the area of sharing a Principal Assessor.
Roger Wey thought it was a wonderful idea and asked Jeff to get in touch with the Chairman of the Oak Bluffs Selectmen, Kerry Scott. Tristan Israel had some concerns on how to approach the other towns with the idea. Paul Strauss felt that the idea could be worked on separately, and at the same time as the Commissioners continue on in their process of finding new revenue and discussing regional needs.
It was agreed that Jeff Burgoyne would contact Kerry Scott, Chairman of the Selectmen in Oak Bluffs and get more information. Noreen Mavro – Flanders would be in touch with Jeff and work on it together.
Eastville Beach Committee Report – Tristan Israel
Tristan Israel reported that the Eastville Beach Committee is working on putting up a kiosk. The Sheriff, Michael McCormack suggested checking to see if there was material left over from the walkway project that could be used for the kiosk. The Sheriff pointed out that the materials were already declared surplus. If there was any left, the County would only need to give permission for it to be taken for the project. Roger Wey said that the Oak Bluffs town carpenter might be able to help with the construction if the materials were provided. The next meeting will be on September 19 at noon.
Beach Rules and Private Party Permits
Tristan Israel mentioned that the Beach Rules and Regulations for Private Party Permits needs to be finished to be put on the agenda for the full board of Commissioners to review.
Letter regarding District Attorney’s Round Table
Roger Wey asked if the letter to the District Attorney’s Office had been sent regarding resurrecting the “DA Round Table”. Jennifer Randolph said that it was not sent out. It was agreed that Noreen Mavro – Flanders and Jennifer Randolph would send the letter out asking for the “DA Round Table” to be reinstated. Jennifer would contact the Sheriff Michael McCormack with any questions.
Update on Screening Committee
Paul Strauss updated the Commissioners on the progress of the Screening Committee. He said the Screening Committee had some questions regarding how and if the applicants could be kept confidential and if executive session was an option. Paul explained that the Assistant District Attorney Thomas Shack had been contacted and he supplied a written answer. It stated that during the first screening phase the applications could and should be kept confidential and the option of executive session was available.
Roger Wey informed the Commission that a member of the Screening Committee had contacted him with concerns over the County Manager position being filled as a four -day workweek. There was concern over the perception of not having the position filled as a regular full time position. After a brief conversation it was agreed that it would be readdressed at the next meeting.
· The Dukes County Airport Commission will meet on Wednesday, September 5th, at 5:30 p.m. at the Airport Administration Building.
· The Dukes County Commissioners will meet on Wednesday September 12th, at 5pm at the County Administration Building.
· SSA Meeting Agenda
· Letter form Trial Court
· Letter from Pam Dolby, Town of Edgartown Administrator
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned the meeting at 7:05 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts