Dukes County Commission Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Chairman Carlene Gatting called the County Commissioner's meeting to order at 5 p.m. Commissioners Tristan Israel, Melinda Loberg, John Alley, Tom Hallahan, Lenny Jason and Les Leland were present.
Also in attendance were County Manager Russell Smith, Ex. Assistant Martina Thornton, County Treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders, Asst. Treasurer Carol Grant, Diane Jetmund and Leslie Clapp from MV Center for Living and Joanie Ames of MVTV.
Tristan and Melinda moved to approve the Minutes of meeting on January 13, 2010. So voted. All in favor.
Tristan and Les moved to approve the Minutes of meeting on February 24, 2010. So voted. All in favor.
Les and Melinda moved to approve the Minutes of meeting on March 10, 2010. So voted. In favor: Les, Melinda, Lenny, Tom, Carlene. Abstained: Tristan, John.
John and Tristan moved to approve the Minutes of meeting on March 24, 2010. So voted. In favor: Carlene, Tristan, John, Lenny, Les, Tom. Abstained: Melinda.
John and Tristan moved to approve the Minutes of meeting on March 31, 2010. So voted. In favor: Lenny, Les, Carlene, Tristan, John. Abstained: Tom, Melinda.
Carlene appointed Mike Joyce, Jr.; Ana Thibodeau, Justin Oslyn and Taylor Rasmussen as the Associate Commissioners for Youth for one year term expiring February 28, 2011.
John and Melinda moved to appoint to the Health Council for two-year appointment Cindy Doyle, Patsy McCormack, Jacque Cage, James Weiss, Jay Ferriter, Julia Burgess, Sharon Clauss-Zanger, Terre Young, Rex Jarrell and Paddy Moore. So voted. All in favor.
John and Lenny moved to appoint Joseph H. Sollitto, Jr. as the Clerk to the County Commissioners for a 3-year term. So voted. All in favor.
Russell said that the proposed FY2011 budget revenue is $1,850,725.43 and the expenses of $1,836,750 and we would end up with a surplus of about 14K. The Vineyard Health Care Access Program has a deficit. The additional warrant article needs to be voted at all the town meetings and once voted we will add it to the budget. 4 towns voted it last night.
Carlene suggested creating a Financial Sub-committee that would go through the budget and make recommendations to the whole board. Tom said he would be in favor of it, he would like to have members also from the community and have Russell be part of the committee and Noreen as resource, so the committee could get better understanding of the inner-workings of the budget. Tristan said that he likes to go through it and hear what Noreen has to say.
Carlene asked what is the Chapter 61 Section 10 payment to the Commonwealth for - $157K. Noreen said it is the second half of the FY2010 payment that Commonwealth paid in advance when they took the Sheriff’s Office over on January 1st and want to be reimbursed for. They were asking for $265K and we worked with Sen. O’Leary’s Office to make sure that we only have to pay what was actually paid. It is a one time payment. They thought it will be $165K but we received letter that it will only be $157K and we have to pay on or before June 30th. The Airport budget is not ready yet. The Registry of Deeds’ budget is on the last page but the only thing that shows on the cover page is the Maintenance of Effort, which is the only part of it that affects the general fund. Their entire budget is funded by their portion of the
Maintenance of Effort and the Deeds Excise Tax.
Tristan asked if the second article of the VHCAP will increase the surplus if voted in. Russell said no. When the extra funds are included in the budget there will be also increase in expenses.
Carlene asked for Year-to-Date information for FY2010. Russell said it is not on the cover page but it is included on the pages for each department as of April 1, 2010. We can provide the Year-to-Date totals at the next meeting.
Carlene would like to create the Finance Committee and have Tom work on it with Russell. Tom said he would like to have other people from the community involved which would help the transparency and the connection to the community. Lenny suggested inviting the Chairman of the All-island Fin Com to be a member. Tristan agreed. Carlene asked Tom to talk to him and see who would be interest to join him as she would like to create the Committee at the next meeting.
Delivery of Public Services Study
Russell said that the Study is 99% done and Mark London is doing the final edits. Carlene asked for it to be e-mailed to the Commissioners once done and also if they could get the draft in the meantime.
MV Center 4 Living – presentation by Leslie Clapp and Diane Jutmund
Russell said that there have been discussions with The Island Council on Aging and the minutes of September 13, 2006 are included in the Commissioners’ packets. Leslie Clapp said that the MV Center 4 Living, formerly the Island Council on Aging, operates as a 501c (3) non-profit organization since 1973. They are a support group for and funded partially by the municipal Councils on Aging (COA). They also get grants that the towns are not eligible to get (from FEMA for fuel assistance etc.). They provide various services or regional bases that the municipal COAs can not provide (due to finances or other issue), i.e. transportation services, medical taxi, food distribution program for the food pantries. They run a day program for seniors in Edgartown and Tisbury COAs buildings (2 days a week in each) and instead of rent they take off portion of
the money billed to these towns for in kind services. There Day Program has 2 full-time and 3 part-time employees and Leslie Clapp is the only employee of the Center 4 Living as the umbrella for all the activities and administers all the grants etc. Budget for the Center 4 Living and for the Day Program are also included in Commissioners packets. It is broken down to towns by the number of people in town over 60 years old. The towns would like them to find their own space to operate their Day Program out of. The employees of the Day Program are under the umbrella of the Town of Edgartown and are receiving benefits the same way as the town employees – vacation, sick days, health insurance and retirement. The town wants to move them out of this arrangement as well. They are coming to the County as a regional organization to see if they could have their employees under the County umbrella for the accounting purposes. They did reimburse Edgartown for the benefits of their employees.
Carlene asked if they would be County employees. Leslie said that that would have to be worked out. All the benefits are part of the budget. The program is paid for by all the towns as a line item in the COAs budget. They bill each time monthly for their portion of the budget. There is no separate article for this program. Tom asked if there is a time line for them moving. Leslie said no but they do want this process to move along. Melinda asked if the towns would help them financially to find a new location. Diane said that they would be billed more as the in-kind deduction would not apply anymore but that would not be enough and that they would have to make up the rest in fundraising and donations. Lenny asked how much space they would need. Leslie said at least 1500sq.ft. open activity space, 3 handicapped accessible bathrooms, commercial kitchen, dining area, 3 office spaces, lots of storage areas, it needs to be handicapped accessible. They have a committee that went through
number of possible buildings including the old Edgartown School building and are still looking. Les said that if the County takes on new employees there would have to be guarantees from all the towns that they will continue to fund this program as the County can not afford to create and fund a new department. Tom said that this could bring a creation of a new model, which could apply to other island-wide services and would be beneficial to all the towns. Leslie said that in all their existence they had never problem with funding from the towns. Tristan suggested for Russell to work with them on what it is exactly that they are looking for and then start the conversation with the individual towns. Lenny suggested bringing this before the all-island selectmen’s meeting. Russell said that there is a difference between doing administration for an organization and adding new county employees. We need to come up with a new model that would take advantage of the efficiency of the
administration but not add liability to the County as the County has no money to fund these programs. Noreen said that the natural time to start doing the service for them would be the beginning of the fiscal year. The main difference between the Animal Shelter and the MV Center 4 Living is that they are entity by themselves and there would have to be some formal agreement to do these services for them. The 501c (3) would guarantee to reimburse the County for any expenses. Diane said that each COA appoints member to their board and then they have 2 appointments at large from each community. Noreen said that the other difference is that the towns already agreed to support this program unlike the Animal Shelter where there is no agreement with the towns to support it financially. Diane added that the town funding is not the majority of the funding of the program, which might also add to the fact that they don’t get challenged because they give so much back for the money they receive.
Russell said that the County could not provide the space for day program but we do have one office that is not used frequently and we could support them that way. As far as keeping the employees whole, it would have to be up to the organization to ensure that they provide all funding needed. Carlene suggested the MV Center make a presentation at the May 13th all-island selectmen’s meeting. Russell said he would like to talk to County lawyer before they make the presentation on May 13th.
Animal Shelter of MV
Carlene said Russell did a great job, it is operating now for almost a year solely on donation money and the place has its own manager. She would like to do evaluation and see what would be the plan for the future - if it should be a non-profit or continue as the arm of the County. Lenny asked if we have a stable site. Russell said that the MSPCA lawyer informed us that they would like to extend our lease for another 90 days after May 1st as tenants at will. The MSPCA is looking into options what to do with the property that has two other buildings (the Veterinarian and the original Katherine Foot’s house). He would like to have the Animal Shelter Board that did all the fundraising to express their will before the Commissioners before any decisions are made about the Shelter. Melinda asked if they are intending to turn over the building to
us on a more permanent bases. Russell said that that has been their stated intent so far. Russell explained that Mrs. Foot’s Will did state that the property should go to the MSPCA for care of animals “here” but, she actually deeded the property out to MSPCA prior to her death and the deed does not state any such conditions. Tristan asked for reports on activity and expenses of the shelter. Russell said that about 100 animals were adopted out and 95% are owner surrendered animals, not stray and so we are doing a service to the residents who find themselves in bad position and can not keep the animals. Also the heating system and the incinerator needs repairs but we are not willing to fund the repairs until the ownership of the building is resolved. We are responsible for the regular maintenance of the building, cleaning, paint - but no structural changes. Melinda asked about the status of applying for a 501c (3) status. Russell said that they invited Peter Temple of MV Donors
Collaborative to talk to them about creating and running a non-profit. The result was that they would like to stay with the County. Melinda asked if it could work as an enterprise fund. Noreen said it would have to have its own business with its own source of revenue and it would not relieve the County from the liability in case of deficit. The animal shelter hired a manager to run the place as temporary employee. The temporary position can not be used for more then 6 months. After that a decision needs to be made if the person will be a full-time or part-time employee and do a proper hiring process for the position. The process happened and now we are trying to figure out if she is a true county employee and if we can set up benefits. Russell said that the Animal Shelter Board voted to give the person benefits and pay for it. Carol said that the County was asked by the towns to do it temporarily and she feels that the County shall go back to the towns and see if there will be
support for the County to continue running the shelter. Lenny agreed. Russell agreed that we need to go to the towns once the year is up to see if we still have support to run the shelter. We were told that we get an extension for 90 days from May 1st by the MSPCA. Noreen asked if the Board agree to give benefits to the new position. Lenny asked why it could not be a contract position. Noreen said that the county engineer worked as independent contractor, but then they need to get their own worker’s compensation insurance and if that person is under the direction of the County Manager, it is not independent. We do that with couple of positions at the County that are funded through grants (Youth Task Force). Carlene suggested exploring this with the county lawyer.
Disposal of Electronics
We disposed of two truck loads of old electronics thanks to the MV Community Services Program. Carlene asked if the water testing equipment is gone. Russell said it is not.
The Functionality Audit is scheduled for the end of May or June this year.
The Little Channel dredged under the first bridge at State Beach and sand used to replenish the dunes for erosion control.
Courthouse window replacement CPA funds voted in 4 towns. Carlene asked when we could start the work. Russell said that we need to wait until it is voted in all towns and then start the bidding process. If all goes well we might be able to start this fall. Lenny suggested talking to the judge before scheduling work at the Courthouse.
New sign for the County Administration Building will be hung before the next meeting.
Carlene asked to discuss at the second next meeting what we are doing to find funds to repair the electrical system at the Courthouse.
Noreen asked if everyone received the e-mail about the regionalization meeting at the Cape Cod Community College on May 14th.
John/Tristan moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:40 p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts