Dukes County Commissions
Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5p.m.
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Paul Strauss called the meeting to order at 5:00pm. Commissioners John Alley, Carlene Gatting, Tristan Israel, and Les Leland, were present.
Also present was Acting County Manager Noreen Mavro-Flanders, Executive Assistant Jennifer Randolph, Dukes County Emergency Management Chuck Cotnoir, Asst. County Treasurer Carol Grant, County Engineer Stephen Berlucchi, Steamship Authority Governor Marc Hanover, Chris Kennedy of The Trustees of Reservatations (TTOR), Dave Belcher of TTOR, Bob Clay, Tom Tillman, Charter Commissioners Richard Knabel and Jeff Kristal, and MVTV.
Acceptance of Minutes
Minutes of 8-29-07 were deferred to next meeting because the right configuration of Commissioners was not present at the time of the vote.
Tristan Israel / John Alley Moved to accept the Minutes of September 12, 2007 as amended, So Voted, Unanimous (5-0-0)
Amendment: Change the title of Associate Commissioner for Public Health to Associate Commissioner for Community Health.
Steamship Authority Update – Marc Hanover
Steamship Authority (SSA) Governor Marc Hanover provided a report of this year’s traffic on the boatline. He said passenger traffic was up by 2%, trucks were down by 7%, excursions were down by 4%, those paying full fare were up, and the traffic to New Bedford was down by 5%. He said he does not see any fare increases for this year. The SSA plans on slowing down the boats to save on fuel costs.
Marc provided information regarding the usage of the lift decks on the Island Home. He said there is some debate on how they should be used. He said he would keep the Commissioners informed. He also pointed out that due to the lack of fuel storage on the island the boatline is being asked to schedule more hazardous trips to include a weekend run. Suppliers have stated that if the boats were to stop running for 3 days, there could be a fuel shortage. He said it is something the SSA and fuel suppliers are currently working on.
Marc asked the Commissioners for permission to address travel benefits of the Port Council and Governors of the SSA. He explained that currently anyone who has served as a Governor or Port Council Member receives lifetime free passage for the member and their spouse without limit. He would like to propose a policy that they would receive free passage while they served and when they leave they would pay half price, which is the same benefit as retired employees. He would not change any former member’s current benefits, only those who are now serving when they leave. He explained that since this would affect him financially, he needs to have permission in writing from the Commissioners in order to discuss the topic at a meeting of SSA Board. A letter also needs to
be sent to the State Ethics Commission.
John Alley / Carlene Gatting Moved for Paul Strauss to sign a letter to the State Ethics Commission giving permission to Marc Hanover to discuss reducing former Governor and Port Council Member travel benefits, So Voted, unanimous (5-0-0).
Discussion on Motion: Tristan Israel stated he was against those who have retired from serving on the Board of Governors receiving any benefits.
Chairman’s Report and Communication.
Paul Strauss announced that the Screening Committee would be meeting on Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 4:30pm. John Alley wanted it noted for the record he was against re-advertising for the position of County Manager.
The Trustees of Reservation – Chris Kennedy
Chris Kennedy introduced Dave Belcher (Superintendent), Bob Clay and Tom Tillman (TTOR Chappy Board Members) to the Commissioners. Chris reported that despite the breach creating two separate beaches the Oversand Permit sales were good.
Carlene Gatting asked Chris where TTOR stood with resolving the issue of selling merchandise at the beach with Edgartown. Chris answered that TTOR is not selling any merchandise at the Beach, but at their other office. The Commissioners asked Noreen Mavro – Flanders to get a legal opinion regarding the Town’s jurisdiction over County property in the sale of merchandise.
Noreen Mavro – Flanders spoke about some concerns she had. She mentioned that there was a lack of communication between TTOR and the County, the County had no input in the budget process, and she wanted more information on the allocation plan. She also asked Chris about capital expenditures such as the truck that was purchased and a depreciation line item which Chris explained as savings for future capital expenses. She wanted to know if the Memorandum of Agreement was dissolved who would have ownership of the truck and funds. Chris Kennedy said he was in communication a lot with Winn Davis and the capital acquisitions, including the funds would be the Trustees. Chris also said that TTOR absorbs all risk and deficits. Noreen corrected him by pointing out that if
there is a deficit it is carried over to the next fiscal year and the County has to pay interest on it as well.
Carlene Gatting / Tristan Israel Moved to have The Trustees of Reservations report to the Commissioners on a quarterly basis, So Voted, unanimous, (5-0-0).
Carlene Gatting wanted to resolve the issue of TTOR using the County logo and / or seal on merchandise. She asked if any of the Commissioners had a problem with it. Tristan Israel said he would like to see some of the profits from the sales.
Carlene Gatting / Tristan Israel Moved to allow The Trustees of Reservation to use the over sand permit logo for merchandise sales with further discussions to work out the details, So Voted, Unanimous, (5-0-0).
Acting Manager’s Report – Noreen Mavro – Flanders
Noreen reported that she had been in contact with Mark London of the Martha's Vineyard Commission regarding the MVC providing funding for the Engineer to work on regional projects. She said that Mark was away and they would resume negotiating the terms when he returns.
Noreen also informed the Commissioners that the County Engineer had responded to Fred LaPianna’s letter regarding his meeting with officials from the Federal Aide System regarding County roads. She said that “TIP” funding was allotted by year round population. The County’s is 15,000, which does not produce enough aid to support the infrastructure needs of the 100,000 summer time population. Steve has had some meetings regarding the islands unique situation and will be sending letters to the Town’s Selectmen to try to increase the road inventory.
Vineyard Health Care Access Program
Noreen Mavro-Flanders reported that the VHCAP had submitted a new grant application for Commonwealth Care.
Noreen reported that she had been reviewing information with TJ Hegarty from the Cape Cod Mosquito District and the Commonwealth to meet the goal of a report for the end of October. She also informed the Commissioners that TJ had been invited by RC&D to be a delegate at the New England Association of RC&D Areas Annual Conference and Business Meeting in Narragansett. The council will be paying for TJ’s registration, travel, and lodging.
Charter Study Commission
Noreen Mavro-Flanders said that she had spent most of the last two weeks working with the three subgroups of the Charter Study Commission.
Carlene Gatting left the meeting.
Stephen Berlucchi announced that the Town of Tisbury has decided to use all of its hours towards increasing the “TIP” funding, which is an island-wide initiative.
The Commissioners briefly discussed if the County Engineer should be paid to sit on Committees that meet during the workday. It was agreed that the issue would be revisited when the full board is present and Noreen Mavro – Flanders was able to discuss funding with Mark London. The Commissioners instructed the County Engineer to keep going to meetings until the issue was resolved.
Plan for Discussions with Towns regarding Regional Needs & Revenue
Tristan Israel asked that Emergency Management be added to the list of “Discussion Plan”.
· Administrative Support for Inspectors (gas, electrical, fire, & others) to be discussed with the Boards of Selectmen with the Building Inspectors.
Before the entire agenda had been addressed, there was a motion to adjourn at 7 pm due to losing a quorum.
Remaining Items on the Agenda
Plan for Discussions with Towns regarding Regional Needs & Revenue
Assignment of Commissioners to have discussions with the Towns
· The Dukes County Airport Commission will meet on Wednesday, October 3rd, at 5:30 p.m. at the Airport Administration Building.
· The Dukes County Commissioners will meet on Wednesday, October 10th at 5pm at the County Administration Building.
· The Dukes County Charter Study Commission meets September 27th at 5p.m. at the Oak Bluffs Council of Aging
· The Dukes County Retirement Board will meet on Tuesday October 9th at 10am at the County Retirement Office.
· Notice of Aquinnah Planning Board Review Committee
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts