Dukes County Commission Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
County Administration Building
Commissioner Present: Tristan Israel - Vice-Chairman, Lenny Jason, Les Leland, John Alley, Melinda Loberg and Tom Hallahan**.
Not present: Carlene Gatting
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant to County Manager, Sean Flynn – Airport Manager
Others: Joanie Ames of MV TV.
Meeting was called to order at 5:05PM
Commissioners went to an executive session at 5:07 PM to approve some old executive session minutes. Executive session ended at 5:10PM and an Open session was reconvened.
John/Les moved to approve minutes of the meeting on 2-13-2010. So voted. In favor: John Alley, Lenny Jason, Tristan Israel, Les Leland. Abstained: Melinda Loberg. (4-0-1) Motion passed.
Les/John moved to approve minutes of the meeting on 5-19-2010. So voted. In favor: John Alley, Lenny Jason, Tristan Israel, Les Leland, Melinda Loberg (5-0-0).
Joint meeting with the Airport Commission.
The Airport Manager Sean Flynn explained that none of the Airport Commissioners were available for the joint meeting that day and therefore he canceled the meeting. Sean suggested picking September or October for the joint meeting.
FY11 budget - The public hearing for FY11 county budget will be held by the County Commissioners on July 14th at the Oak Bluffs Public Library at 4pm. A summary of the budget and a notice regarding the public hearing will be published at a local newspaper.
RFPs – We are about to publish the fuel bid for the County to supply the island municipalities and other participants with total of about 250,000 gallons of heating oil. We are also publishing the request for proposal for the courthouse windows replacement that will be funded from the towns CPA funds and request for proposal for the work needed on Old South Road. This project is done as joint project with the Tribe and should be addressing the road runoffs.
Venting in the courtroom – We are working on installation of a quit fan in the courtroom. There will be also work done on the chair lift at the Courthouse.
Barrier Beach Task Force - We had an annual meeting with the Friends of Sengekontacket, State Department of Recreation and Conservation and other interested parties. Russell showed commissioners a photograph of the little bridge channel full of sand before it was dredged out and sand used to replenish the beach.
**Tom joined the meeting. **
We are continuing the talk regarding the safety issue of the rail at the big bridge. Tom thanked Russell for pointing the safety issue to the state and the contractor.
Celebration of Pets – The Animal Shelter hosted the annual Celebration of Pets this weekend at the Sunset Lake Park in Oak Bluffs and it was a big success. The Ramsey Lewis concert to support the animal shelter and Friends of Oak Bluffs is rescheduled for August 14th.
Personnel Sub-Committee Report – Melinda reported that the committee met earlier that they and Tom read the recommendations:
“The Personnel Committee would like to recommend the following changes to the 2011 County budget with regard to salaries for Register of Deeds, Treasurer and Dukes County Manager. The goal is to provide an increase equal to the additional cost to the employees for their added share of health insurance benefits for one transitional year. This is similar to what was provided to other County employees for 2011.
County Treasurer: increase budgeted salary by $3249.
Register of Deeds: increase budgeted salary by $1296.
County Manager: increase budgeted salary by $1132.
In addition, we recommend a raise of $2400 for the County Manager. This is equivalent to a 2% increase for each of the two years he has been employed having not received a salary increase since being hired. Collectively these increases will cost the County $8077. The current budget shows a balance of approximately $10,500.
Further, we recommend that the County Commissioners review the budget and actual revenues and expenses at the mid-point of 2011 to determine if it would be feasible and appropriate to offer a COLA at that time. While the County waits for the towns to determine if they will agree on a common COLA, we recommend the County adopt the following guideline: A COLA representing the median of the COLA’s given in the six island towns will be given to all County employees in the next fiscal year.”
Discussion on salary increases: John asked why each has a different increase. Melinda said that each of them has a different health insurance plan and this will keep each whole (numbers were given by the County Treasurer). Tristan suggested taking it from the unreserved fund. Lenny said that if the surplus of the budget is less we just have to watch the spending closely.
Les/John moved to approve the amendment to the budget regarding the increase of salaries for the two elected officials and the county manager to keep them whole after the 75-25% health insurance shift as recommended. So voted. All in favor.
Les/Tom moved to give the county manager the raise as of $2,400. So voted. All in favor.
Discussion on COLA:
Les disagreed that the COLA “will be given” - automatically and disregards the budget constrains. Tristan said that some towns are using a big numbers and we should be looking into an index with a cap instead. Tom said that it would be a medium number – not the highest, not the lowest. This way we would not be criticized by the towns to give it too high. Melinda added that it would be delayed by one year as the towns surprised us in the past when they gave COLA retroactively after we did not plan on it in our budget. John suggested using “may offer” instead of “will be given”.
Russell informed that the Dept. of Revenue – Division of local services is coming to do the operational audit on June 29th. This is a good opportunity to have an outside third party look at our operation. Melinda suggested asking for ideas how to structure and include the animal shelter operation or help the Center 4 Living. Russell said that he did already bring it up to their attention. There are legal questions regarding the non-profit status versus the regional government. Les also suggested asking about the programs the towns will be taking over financially? Russell said he will ask about that too.
Lenny asked about the progress of the project of catch basins at Owen Little Way, Tisbury. Russell said there are plans for piping, but not on our property. Melinda said that the parking lot will be re-graded but there are no plans to change any of the catch basins. They might be planning to do a swale along the fence. Russell will check on the new plans and give report at a next meeting.
Tristan asked on the status of exploring new regional opportunities like grant writing.
Forth of July Parade participation - John will be there to represent the County. Lenny, Tom and Tristan will be also in the Parade.
Letter from West Tisbury School in support and appreciation of the Pest Management Program. Tristan said they had a meeting today with Mr. Hegarty and are re-examining the way we do business. The next step will be going to the towns for feedback including the harbor masters.
John/Les moved to adjourn the meeting at 5.45p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts