Dukes County Commission Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Vice-Chairman Tristan Israel called the County Commissioner's meeting to order at 5:05 p.m. Commissioners Tom Hallahan, Lenny Jason, John Alley, Melinda Loberg and Les Leland were present.
Also in attendance were County Manager Russell Smith, Executive Assistant Martina Thornton, Airport Manager Sean Flynn, Airport Commissioner James Craig, IPM Director T.J. Hegarty, Emergency Director Chuck Cotnoir, Rich Michelson, Todd Christy, Marge Dolan, Dukes County Regional Housing Authority Director David Vigneault and Joanie Ames of MVTV.
Tom/Les moved to approve Minutes of January 27, 2010. So voted. All in favor.
John/Melinda moved to appoint Chuck Cotnoir as the Dukes County Emergency Management Director (one year appointment), and by virtue of the position to also appoint him to the following positions: Sheriff’s Assistant as a Point of Contact for the National Incident Management Systems; Steamship Authority Representative’s Assistant for Emergency Affairs; and Dukes County Representative to the Martha’s Vineyard Medical Reserve Corps. So voted. All in favor.
Tom thanked Chuck for all the postings that he is sending out. Tristan thanked Chuck for his work. Chuck said that the MV Medical Reserve Corps has a new director for our chapter and he is impressed with her credentials and enthusiasm.
John/Melinda moved to approve Sheriff Michael A. McCormack as a Point of Contact for the National Incident Management Systems. So voted. All in favor.
Interview of candidates for the Airport Commission position
One of the 3 candidates, Norman Perry is not present but he submitted a letter of interest which was in the Commissioners’ file explaining why he will be unable to attend and his interest in continuing the appointment.
James Craig – he has been on the Airport Commission for a number of years and he feels that the Board is working well and he would like to continue serving on the Board. Lenny asked what would be the next big thing that the Airport needs to get done. Mr. Craig mentioned the shifting of the runway. He also serves on the Personnel Sub-Committee. The Management Sub-committee is dealing with leases at the Airport Business Park that are coming up and the fact that additional buildings were constructed on the leases properties.
Richard Michelson – former Airport employee who would like to apply his experience. Lenny asked him what he would like to see as former employee the Airport do. Mr. Michelson mentioned that besides the runway shift and the other capital improvements that the Management is already working on, he would like to see some work done as soon as possible regarding safety around the building where the fire apparatus is. He would also like to see more interaction of the Airport with the tenants at the Business Park and at the hangers. Tom asked if Mr. Michelson had attended any of the Airport Commission’s meetings. Mr. Michelson replied that he did not. Les asked if there is a tenant representative still. Sean Flynn replied that there is an Annual Meeting for all the Business Park tenants but the Business Park Association is
not active anymore.
Les/John moved to nominate Norman Perry as Airport Commissioner. So voted. In favor: Alley, Leland, Hallahan, Israel, Jason. Abstained: Loberg.
Les/John moved to nominate James Craig as Airport Commissioner. Discussion: Lenny said he would like to recognize the good work the Airport Commission is doing and that be the reason we are reappointing the same members. Tristan said that he would like to see at least once a year a joint meeting with the Airport Commission. Sean said he will extend the invitation and Russell shall follow up on it. So voted. All in favor.
Dukes County Regional Housing Authority (DCRHA) – David Vigneault, Director
David distributed information sheets explaining different functions and branches of the DCRHA – rental assistance, home ownership (assistance in lottery), town assistance and planning. He introduced new nominees to the DCRHA Board: Todd Christy as Chilmark’s nominee, Ernie Mendanhall as West Tisbury nominee and Marjorie Dolan nominated by the Board of Directors as an at large representative. Tom asked how do the DCRHA, the Island Housing Trust (IHT) and Island Affordable Housing Fund (IAHF) interact. David said that there are 4 organizations in the Vineyard Housing Office – 3 are private non-profit organizations (501c (3): IHT is a non-profit developer, IAHF is a private fundraiser and the Habitat for Humanity of MV. The DCRHA is the only publicly chartered organization to work for the towns. They best work all
together. The limitations in the DCRHA charter led to creation of the IHAF and IHT. The Trust is using the community land trust model, which works very well for the towns.
Marjorie Dolan is a financial management lawyer from Boston moved to the island full time year and half ago.
John/Melinda moved to appoint Marjorie Dolan to the DCRHA as member at large. So voted. All in favor.
Tom/John moved to appoint Todd Christy as Chilmark’s representative to the DCRHA. So voted. All in favor.
John/Melinda moved to appoint Ernie Mendenhall as West Tisbury’s representative to the DCRHA.
Pilgrim RC & D – T. J. Hegarty
T.J. informed the Commissioners that the Pilgrim RC & D was so successful that the federal government is considering cutting the budget for this program. It was originally created as regional conservation and development program to help develop and conserve the farm land. The program is funded by $50.7 million and is facilitated by the USDA employees. There will be a conference on March 20th in Maine and MV Commission will be giving a presentation about agricultural self-sufficiency. Les asked what does the island gain by us being members. T.J. said that our facilitator came to the island to help Christine Flynn develop the model that will be presented. We had $60K grant that was available that was not taken advantage of. Lenny added that the idea of regional Agricultural Commission was first introduced two year ago and now it
came to be formalized. T.J. goes to the meetings once a month and usually two meetings are canceled during the year. Tom asked what the $60K grant was for. T.J. said it came from the USDA but we would not know about it if it was not for the Pilgrim RC&D and it was for a study on the island for meat processing (slaughter house) possibilities. T.J. is the chairman of the scholarship committee and a voting delegate for the group. Tristan said that we should have contact with this group but it is expensive to go every month and he would like to see what are the exact expenses and what is it that we are getting back and if there is a way to scale back our participation. Tom asked why the MV Commission is not involved as the mission of the Pilgrim RC&D is more in tune with their agenda. Lenny said that we are charter members. Tristan asked Lenny to talk to MV Commission to see if they would take it over and we will have more discussion about this at the next
Appointments – We re-advertised for Assoc. Commissioner for Handicapped Persons, Assoc. Commissioner for Affairs of the Elderly and Assoc. Commissioner for Youth Task Force and members of the Health Council with deadline on March 12th.
Russell included in the Commissioner’s packets a list of tasks accomplished by the County Manager to be available prior to the evaluation. Tristan formalized a County Manager Evaluation Sub-committee consisting of Melinda, Les and Lenny.
Martina informed the Commissioners that the Auditors will come to the March 10th meeting to do the exit conference.
Tristan asked to see a preliminary budget for FY2011 as soon as possible. Russell said that the worksheets are expected back from the department heads next Tuesday.
Tom asked if the prior 3 years audits are on the website. Martina said if they are not posted on the Treasurer’s website yet, she will make sure she will ask the Treasurer for the electronic version and add it to the website.
Melinda asked the commissioners if they would renew their permission to the Town of Tisbury to manage the parking lot the County owns by the Tisbury Yacht Club as the Town would like to re-grade it and the Tisbury Waterways – a non-profit that Melinda is president off, would like to install a rain garden (bio swell) there to prevent the runoff from creating big puddles. Lenny asked if there are wetlands. Melinda said no, the wetlands are across the street. John said that there was an easement maintained by the County for pipes etc. and he would like to see some plan for the proposed work before voting on it. Russell said he looked at it about 6 months ago.
Lenny/John moved for Russell to talk to Fred Lapiana from the Town of Tisbury and report back on the particulars of the bio swell installation at that lot.
The all island selectmen’s meeting in on March 11th.
John/Les moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:25 p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts