Dukes County Commissions Minutes
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 6 p.m.
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Paul Strauss called the Commissioners meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Commissioners Roger Wey, Tristan Israel, Lenny Jason, John Alley, Les Leland, Carlene Gatting were present.
Also present were Acting County Manager Noreen Mavro-Flanders, Temporary Executive Assistant Erin Leighton, Chris Kennedy and David Belcher from The Trustees of Reservations and Julia Rappaport of the Vineyard Gazette, Steve Myrich of the Martha’s Vineyard Times.
Acting Manager’s Report
· A request has been made for executive session minutes. We will go into executive session to discuss the minutes and releasing them.
· An ad will go into the paper to advertise the openings for volunteer appointments
· CAB meeting approved the 1% COLA increase. Also the additional $3,500 was transferred for the position of the executive assistant. Selectman DiOrio had asked in a prior meeting if health insurance was to be provided for the temporary position over 20 hours. Ms. Flanders contacted labor counsel who stated that no action is required.
Acceptance of Minutes
Roger Wey makes a Motion to Approve the Minutes of February 14, 2007, seconded by Carlene Gatting So Voted (4-0-2), John Alley and Tristan Israel abstain.
Tristan Israel makes a Motion to Approve the Minutes of April 25, 2007, seconded by Les Leland. So Voted (4-0-2), Lenny Jason and Roger Wey abstain.
Tristan Israel makes a Motion to Approve the Minutes of May 2, 2007. Lenny Jason would like an amendment to Page 3, the second paragraph to read “Conservation Commission”
Tristan made a Motion to approved the minutes with the amendment, Roger Wey seconded, So Voted (6-0-0)
Tristan Israel Made a Motion to Approve the Minutes of Regular Session May 23, 2007, Roger Wey seconds the motion. So Voted (6-0-0).
Tristan Israel made a Motion to Approve the Minutes of Regular Session June 27, 2007, John Alley seconds the motion. So Voted (5-0-1) Roger Wey abstains.
Tristan Israel made a Motion to Approve the Minutes of October 10, 2007, Carlene Gatting seconds the motion. So Voted (4-0-2) John Alley and Lenny Jason abstain.
The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR):
TTOR Islands Regional Director, Chris Kennedy discussed the FY 2009 Norton Point Beach draft budget. The proposed budget is set at $175,800. Since the Town of Edgartown will not permit the Trustees to sell any merchandise, tire gauges would be purchased for drivers to buy at cost, the initial cost is $800. The salaries for part time employees are going down, while there is an increase of unemployment insurance is also raising nearly $7,000. The line item for vehicles will go up to purchase a new ATV and maintain current vehicles.
Commissioner Israel asked Mr. Kennedy what the net revenue allocation is for the County. Mr. Kennedy responded TTOR gets 80% and the County 20%.
The increase in gas prices has changed this line item from $4,200 to $10,000; Chappy ferry prices have also risen.
Commissioner Wey asked how much money the County will be allocated with this proposed budget. Mr. Kennedy responded the County would get approximately $10,000.
Mr. Kennedy also made an announcement Dave Belcher, Superintendent at Cape Pogue, Wasque, Mytoi and Norton Point, will be retiring the end of May. A help wanted ad would be put into the paper the 1st of the year. Mr. Kennedy will collect resumes and start interviewing in February, with the hopes the replacement will start in May; housing will also be available for the candidate. Mr. Kennedy wanted to thank Dave for his years of hard work. Ms. Flanders also thanked Mr. Belcher on behalf of herself and the Commissioners.
M.V. Commission Appointment
Noreen Mavro Flanders noted that the only application for the Commissioner’s appointment to the M.V. Commission was the current appointee, Paul Strauss. Commissioner Israel asked to have Paul Strauss report on the Island Plan twice a year. Paul responded prior to his year as Chairman he had previously reported four times a year.
Roger Wey made a Motion to Appoint Paul Strauss to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, John Alley seconds the motion. So Voted, (6-0-0).
County Manager Position
Commissioner Israel stated he would like to see the county manager’s salary increased from $60,000. He also thinks the required Bachelor’s Degree should be opened to a pool of candidates to people who do not have the degree but do have comparable experience. Commissioner Gatting stated it is important to have the option to have applicants with extensive experience over the degree. Commissioner Leland believes there are many people in the workforce with no degree who are qualified to fill this position. Commissioner Jason feels if the Commission lowers the degree standard that the standards are being lowered for the position and the person to fill it. Commissioner Alley disagrees with lowering the educational requirement. He does not believe the salary should be raised with the educational requirement
Roger Wey makes a Motion to keep the qualifications as they are currently stated, Lenny Jason seconds the motion. Motion Passed. (4-3-0). Les Leland, Tristan Israel and Carlene Gatting vote no.
Paul Strauss makes a Motion to reconsider the current qualifications for the Bachelor’s degree, Tristan Israel seconds.
Commissioner Israel stated experience is the most important thing, and lowering the requirement would allow more applicants to apply. Commissioner Leland agreed with Commissioner Israel.
Carlene Gatting made a Motion to change the requirement for a Bachelor’s degree; Tristan Israel seconds the motion, Motion fails. (2-4-0) Paul Strauss, John Alley, Lenny Jason and Roger Wey vote no.
Lenny Jason made a Motion to advertise in the Boston Globe, John Alley seconds. So Voted. (6-0-0)
Commissioner Israel believes someone without governmental experience should also be considered, although governmental experience would be a plus. Ms. Flanders stated having worked with the four different managers the County has had, the one lasting two or three weeks was the only one that had no government experience. She believes it is nearly impossible; being under a microscope the way the county is, to hire someone with no government experience. Chairman Strauss asked how the commission would like to proceed with applicants, and the screening process. Commissioner Gatting believes the county commission should expedite the process, handling the hiring process. Commissioner Jason agrees the process is simple but a change needs to be made to who is judging the applicants.
Tristan Israel makes a Motion “that finalists are selected by the County Commission”, Carlene Gatting seconds, So Voted. (6-0-0)
Commissioner Leland asks Ms. Flanders which line the money for advertising will come from. Ms. Flanders answers money will need to be moved and also additional money remains from the unfilled county manager position. Commissioner Jason adds to also advertise in the Bay State Banner.
Commissioner Israel would like to have the discussion at the next meeting to increase the annual salary for the county manager. Commissioner Jason would like to get the budget balanced prior to any discussion of increasing the salary. Commissioner Jason suggests a subcommittee should meet with Acting County Manager and Treasurer, Noreen Mavro Flanders, to get the budget balanced. Commissioner Israel agrees to be on the subcommittee with Mr. Jason. They make plans to meet on the following Monday.
Tristan Israel makes a Motion to go into Executive Session to reconvene in open session for the purpose of going over executive session minutes. Lenny Jason seconds.
Roger Wey – Yes
John Alley – Yes
Paul Strauss – Yes
Les Leland – No
Lenny Jason - Yes
Tristan Israel– No
Carlene Gatting – No
So Moved, (4-0-3)
Commissioner Gatting leaves the meeting at 8:07 p.m. prior to Executive Session.
Commissioners reconvene after executive session at 8:10 p.m.
With no further business, the board adjourned the meeting at 8:10 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts