Dukes County Commission Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Chairman Leonard Jason, Jr. called the County Commissioner’s meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Commissioners Tristan Israel, Les Leland, Melinda Loberg, and Tom Hallahan were present. Carlene Gatting joined the meeting later.
Also in attendance were County Manager Russell Smith, Executive Assistant Martina Thornton, County Treasurer Noreen Mavro-Flanders and John McCormack of MVTV.
Les/Tom moved to approve the minutes of June 10, 2009 meeting. So voted. In favor: Leland, Loberg, Hallahan, Israel. Abstained: Jason. Minutes are approved.
Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative
Tristan /Melinda moved to join the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative. Discussion: Melinda read section 2.4 of the Bylaws saying that the Board of Directors could change the membership fee from time to time and that the Board:
“may establish capitalization obligations for members in its terms and conditions for membership. In addition, the Board of Directors may provide with respect to particular projects (as opposed to funds intended to cover basic general operating expenses) that such terms and conditions take into account the nature, size, location and benefits and detriments of each project.”
Tristan said that this would be only true if we participate in a specific project. Les said that he raised the same question at the last meeting and he is concerned that if we sign to a project we are obligated if they ask for capitalization of that project. Tom said that they would go to outside resources first as stated in Section 9 of the Bylaws. Melinda read Section 10 regarding the levy of financial assessments upon its members, issue bonds and incur other borrowings and financial commitments after approved by Executive Committee and 2/3 vote of the Board of Directors. She raised concern that if we vote against it we will still be obligated if others approve it. Tristan said it was explained to us that nobody could commit us to any project without our consent.
****Carlene joined the meeting at this time***
End of discussion.
So voted. All in favor.
Tristan suggested writing a letter to the Board of Directors stating that as a new member we are concerned with the way the Executive Committee is created and would like to make changes to make it more equitable with a time line.
County Manager’s Report
Noreen presented the draft #9 of the FY2010 County Budget.
The Sheriff’s Bill is in a Conference Committee to iron out the differences between the House and Senate Bills. One difference is Deeds Excise Tax. In the House bill we would get 15% instead of 13% to split 60/40 with the Registry of Deeds. The biggest difference in the House bill is that it has a section concerning property if is no longer used for the Sheriff’s functions. It states that the County will have a right of first refusal for a nominal fee. The Senate bill does not mention it at all, but it talks about 3 other properties in different counties instead. The Governor vetoed the individual line items for the remaining County Sheriffs in the state budget and put sufficient funding in line 8910 to get the Sheriffs to October 1, 2009. That is the anticipated transfer date as stated in the letter dated July
7, 2009 from A&F Secretary Leslie Kirwan.
The County Government Finance Review board is looking for the Dukes County FY10 budget so, Noreen presented Version #9. She detailed the differences of that version and the previous one that the Commissioners had reviewed.
1.Deeds excise revenue has been decreased by $30,000 based on FY09 actual revenue collected.
2.The first quarter of FY10 health insurance payment for retirees of the Sheriff’s department stays with the county and the remaining ¾ will be paid by the State - $74,532.15.
3.Department 2000 Natural Resources there is the additional $45,000 from leasing the Norton Point Beach.
4. Under Sheriff’s department there is $12,000 in revenue for the lease of the buildings on the back lot of the jail.
5. There is a reduction in Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for the Sheriff as we will only pay ¼ of the MOE’s 2.5% increase ($3K instead of $12K) – a reduction of $9406.
6. There is a reduction of income in the allocation of overhead of $22,500,. The Sheriff’s department usually pays $30,000, but will pay only the first quarter of $7500. Airport allocation stays the same. Although the airport revenue is down, it has capital and bond reserves so its financial situation is sound and it will have no problem paying it allocation.
Noreen also went through the revenue reports for FY2009 collected to date and told the Commissioners what payments are still to be received and posted as revenue in FY2009.
For FY10, we are $23K in black. However, there are places in the expense side of the budget that need attention. If desired, we can deal with them in the supplemental budget process.
Tristan/ Carlene moved to recommend the FY2010 budget version #9 to the Advisory Board. So voted. All in favor.
Noreen said that there would be a date published for a public hearing about the budget before the Advisory Board votes on it.
The Courthouse roof is watertight. There is still work to do. Russell met with the Edgartown Historic Commission regarding the type of gutters and moulding we could use.
Eastville Beach Parking Lot
Thank you to Mr. Ralph M. Packer for the material for the parking lot. We have ¾ of the work done and hope to finish it tomorrow. If we have extra machine time and material we will work on the access road but there will not be much left. The Audubon Society was there to fence in the nests of the plovers but the eggs disappeared anyway. Tristan asked if we approved the Access Board’s draft agreement. Russell said that we would put it on the agenda for the next meeting. Tristan said that the only area that would be no swimming is from the jetty to the old piling.
Russell informed the commissioners that the Grants that we submitted under the Recovery Act with NOAA for coastal and marine habitat restoration – one for dredging and eel grass planning in Sengekontacket Pond and one at Edgartown Great Pond – were not selected for funding. .
Pet Celebration Day
The “Dog Fair” at Sunset Lake in Oak Bluffs was a big success. It raised money for the shelter and also raised awareness about the shelter. It showed the community that the Animal Shelter committee is working. The shelter also had a float in the 4th of July Parade.
Joint Transportation Committee meeting report - Les Leland
Les informed about the continuing work of the committee.
Update on Sheriff’s Bill
Tom gave update of the Sheriff’s Bill. Originally it was House Bill No.103, now it is House Bill No. 1153 and Senate Bill 2045. It is now in the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, but they will be only discussing the differences between the two bills and whatever comes out is not debatable, it will only be presented to pass or not pass.
Tom suggested to defer the discussion until after October 1st. Tristan said that the County does not have a labor counsel now as Gillman’s appointment expired and he was not reappointed as labor counsel even though Sheriff is still using him. Tristan said that out of the 5 RFP responders Marcia Cini is not interested in being a labor counsel. Tom said that all the RFPs are very informative, Blatman, Borrowski & Mead did not submit their fees and by that did not comply with the RFP’s requirement. Tristan said the Kopelman & Page does an adequate job for the Town of Tisbury but he is not familiar with any other candidates other then Gilman. Melinda asked if Carlene would review the RFP submissions of the candidates. Carlene agreed.
Melinda suggested that the Health subcommittee meets before the next meeting to discuss the need of labor lawyer that might be associated with the proposed changes.
The Commissioners received a copy of the PERAC audit report of the Retirement System. This was a first audit with the new administrator and the retirement board was very pleased with the results. Noreen commented on the first suggestion; how the towns calculate the members’ payroll deductions that go to the retirement system.
She noted that there are 16 member units in the retirement system and each treasurer is part of the advisory board. There is very poor attendance at meetings for discussions about correcting the deductions and budgets. The auditors made appointments with two towns to go over the errors There will continue to be seminars to review the withholding calculation, but the commissioners may hear about letters to the selectmen, etc making it mandatory.
Tristan suggested creating a position of an Associate Commissioner for the Fishermen. Warren Dotty was interested.
Carlene/Melinda moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:25 p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts