Dukes County Commission Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
County Administration Building
Call to Order
Chairman Carlene Gatting called the County Commissioner's meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Commissioners Les Leland, Tom Hallahan, Tristan Israel, John Alley, Lenny Jason and Melinda Loberg were present.
Also in attendance were Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant to County Manager, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer, Sarah Kuh – Director of VHCAP, T.J. Hegarty – IPM Director, Joanie Ames of MV TV.
Sarah Kuh – update on Vineyard Health Care Access Program (VHCAP)
Both warrant articles passed in all six towns (Aquinnah did not have Town Meeting yet). It assures that we can continue the service at the same level – enrolling about 2500 people in different health insurance programs, plus provide additional programs for seniors, for dental care and for emergency services. They are partnering with the Community Action Committee for the Cape Cod and Islands to have one of their workers come twice a month to do emergency housing and food assistance. She is helping a lot of people on the island and it is working very well. The Wampanoag Tribe (only one on east coast) succeeded in receiving a federal grant for enrollment for Native American children and families to health insurance. They will partner with VHCAP to do that. Sarah is working with MV Hospital on the Community Health Initiatives Planning process.
Community meetings regarding the health needs and concerns on the island and how to distribute the grant. One meeting was last night in West Tisbury, the next on is tomorrow at 7pm at the Tisbury Library.
Minutes: The 2008 minutes were deferred to the next meeting.
Tristan/ Tom moved to approve the April 14, 2010 minutes. All in favor.
Les/ Melinda moved to approve April 28, 2010. In favor: Tom, Les, Melinda, Tristan. Abstained: Carlene, Lenny, John.
After brief discussion it was agreed that the executive session minutes would be approved in executive session and also have discussion if they are ready to be released. At the next meeting we will start with executive session.
FY11 Budget – Airport Commission will vote on the Airport FY2011 budget on Friday. We would like to wait for the final vote on the whole FY11 budget until next meeting. In the presented FY11 County budget are highlighted changes made since the last meeting. Russell explained the changes:
Dept.300 – County Commissioners: change due to getting access to Treasurer’s accounting program to be able to view and print budget reports. The proposal from Educomp to get it done is $400.
Dept.310 – MV Parking Clerk: changes to adjust the cost associated with payroll being shifted to this department.
Dept.610 – Administration Building: change in janitorial payroll and associated expenses.
Dept.1000 – Miscellaneous: cost of producing Annual Report booklet. After discussion at the last meeting we decided that for the years we were not present we will print it in house on 81/2 x 11. Russell would like to keep the traditional booklet for FY09. The cost is $2500 for 100 copies. We give it to towns, libraries and keep some here. It will also be available on-line. Noreen said that we are required by law to give it to couple of places. Dept.3000 – Treasurer: Major change was in longevity cost. After 7 years you get 1% of salary as bonus, after 10 years you get 2%. Noreen said that this is for the two employees in the Treasurer’s office, Noreen does not get longevity. This was an adjustment to make sure that it is correctly divided between the Treasurer’s Dept. and Parking Clerk Dept. Dept.3200 – Integrated Pest Management
(important to refer to it for legal purposes in connection with the schools). T.J. supplied estimates on truck repairs and maintenance needed to be done. He made changes to the budget to reflect that.
In total we are still in the black by $10,448.24. Melinda asked if this budget reflects increase in salary for employees that are not on a step increase system – Noreen, Dianne and Russell. Russell said that it does not. Noreen said that the budget also does not reflect any reimbursement to the officers for the health insurance contribution increase from 90-10 to 75-25. Tom said that this budget also does not reflect any COLA. Russell said that the County employees did not receive any COLA last year either. Carlene said that some town proposed no COLA for last year but then gave it retroactively like Edgartown. Tristan said that for their non-union employees they used some off island index. This year they have no COLA. The all island fin com is looking into using some index standard that would be than applied in all island towns.
Tom said that that is a great idea but in the mean time the County employees should expect the COLA and he is proposing to be a year behind and use a median value of COLA the towns awarded a year before. That would prevent the situation like last year when the towns said they will not do any COLA, the County went along with that and then the towns gave COLA later. Tristan would like to cap the COLA percentage that could be given. He would like to transfer money from the unreserved balance fund to cover the transition reimbursement for the three officials and talk about COLA later. Carlene created a Personnel Sub-committee that would make a recommendation for raises to employees that are not covered by pay scale and look into the COLA. Members: Melinda (chair), Tom and Lenny. Les asked how much of unreserved fund balance we have. Noreen said that we have about $90K. Noreen said that we will be about $45K over in the anticipated revenue in FY2010, which will increase the unreserved
fund balance. Registry of Deeds will exceed the projected revenue, T.J. will exceed his budget and Parking Clerk will have extra revenue due to processing parking tickets in house. We keep the alarm fees - the Treasurer’s office took over the billing for it.
Delivery of Public Services Study
Results were given at the last meeting and at the All Island Selectmen’s meeting. The island is efficient in most of the delivery of public services. They did suggest couple of areas where towns could look into regionalization – assessing, inspectional services (plumbing, electrical inspections etc.), police, fire, EMS, accounting services. Tristan commented on the rating system being more of a guideline. Russell said that the rating system is a standard to provide an academic look at the situation. Lenny said it would be helpful to have a table on how much revenue was generated by each service.
Easement to Edgartown Water Department
Russell said that Noreen was right that since the water department is putting the pipe under the public road, no easement is required. John asked about where the lots are located. Russell and Lenny explained the location in Katama close to the Farm Institute.
MV Commission - Wind Energy Planning Work Group.
Russell asked if one of the Commissioners would be interested to serve on this planning committee, which addresses state, federal and local issues associated with wind energy.
Appointment to Health Council
John/Lenny moved to approve the appointment of Amanda Hutchinson, David T. Caron and Rev. Robert E. Hensley to serve on the Health Council for a 2-year term. So voted. All in favor.
Personnel Board creation
Melinda presented proposal for a Resolution to create a Personnel Board (see proposed version attached to the Minutes). She explained the creation of the Board and the main charge of the Board. Carlene suggested changing the language instead of “meet once a month” to “meet as necessary”. Martina noted that this Board would be charged with approving evaluations and step increases and that each month there are anniversaries for different employees coming up. Noreen pointed out that Martina’s title in the 5th paragraph is an Executive Assistant, not an Executive Secretary. Russell said that one of the charges of the board would be to review all the job descriptions. Lenny asked what would be Russell’s role. Russell said he would not be a member of the Board, he would implement the Personnel Bylaws, but if there is a problem, it
would go before the Board, similar like in towns. Russell would like to recommend the Sheriff, Head of the Registry of Deeds and the Airport as members to the Board. The Personnel Bylaws currently are not used by the Airport as it is a 24/7 operation, but Sean agreed to work with us on the reviews to ensure that the new Personnel Bylaws would be applicable to the airport operation as well. Carlene asked how this Board’s charge would relate to the Commissioners’ Personnel Sub-Committee she just created. Russell said that when it comes strictly to personnel issues it is the County Manager’s role to administer it, not the County Commissioners who are the legislative branch of the government. Carlene asked if it will be this Personnel Board who will review and recommend wage adjustment of the Manager’s, Treasurer’s and Register’s salary and recommend COLA. Russell said yes. Melinda said that creation of this Personnel Board formalizes an un-formal committee that was working on some of
these issues previously. Melinda suggested having the Commissioners’ Sub-committee do the review of the salaries as it is needed to be done soon and it might take some time to create the Board and have it up and running. Carlene agreed. Noreen said that the major change is that this Board would act as an appellate board for grievances. In the current personnel bylaws the grievance is heard by a department head and then it can be brought to the County Manager, whose decision is final. After the Personnel Board is created the Manager’s decision could be appealed to the Board. Martina explained that the Sick Leave Bank is now administered by a Sick Leave Bank Committee consisting of Sheriff, Carol Grant and herself. Melinda supported the idea that the Personnel Board should prepare its own annual report. Lenny said that it is in the Administrative Code that all departments and boards should report to the Commission at least once annually.
Tom/ Lenny moved to adopt the proposed resolution with two changes – to meet as necessary and to change the title to Executive Assistant. So voted. All in favor.
Creation of Sub-committees:
- To review the Administrative Code – Tom explained that this committee would look in depth to bring it up do date. No volunteers were interested to do the work.
Martina and Russell were asked to highlight the suggestions for changes.
- To look into a model how County could administer regional services. This should help solve the problem how the County could administer services like Animal Shelter or the Center for Living. Carlene and Russell talked to the County Counsel. Noreen suggested bringing in someone from the County Advisory Board as it would add to the value of the results and recommendations coming forward. Russell said that the County is in a unique place to administer regional services and some entities and towns are now asking for it. We need to develop a structure to do this and resolve the legal issues associated with dealing with non-profits. Right now it seems that we can not give money to a non-profit unless they provide direct service in our community. Marcia Cini should get back to us in next couple of weeks with some answers.
- Evaluation of Integrated Pest Management – It came out of the confusion regarding the scope of services in this department. The committee would also analyze the cost of this department. Melinda, Les and John will serve on this committee and report back prior to approval of the budget.
Carlene mentioned again the Letter from Richard Combra from Oak Bluffs Highway Department thanking Russell for assistance in the Little Bridge dredging project.
Invitation to Annual DC/MV Fishermen’s Association dinner on May 26th at 6.30pm. Please RSVP to Warren if you plan to attend and if you want to bring a spouse it is $10.
**Tristan left the meeting.**
Lenny suggested creating a Finance Committee for next years budget process. Carlene agreed. Tom agreed to chair it. Lenny agreed to be a member. Tom would also like to invite Jonathan Snider, the Chair of the All-island Fin Com to participate. Carlene suggested that they would review the budget on line by line and bring recommendation to the full board and also follow up on the Management Letter.
Melinda/ John moved to form a Finance Committee. All in favor. Russell and Noreen would act in advisory capacity.
Melinda asked if we could invite T.J. to the next meeting or the sub-committee meeting to present the documents he provided to the Commissioners since he could not speak before he left. Russell said that one thing T.J. wanted to point out is that the IPM revenue is up 15% this year.
Meet in different towns – Russell pointed out that the Commissioners amended the Administrative Code to say that they will meet in different towns during the year and asked if they want to continue the effort. All agreed. Martina said that in that case every other meeting will be in different town to make the rounds by the end of the year. She also informed that June 23rd meeting is planned as a joint meeting with the Airport Commission pending confirmation. All agreed.
John/Les adjourn. At 6.22p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts
WHEREAS, the Dukes County Commissioners received recommendation by their Personnel Sub-committee to create a County Personnel Board;
WHEREAS, the Commissioners believe that the Personnel Board will improve the County’s personnel policies and procedures,
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Commissioners of the County of Dukes County that the Personnel Board will be created as follows:
The Personnel Board shall consist of five persons. Four of these shall be recommended by the County Manager and appointed by the County Commissioners from persons not subject to the County Personnel Bylaws and at least one of these four shall be a registered voter of the County at-large and not a County employee. The fifth shall be a full-time employee of the County, elected by full-time employees. All shall serve for a three-year term, commencing at the start of the fiscal year; however the terms of the initial members shall be staggered in the following way: two shall serve for a three-year term, two shall serve for a two-year term and one shall serve for a one-year term. In the event of vacancy, for any reason, prior to the expiration of the term of appointment, that vacancy shall be filled in the same way as soon as
reasonably possible. These appointments are subject to Section V. of the County Administrative Code.
The Board shall meet at least once a month. A quorum of the Personnel Board shall be fixed at three (3) members.
The Executive Secretary to the County Manager shall serve as the Administrator of the Board and as an ex officio non-voting member of the Board.
The Personnel Board shall be responsible for the administration of the County Personnel Bylaw. Any changes to the Personnel Bylaws shall be subject to the County Commissioners approval. The responsibilities of the Personnel Board shall be as follows:
(a) Ensure that the County maintains an effective personnel system, monitor the effectiveness and implementation of the bylaw, procedures and practices; and prepare an annual report.
(b) Perform periodic review of the County Personnel Bylaw and make recommendations for changes to the County Commissioners.
(c) Formulate and review the Classification Plan and the Compensation Plan at least every (5) years.
(d) Evaluate and classify positions, review requests for reclassification, and cause a review of all positions in the Classification Plan at appropriate intervals in accordance with proper personnel practices.
(e) Provide advice and assistance to Department Heads, supervisory personnel and employees on all aspects of personnel management.
(f) Supervise and maintain a centralized personnel record keeping system.
(g) Evaluate the effectiveness of forms used in the administration of the County Personnel Bylaw and update as necessary.
(h) Administer the Sick Leave Bank.
(i) Approve step increases as recommended by the Department Heads and appointing authorities.
(j) Review and recommend the annual wage adjustment percentage, as appropriate, subject to the County Commissioners approval.
(k) Act as the County Appellate Board for grievances.
The Personnel Board may incur expenses, as it deems necessary, subject to appropriation of funds.
Passed this ____ day of _______ by a vote of the Commissioners including ____ yea votes and ______ nay votes and ______ abstentions.
Carlene Gatting, Chair
Dukes County Commission