DUKES COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 28, 2007, 5 p.m.
Call to order
Chairman Paul Strauss called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. A quorum was present. Commissioners Carlene Gatting, Tristan Israel, Les Leland, Lenny Jason and Roger Wey were present as well as County Manager E. Winn Davis, and Jennifer Caton, Executive Assistant.
Other representatives or visitors present included MVY Manager Sean Flynn, MVY Assistant Manager Deb Potter, County Auditor James Powers of Powers & Sullivan, County Treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders, Woody Williams, Phyllis Williams, and Ted Stanley.
Chairman & Commissioner’s Comments
Carlene Gatting addressed the letter from the Vineyard Conservation Society (see attached). She explained that the letter addresses recycling and solid waste disposal. She said that this is a regional initiative that makes sense. She would like to move forward with this and create a platform for discussion and planning. A subcommittee was formed consisting of Carlene Gatting, Tristan Israel and Les Leland to contact Bill Vino, Fred LaPiana, Don Hatch, and anyone else that would be involved in that area.
Lenny Jason discussed the Slaughterhouse. Lenny mentioned that there is grant money available and he feels the County Manager should contact the agencies on the island, such as the Agricultural Society and Island initiative. It was agreed the County Manager would contact the island agencies to form a collaborative effort in regards to grants, feasibility, and pursuing a slaughterhouse.
Roger Wey reported that he had received an email from Senator Kennedy’s office suggesting the County resubmit the grant for Adult Substance Abuse to the Department of Health and Environment. The grant is for $500,000 a year for three years. Roger would be getting together with Winn Davis next week to resubmit the grant application.
Tristan Israel provided a brief report on the meeting between himself, Winn Davis, and Roger Wey regarding managing Eastville Beach. He said that they agreed to speak to the Selectmen of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs. Tristan and Roger said they had met with the Boards of Selectmen and the Boards are in favor of working together. On April 18th at noon there would be a meeting at the County Administration Building to discuss a plan for the management of Eastville Beach. Any one who is interested can attend.
Jim Powers from Powers and Sullivan, the County Auditors, conducted an exit conference to explain the financial reports for FY06. Winn Davis distributed Reports on Federal Award Programs, Report on Examination of Basic Financial Statements, and the Management Letter that the auditors had sent to the County. Roger Wey, Tristan Israel, and Les Leland expressed that it is important for the Commissioners to receive the reports ahead of time to review them and have questions ready for the auditor.
Jim Powers said there were no material weaknesses and the accounting and assets were secure and well handled.
Jim reviewed the Report on Federal Awards. He said there were no findings and the opinions were clean, which is the best report one could get.
Jim discussed the Report on Examination of Basic Financial Statements summary. He said the auditor’s opinions were clean. He provided a report of the funds of the Airport. The airport at the end of the year has about $355,000 in fund balance. However this figure includes the $108,000 reserve amount for reimbursements to the County, which could be resolved soon. At that point rent owed to the Airport would be paid, which would show a decrease of about $50,000. Jim Powers explained that there is $185,000 in the Airport Fuel account. That amount is equal to the value of the fuel that was in the tank. Mr. Powers explained that there is $200,000 in a reserve fund to off set loans the airport is currently paying. He explained that as the debt is paid off, some of the money that is in reserve
could be used for other purposes, however he said it is sound business practice to keep that level of reserve.
Mr. Powers pointed out that it appears the expenses are higher than revenues, however there was a one-time situation from the pay out of salaries due to the lawsuit. He explained that because they are not reoccurring future years should reflect lower expenses. Jim mentioned an issue with the Oak Bluffs Water District. He said there was about $250,000 of charges that were being disputed at the time of the audit. It was noted in the back of the financial statement that the expense was not accounted for in the financial report. Sean Flynn explained that the charge is partly a leak and the remaining is the annual bill. Sean said he is working with the water district and that it should be resolved by the end of the fiscal year.
Jim Powers said the Sheriff’s Department spent a little more than normal this past year due to capital grants and equipment purchased for the Communications Center and Community Corrections. He said they are one-time expenses, but add value.
Noreen Mavro Flanders updated Jim Powers on GASB 45. She said that all 16 units of the retirement system have pulled together and has accumulated the data that is required to complete the actuarial valuation. She hopes the information will be ready by the end of this fiscal year.
Paul Strauss recommended that Jim Powers contact the Airport Commission to have a review session of the audit.
Jim Powers reviewed the Management Letter. Jim said most of the comments are informational in nature or in regards to efficiency. He reviewed the points that were made the previous year and stated what the progress was on each one. The House of Corrections needs to reconcile their accounts with the County Treasurer. There are deficits in the payroll liability accounts on the general funds ledger, which are old accounting errors that need to get cleaned up.
Jim pointed out that the Dukes County Health Council needed to get approval from the County Commissioners for all grants. All of the grants need to go through the County ledgers. He also stated that the County procedures needed to be followed. He said there was some improvement, but it still needed work. Winn Davis was instructed to review the grant and finance policies with the Health Council to resolve the issue.
Jim Powers said the number of airport grants is getting smaller. He said there are still issues with the individual grant accounts, which should be resolved in 2007. The Airport Fuel Inventory should be done and a record kept on a regular basis.
It was also recommended that a Disaster Recovery System be written. It includes having proper back ups to be able to continue to perform the necessary functions. Winn Davis responded that he and the Sheriff have met and have a draft completed for continuum of operations and would be working on the continuum of government. He said they should be able to beat the December 2007 deadline.
There was a brief explanation of GASB 45. Jim Powers said the County needs an actuarial valuation of the liability that is owed for post employment benefits. He said it would be a good size number. It is not required to be funded, but to be disclosed in the financial statements. In the future the laws may change, but until the pension liability is funded 100% he does not recommend funding it.
The last point was regarding the Transportation Security Grant. It was an issue due to the timing of billing and turnover at the Airport. Bills were not sent out on time, which caused reimbursements to come back late. Noreen Mavro Flanders explained that a big part of the problem is that West Tisbury does not send their bills on time. She said that Sean couldn’t submit the bills to TSA until he receives the bills from West Tisbury. Jim Powers said they would not have mentioned it if another part was at fault. He said there was a delay after the bills were received. Sean Flynn said he disagreed with the finding. He said had tried to explain the situation to the auditor.
Noreen Mavro Flanders informed the Commissioners that Unibank brought to her attention that the County needs special Act form the State to borrow money to purchase accounting software.
Carlene Gatting / Lenny Jason Moved that the County Manager contact the State Legislatures and request a special Act that would allow the County to borrow funds not to exceed five years for the purpose of purchasing accounting software, So Voted, (6-0-0)
County Manager’s Report
Winn Davis reported that he had submitted a grant to Five Star, a part of NACo, for additional funds for State Beach.
Youth Task Force Grant
The Youth Task Force would like to submit a grant for $100,000 a year, for five years. This grant would be used for a Community Drug Support Program. The grant does require a 100% match. The match could be in-kind or in cash. Cindy Doyle provided further explanation that there are twelve different sectors that are involved. Some of them are required such as, the County, schools, law enforcement, parents, business, media, state, and local governments. She said that agencies like the Department of Social Services, non-profits that work with children, and other treatment providers are involved as well. Cindy explained that 80% of the funds would go to salaries and benefits for a program coordinator. The remaining 20% would be used for direct services. The program is focused on changing the culture
and environment that children grow up in, not focused on a few individuals. The deadline for the grant application is April 17th.
Tristan Israel asked what happens to the position of the coordinator when the grant money runs out. Cindy Doyle explained that the grant is for five years. Once the five years is over, the program should be able to continue because to the member organizations that are involved should be able to sustain it.
Lenny Jason / Carlene Gatting Moved to authorize the submission of the grant application by the Youth Task Force, So Voted, unanimous (6-0-0).
Paul Strauss pointed out for clarification that the coordinator for the program would be working as a contract County employee.
Winn Davis announced that there is still $170,000 available for this fiscal year, through the FDA. He said the deadline for submission is April 22nd. There is money available for a $15,000 to $40,000 grant called Rural Business Enterprise Grant. This would cover technical assistance and training for proposed grantee projects.
Carlene Gatting / Lenny Jason Moved that the County Manager do what is necessary to obtain the Rural Business Enterprise Grant, So Voted, unanimous (6-0-0).
State Beach Update
Winn Davis reported that he had picked up and dispersed 20,000 culms of beach grass for State Beach. Saturday morning the Friends of Sengekontacket and the Sheriff’s Department planted the beach grass in under two hours.
Engineer & Rodent Control Service Update
Roger Wey said that he had requested 3 different pieces of information, the budgets, what the projected income would be, and how much revenue has been received to date. He said the information that Winn Davis provided was not very clear. Roger said he was concerned about the projected revenues. Winn Davis gave an explanation of the report he provided.
Les Leland said he would like to know how many residents and commercial business use the services of Rodent Control. He said he is not looking for names, but numbers.
Paul Strauss requested that the County Manager provide the Commissioners with a three-year historical report with the number of clients, income, and expenses for the Rodent Control. It was explained that the program was not meant to be self-sufficient.
Roger Wey said he would also like to know when the billing is being done for Rodent Control.
Tristan Israel said that the County Engineering Program is below projected earning. He said the current income projection is unrealistic. He also said the Rodent Control is a very different program. The Rodent Control Department does not charge an additional fee for services while the Engineering does. He also stated that he feels the Rodent Control is a very strong program. When it is time to discuss the budget, the funding and accounting for the two programs should be considered.
Roger Wey pointed out the County Engineering Department has not reached half of the target amount for revenue. He expressed his concern.
Carlene Gatting recommended putting the Engineering and Rodent Control Department on the next agenda.
Paul Strauss asked the County Manager to provide the Commissioners with a timeline regarding the Budget.
Lenny Jason reminded the Commissioners that the two programs were developed because of requests from the Towns. He said if they are going to discuss ending the services, the Commissioners should get input from the Towns. Paul Strauss responded that the Commissioners are only getting data to examine how the two departments are functioning. It should not be implied that the programs would be discontinued.
Paul Strauss said he feels this is an important discussion. He voiced some concern on how the meetings flow. He stated the meetings consist of nearly all reports by the County Manager and other programs. Paul said he would like a committee to look at the format of the meetings. He feels the Commission does not have enough time to fully address the issues.
There was discussion among the Commissioners regarding the structure and format of the meetings.
Carlene Gatting / Lenny Jason Moved form an In-House Finance Committee to address the budget and other finance issues. So Voted, unanimous, (6-0-0).
Tristan Israel and Lenny Jason volunteered to serve on the finance subcommittee,
Tristan Israel / Carlene Gatting Moved to form a subcommittee to address the format of meetings, So Voted, unanimous, (6-0-0).
Tristan Israel and Les Leland volunteered to work with Paul Strauss on the subcommittee to work on the agenda format.
Winn announced that FAA has agreed to the resolution that the Airport and County have worked out. He said the FAA has not objected to the allocation plan, but wants an annual review of the allocations by the Airport Commission with a standard for fairness. Winn said that he would like a motion that accepts the resolution, authorizes the County Manager to sign the lease, and transfer the monies.
Carlene Gatting / Roger Wey Moved that the County Commissioners vote to accept the resolution proposed by the County of Dukes County and the Airport Commission and accepted by the FAA, and memorialized in FAA correspondence dated March 20, 2007. The County Commissioners Vote to authorize the County Manager to enter into an initial 20-year lease under the terms of said resolution and letter. Finally that the County Commissioners vote to authorize the transfer of $85,002.17 to the County Airport for past rent and to receive $141,146.20 due to the County, So Voted, unanimous, (6-0-0).
It was pointed out that the Commissioners did not see or have a copy of the lease agreement. Sean Flynn said that lease is the standard lease that is used for other Airport property. Carlene Gatting asked the County Manager to provide a copy of the lease to the Commissioners after it is finalized.
County Manager’s Evaluation
Paul Strauss said there would be a limited discussion on when the evaluation process should take place.
Tristan Israel said he wanted to address a cover letter from the County Manager. He said the cover letter implies that the evaluation from last year was completed, which it was not. He would like to know if they would finish last year’s evaluation or just move on to this year’s evaluation.
Winn Davis acknowledged that the full process was not completed. He said in his memo that he was referring to all of the evaluation forms were completed and submitted.
Les Leland suggested doing an evaluation now to complete the process. This way it would before the budget process, so that if there is a COLA increase it could be calculated into the budget.
Carlene Gatting suggested scheduling the County Manager’s evaluation for the April 11th meeting prior to the regular meeting. There was discussion regarding if the evaluation could be done in executive session. It was agreed that the meeting would start in open session, and then Winn would have the option if the evaluation would be done in executive or open session. It was agreed that the Commissioners would finish the evaluation process for last year’s evaluation and decide on when this year’s evaluation would be done. The contract would also be addressed at a later time.
Winn Davis said that he would prefer that the evaluation be done in executive session, and then come out into open session where Paul would announce the highlights and findings. The Commissioners agreed.
Carlene Gatting/ Tristan Israel Moved to have the County Manager’s Evaluation on April 11th at 4:30pm in executive session, So Voted, unanimous (6-0-0).
Tristan Israel stated for the record that the Goal Setting Meeting on Oct 26th 2006 was not a goal setting session for the County Manager. It was to discuss goals for the County as a whole. Les Leland also pointed out that in the minutes of that meeting stated that the Commissioners would also review the goals and set priorities at a later date, which had never been done.
Lenny Jason / Roger Wey Moved to approve the February 14, 2006 Minutes as written, So Voted, (5-0-1) Tristan Israel abstaining.
Winn displayed a timeline and description of budget activities. It was agreed that the finance committee would review it.
· Letter from FAA
· Post Card from FAA
Woody Williams asked a few questions. He stated he was speaking as an individual, not as a member of the Charter Study Commission. His first question was if Winn Davis had ever had a review and when. Winn stated he thought that had been answered. Woody asked Winn Davis if he was working with out a contract. Winn Davis said yes and explained that the County Manager is appointed for an indefinite term and a contract is unnecessary.
Woody Williams requested the memo from Winn Davis that Tristan Israel referred to regarding Winn’s evaluation. He also requested to be allowed time on a near future agenda to discuss the review situation. Winn Davis explained that the agenda is the Chairman’s. He instructed Woody to talk to Jennifer Caton, she would pass the request on to Paul and it would be his decision.
· The Dukes County Retirement Board will meet on Tuesday, April 3rd, at 10 am at the County Administration Building
· The Dukes County Charter Study Commission meets April 12, at 5 p.m. at the VTA Administration Building.
· The Dukes County Airport Commission will meet on Wednesday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the Airport Administration Building.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned the meeting at 7:45 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts