Dukes County Commission Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Chairman Lenny Jason called the County Commissioner’s meeting to order at 5:05 p.m. Commissioners Carlene Gatting, Tom Hallahan and John Alley were present.
Also in attendance was County Manager Russell H. Smith, Executive Assistant to the County Manager Martina Thornton, County Treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders, Assistant Treasurer Carol Grant, Clerk of Courts Joseph E. Sollitto, Jr., Rodent Control Officer T.J. Hegarty, Assoc. Commissioner for affairs of the Youth Michael E. Joyce, Jr., Airport Commissioners Constance Teixeira, James Craig, Assoc. Commissioner for affairs concerning the handicapped persons Anson W. Krickl, Jr., Christopher A. Knowles, Cathryn Mancuso, Assistant Airport Manager Debbie Potter, Antonio d. Teixeira, Joanie Ames of MVTV.
Associate Commissioner for Public Health (1 year term) – Christopher A. Knowles. Mr. Knowles told the Commissioners that he would like to continue in the great work Dr. Klein did in this position and pointed out his goals to improve public health on Martha’s Vineyard.
Associate Commissioner for Affairs concerning the Elderly (1 year term) - Cathryn V. Mancuso. She introduced herself and set several goals including increasing the awareness of this position through internet and informational brunch twice a year. She is the Assistant Director of the Edgartown Counsel on Aging for the last 5 years.
Re-appointment of Associate Commissioner for Affairs concerning the Handicapped Persons (1 year term) – Anson W. Krickl, Jr. He served in this position for last 5 years. He has done lost of projects and answered lots of phone calls about accessibility. People request site visits or help with future projects. The position is more educational, but it also has the enforcing side of it. His long-range goal is to develop a review committee that would look at plans and projects beforehand and work closely with the building inspectors and DPW Directors. He wants to make sure that all public handicapped parking is in compliance and approach the Police Chiefs to consider increasing the parking fines. He discussed the SAA handicapped parking in Woods Hole with Tom and said he will look into it. Tom suggested
to increase handicapped access at the State Beach since there is only one right now.
Re-appointment of Associate Commissioner for Youth Affairs (1 year term) –Michael E. Joyce, Jr. He is also the executive counsel at the Youth Task Force. He reported what grants the YTF received and what programs they do using the social norms programs. They focus on the age group of 12-20. He recommended re-appointment of Christina Wylie as one of the youth Associate Commissioners for Youth Affairs.
County Commission Appointments
Motion to re-appointment:
-Clerk to the County Commission (1 year term) – Joseph E. Sollitto, Jr.
-Representative to the Martha’s Vineyard Permanent Endowment Fund (3 year term) – John Alley
-Emergency Management Director (1 year term) – Chuck Cotnoir (by virtue of that he is also being re-appointed as Assistant to the Point of Contact to the National Incident Management Systems (1 year term); Steamship Authority Representative’s Assistant for Emergency Affairs (1year term) and County Representative to the Medical Reserve Corps (1year term)
-Delegate to Pilgrim RC & D Area Council (1 year term) – T.J. Hegarty
-Airport Commissioners (3 year term) – Connie Teixeira
-Appointment of Airport Commissioner for unexpired term (1 year term) – James Craig
-To the Health Council (2 year term): Tad Crawford, Ellie Beth, Max Nunes, Ron MacLaren, Dedie Wieler, Tom Bennett, Ken Chisholm, Cindy Mitchell, Bob Tonti, Judy Flanders, Chris Knowles, Karen Meeks, Gayle Poggi and Oceana Rames
-Initial appointment to the Health Council (2 year term) – Cathryn Mancuso
So voted. All in favor.
Re-appointment of the Airport Commissioners (3 year term) – Fred Condon deferred to the next meeting.
Appointment of one County Commissioner to the Health Council was also postponed.
County Manager’s Report
FY10 Budget Update – Noreen Mavro Flanders
Noreen presented the 4th version of the draft budget for FY10. Adjustment done based on Sub-committee suggestions – no Master Medical, increase the grant administration by $5,000 and reduce the Cape Cod EMS contribution to $2000 from $12000. That leaves a deficit of $51,662.80. Other adjustments would require legislation ($52,563 – Moratorium on Ret. Assessment, $82,976 – change in Sheriffs Bill regarding sheriff’s retirees benefits). There are other ideas how to balance the budget that will be discussed in next meetings.
RFP for audit, legal counsel, insurance & bonds
Martina informed the Commissioner that the RFP for audit, legal counsel, insurance & bonds are published in 2 newspapers, on the county website and with the Secretary of Commonwealth in the Goods and Services Bulletin on-line. The deadline for legal counsel and audit is March 27th and for insurance and bonds on April 17th.
Beach grass planting on State Beach on March 14, 2009
Russell informed that the planting is scheduled for Saturday March 14th from 10am to 3pm; rain date is Sunday and is advertised in both newspapers. The grass is paid for through the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation grant we received for restoration of the beach.
ESRI software is being distributed to the Sheriff’s Department and will be distributed to the Police soon. The county donated the main server that is now housed at the Communication Center.
Grant writing workshop report
Martina and Russell went to a grant writing and research workshop that was organized by the MV Donors Collaborative in cooperation with the Tower Foundation and the Associated Grant Makers. They are opening a center in the Oak Bluffs Library with access to grant foundations databases. They also have grant-writing trainers available to help.
MSPCA shelter closing
Russell informed the Commissioners that we are helping to coordinate meetings of the animal control officers and representatives from the towns to discuss how to address the need for services that the MSPCA was providing. One of the options discussed is a public government and private non-profit collaboration as they have done in Falmouth for years. This topic will be discussed at the All-island Selectmen’s’ Meeting on March 23rd. The MSPCA has offered the use of the building to the community for the purpose of caring for animals on the island. The operation is not profiting and has run at a loss over $100,000 for several years.
Sheriffs’ Bill Sub-committee report
Tom reported that he, Lenny, Noreen, Russell and Sheriff met on March 6th to discuss the current version of the House Bill103 and the amended Section 10. Senator O’Leary is the vice-chair of the committee that has it right now. The Sheriff is in support of this version of the bill except for the amended version of the Section 10, which deals with the unfunded liabilities for the sheriff department retirees. On March 25th meeting we would look at the pros and cons of the whole bill and of the amended Section 10 and the timelines.
John urged the employees and retirees to attend the County Health Fair on May 15th to look at the different health insurance plans and options they have.
Noreen referred to a last weeks article in the Vineyard Gazette regarding the 89 million dollar liability facing the island towns and other municipal units. She spoke with Mr. Snider from Tisbury Finance Committee and he came to a meeting of a group that is aware of it and is working on this for last 3 years. It is not 89 million it is in between 50 and 123 million. We did bring it before the All Island Selectmen twice. There is legislation that we asked to pass that will allow us to work together as a group to create an OPEB trust. Joining it will be voluntarily. The legislation will go before the towns and the County Commissioners for approval so it can move forward.
Russell thanked Chuck for his service in several positions that he has been re-appointed to.
Lenny suggested sending thank you cards to Dr. Donegan and Hans von Steiger for serving as associate commissioners.
John/Carlene moved to adjourn the meeting at 6 p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts