DUKES COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
January 17, 2007, 5 p.m.
Call to order
Chairman John Alley called the meeting to order at 5:10 p.m. A quorum was present. Commissioners Tristan Israel, Paul Strauss, Carlene Gatting, Lenny Jason, Roger Wey and Les Leland were present as well as County Manager E. Winn Davis, and Jennifer Caton, Executive Assistant.
Other representatives or visitors present included Michael McCormack, Sheriff; Noreen Mavro – Flanders, Treasurer; Andy Krickl, Associate Commissioner for Handicapped Affairs; Connie Teixeira, Airport Commissioner; Frank Gildea, Airport Commissioner; Norman Perry, Airport Commissioner; Sandra Polleys; Phyllis Williams; Woody Williams; and Joanie Ames MVTV;
Reorganization of the County Commission
John Alley opened the nominations for Chairman of the County Commissioners.
Roger Wey/ Paul Strauss Moved to nominate Paul Strauss as Chairman, for one year.
With no other candidates John alley closed the nominations.
There was a discussion about adopting a policy for rotating the position of Chairman. It was agreed that it is a topic that should be discussed at a later time.
Paul Strauss was elected Chairman unanimously. (7-0-0)
Paul Strauss took over as Chair at 5:20 p.m.
Paul Strauss opened the nominations for Vice-Chairman of the County Commissioners.
Roger Wey Moved to nominate John Alley as Vice-Chairman for one year.
Carlene Gatting/Tristan Israel Moved to nominate Les Leland as Vice-Chairman for one year.
Paul Strauss explained; with two nominations, there is no need for seconds to motions, and they could proceed with a vote.
John Alley received 3 Votes; Roger Wey, Paul Strauss, and John Alley
Les Leland received 4 Votes; Carlene Gatting, Tristan Israel, Lenny Jason, and Les Leland
Les Leland was elected Vice Chairman.
Paul Strauss announced that he would be away February 1 through March 11, 2007.
Adoption of Minutes
The minutes of the September 27, 2006 and November 15, 2006 meetings will become Notes, recorded, and available on the County Website.
John Alley/Lenny Jason Moved to adopt the minutes of December 6, 2006; SO VOTED (4-0-3) Roger Wey, Tristan Israel, and Carlene Gatting abstaining.
Winn Davis explained that the executive session minutes could be voted on, but could not be discussed in open session.
John Alley/Lenny Jason Moved to adopt the minutes of the Executive Session December 6, 2006.
There was discussion on whether or not; the information within minutes should be available to the public. It was pointed out that approving the executive session minutes while everyone’s memory is fresh is more favorable than waiting until the litigation is over. In addition the participants may not be available at the end of the litigation for a vote. After the litigation is over the minutes could be released and made available to the public.
Lenny Jason withdrew his Second; due to he feels the minutes should be released.
Les Leland/Lenny Jason Moved to adopt and release the Executive Session Minutes of December 6, 2006.
Winn Davis pointed out to the Commissioners that if the motion passes, then the claim of executive session will be forever barred on this particular lawsuit.
Motion was Defeated (2-2-3) Lenny Jason and Les Leland in favor; John Alley and Paul Strauss in opposition; and Carlene Gatting, Roger Wey, Tristan Israel abstaining.
Paul Strauss said the only reason why he voted against the motion was he would feel more comfortable discussing and voting for the release in executive session.
Appointments/Interviews & Updates
Les Leland/Carlene Gatting Moved to appoint Norman Perry to the Martha's Vineyard Airport Commission, So Voted, unanimous. (7-0-0)
John Alley/Lenny Jason Moved to appoint Francis Gildea to the Martha's Vineyard Airport Commission, So Voted, unanimous. (7-0- 0)
Winn Davis explained that the appointment for the Associate Commissioner for Affairs concerning the Handicapped, Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning the Elderly, and Associate Commissioner For Health Care Access according to State Statute are the responsibility of the Chairman.
Paul Strauss appointed Anson Krickl Associate Commissioner for Affairs Concerning Handicapped Persons for one year.
The appointments for Associate Commissioners For Affairs concerning Elderly and Health Care Access were deferred.
The appointments for the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority were deferred, because the Towns had not provided the County with candidates they recommended.
The Commissioners agreed that instead of holding an interview for the recommended candidates for the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, an invitation should be extended to them to meet with the Commissioners and discuss the programs they are involved in. The Commissioners agreed that if the Towns had already gone through an interview process, they should appoint the recommended candidate without an interview.
The Commissioners asked Winn Davis to draft a policy or procedure in which an invitation would be extended to the Town's candidates. The policy should also include a process of what happens if the towns do not submit a candidate.
Tristan Israel also asked Winn Davis to send another memo to the Towns requesting their recommended candidates for the Regional Housing Authority.
The appointment of the Dukes County Emergency Management Director was deferred.
John Alley/Tristan Israel Moved to appoint TJ Hegarty as the Dukes County Delegate to the Pilgrim RC&D, So Voted, unanimous. (7-0-0)
Lenny Jason asked TJ if he could get the Federal and State regulations for having a slaughterhouse. TJ and Winn Davis said they would get what available as soon as possible.
Tristan Israel asked TJ, if there was a list or publication of grants and funding opportunities available to local communities. Winn said Pilgrim RC &D does have a website that may have a listing.
Paul Strauss asked Winn and TJ to get more information about the benefits of the Pilgrim RC &D program.
County Manager’s Report
Winn Davis said he would include the appointments for the Dukes County Health Council in the same policy as the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority.
County Discount Prescription Card Update
Winn Davis reported that the prescription cards were doing very well. He said, they started out with 48 people enrolled in October and as of December, there were 90 people using the card. The savings in December alone was over $2600.
Acceptance of Grant Funds
John Alley/Tristan Israel moved to accept the grant of $60,000 from the State to employ a person to facilitate enrollments in the Commonwealth Care Program, So Voted, unanimous. (7-0-0)
John Alley/Carlene Gatting Moved to accept the grant of $1000 from the Falmouth Hospital for the Medical Reserve Corp, So Voted, unanimous. (7-0-0)
Statement of Financial Interests (State Ethics Commission)
Winn Davis reminded the Commissioners that their Statement of Financial Interests would be due on May 29, 2007.
NACo Board of Directors Appointment
Paul Strauss asked for a volunteer to serve as a representative to the National Association of Counties Board of Directors. John Alley, said he would be interested.
Carlene Gatting/Tristan Israel Moved to submit John Alley's name as the representative, So Voted, unanimous. (7-0-0)
Friends of Sengekontacket Update
Winn Davis reported that he had met with Hap Hamel, and they have a short-term plan for the spring for State Beach. He said they have $30,000 from the State for this fiscal year for the beach. He said he would be meeting with the Woods Hole Group to develop the Beach Management Plan. He said if there were an agreement with the Woods Hole Group and the Barrier Beach Task Force, he would bring the contract back to the Commissioners. He also stated that the Chiefs of Police from Oak Bluffs and Edgartown as well as the Sheriff would be invited to the May meeting to discuss protection of the sand dunes and law enforcement.
Paul Strauss asked that the meeting notices for the Barrier Beach Task Force be included in the calendar on the County Commissioner’s agendas.
M.G.L.c.66 Public Records Update
Winn Davis said in response to a request from Commission Leland he wrote to the State’s District Attorney asking for an opinion on whether or not tapes of meetings had to be kept. He received a response from the assistant District Attorney Thomas Shack, stating they do not.
Hamstern System Update
Winn Davis said he met with the Boards of Health to review the Hamstern System for septic systems. He said that the Hamstern System has received permanent State approval. The result from the meeting with the Boards of Health was relatively favorable, but they had concerns regarding the financial feasibility. Paul Strauss asked Winn Davis if he felt there was enough potential advantage to the system that they should continue pursuing it. Winn Davis said he asked Dr. Cook and Jonathan Revere to come back with numbers to see if there was a financial benefit. Tristan Israel said the topic of solid waste management should be addressed at a meeting.
Town’s Responses to Top 3 Requests
Winn Davis explained the at the October goal-setting meeting Frank Fenner said if the County sent the Towns a letter asking what their three top goals were the Towns would respond. Winn said that he sent letters to the Towns and has received responses from Aquinnah and West Tisbury. (See attached)
Tristan Israel said the Board of Selectmen from Tisbury received the letter. He feels the letter could have been worded differently. Tristan Israel said he would get together with Winn to discuss further communications with the Towns. Carlene Gatting suggested having a meeting with the Towns. Paul Strauss suggested that Carlene get together with Tristan and Winn to figure out a strategy on how to get some meaningful dialogue between the County and the Towns.
Roger Wey asked Winn, what the status was with the Engineering Services and West Tisbury. He asked if the County engineer was still providing services to West Tisbury and if West Tisbury was still refusing to pay for the services. Winn Davis said that we are still providing services and submitting invoices. He said he sent a letter to West Tisbury, explaining that it was a vote of the Advisory Board to send the Towns invoices. Jennifer Caton confirmed that the County had not received any money from West Tisbury for the services. Winn Davis said it would be a topic at the next Advisory Board meeting. Roger Wey suggested having a meeting with the selectmen of West Tisbury to resolve the issue.
Roger Wey asked if the request for bids for electrical services had been re-advertised. Winn said it would be put out to bid next week.
Winn Davis said if any of the Commissioners were interested in business cards to speak with Jennifer Caton.
Authorization for Treasurer to Borrow Funds
Winn Davis explained that Noreen Mavro Flanders, the County Treasurer had already received authorization from the Commissioners to lease accounting software. He said after some research she discovered it would cost less to borrow the funds to purchase the software. Noreen Mavro Flanders explained that to lease the software there was around $5000-$6000 in fees. She said she would like authorization, to borrow funds for a 4 or 5-year period, to be determined by her, to purchase the software. She said the payments would be approximately $9,000 a year, which is the same amount the County Advisory Board had appropriated for leasing the software.
John Alley/Carlene Gatting Moved to authorize the Treasurer to borrow funds for a four to five year term at her discretion to purchase accounting software with payment around $9,000 a year, So Voted, unanimous. (7-0-0)
Winn Davis presented a list of the Charter Study Commission Workgroups. He pointed out that there are County Commissioners on only one of the workgroups. He recommended that the Commissioners take a look at the list and see if they would be interested in joining any of the other groups.
Les Leland said that he would like to get the Commissioner’s packets on the Friday prior to the Commissioner’s meeting. The Commissioners agreed that there should be a cut off date for the agenda and the packets available prior to the meetings. Paul Strauss asked Winn Davis and Jennifer Caton to let the commissioners know what the cut off date would be and when the packets would be available.
Tristan Israel asked what the protocol was for topics to be placed on the agenda. He said he would like to discuss the Beach Management for Eastville Beach. Winn Davis explained that the Chairman sets the agenda. He said any e-mails to the Chairman regarding a topic could be copied to him so that everyone is on the same page.
· Winter Weather Preparedness Information – Dukes County Emergency Management Agency
Woody Williams asked what the top three goals were for the two Towns that responded to the County's letter. Winn Davis said that Town of Aquinnah, identified educational costs and assessments, grant writing services, and additional engineering services with no additional cost. The Town of West Tisbury feels the County engineer and funding mechanism is the most pressing issue.
Woody Williams asked about the County Prescription Discount Card. He wanted to know who exactly uses the cards. Winn Davis explained that everyone is eligible, who is a resident of the County. He explained, those that benefit the most from the program are the citizens who do not have prescription insurance. He further explained that even people with prescription coverage could benefit. There are prescriptions for name brand drugs that some insurance won't cover. There are also limitations on quantities of a particular prescription. The card can provide a discount on any quantity above the limitation. He said the card could provide a discount on pet meds that require a prescription that are filled at a pharmacy, rather than of veterinarian’s office such as
· The Dukes County Contributory Retirement System to meet January 18th at 9am at the County Administration Building
· The Dukes County Charter Commission Work Group on Process to meet January 19, 2007 at 12 noon at the Airport Service Conference Room
· The Dukes County Charter Commission Work Group on Background Information to meet January 19, 2007 at 2pm at the County Administration Building
· The Dukes County Charter Commission Work Group on Developing Work Plan to meet January 23, 2007 at 8:30am at the County Administration Building
· The Dukes County Health Council to meet January 28th at 7:30am at the West Tisbury Emergency Building
· The Dukes County Commissioners meet January 31st at 5:00PM at the Dukes County Administration Building
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned the meeting at 6:52 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts