Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
Commissioner Present: Carlene Gatting, Tristan Israel, Lenny Jason, Melinda Loberg, Les Leland and Tom Hallahan.
Not present: John Alley
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant to County Manager, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer, Sarah Kuh – Vineyard Health Care Access Program Director, T.J. Hegarty – Integrated Pest Management Director.
Others: Bill Jones, Theresa Manning and Jamie Vanderhoop of Youth Task Force, Skipper Manter – County Advisory Board member, Joanie Ames of MVTV.
1. Meeting was called to order at 5:15 PM
2. Public Hearing on FY2011 County Budget
No public comments on the budget.
Deeds Excise Fund – the allocation of funds should be voted on each year as part of the budget process as instructed by the auditor.
Tristan/Melinda moved to allocate in FY2011 40% of the Deed Excise Fund to the Registry of Deeds and 60% to the County. So voted. All in favor.
Russell explained the minor changes in the budget since the last meeting: the second article voted by towns for the Vineyard Health Care Access Program was included in the budget on both revenue and expense side. Per the County Advisory Board recommendation, we included calculations to give all county employees a step increase for FY201. This was not the initial intent when we did the new scale and move to the new insurance split. In keeping with the Personnel Bylaws, we are obligated to give a step increase following a positive annual review. The total of this change is approximately $8K. In order to balance the budget, we increased the projected revenue (license plate revenue by $3K and alarm fees) by $3K, based on last year’s actual revenue. These changes leave the budget with a $295.48 surplus. The remainder of the budget is identical as
presented at the last meeting.
Melinda/Lenny moved to approve the FY2011 county budget. So voted. All in favor.
3. Youth Task Force Presentation
Bill Jones, Theresa Manning and Jamie Vanderhoop made a presentation regarding the work of the Youth Task Force (YTF) in promoting healthier life styles for young people on the island, the wide coalition they have formed with people from all different areas (school, police, treatment professionals, parents etc.), the grants they received for it, surveys they did, campaigns and accomplishments and plans for the next year. Theresa and Jamie are now certified to do “TIPs” (Training Intervention Procedures) training. They can train staff (restaurants, liquor stores) to be certified as “safe servers”, which then could qualify the establishment for a discount on their liability insurance. It is also a plus for people looking for a job where alcohol is served. They teach techniques to better recognize and deal with situations involving underage
drinking. The certification is good for 3 years. They would like to offer this training for a nominal fee of $35, which would cover the cost of training materials and help the YTF stay sustainable after the grants expire. They would offer a training of one person per establishment for free as a benefit to the community. The lectures are 1.5 hours in length and they are planning on offering them once a month. Their goal is for the towns to require that all servers are TIPs certified. Tristan said that if they were to change the fee they would have to come back before the Commissioners for approval.
Tristan/Les moved to allow YTF to charge fee of $35 per person for the TIPs training. Discussion: Melinda asked if the revenue from the training would go to a separate fund. Noreen said yes. So voted. All in favor.
There was a discussion regarding the underage drinking on the island and related issues. The YTF members reported that they are now also starting to look at cigarette and marijuana use by youths on the island and strategies to address these. They are also expanding into other areas thanks to the coalition members. Noreen complimented Jamie and Theresa on their hard work and the great work they did at the prom this year.
4. County Manager’s Report
Russell reported that he is now using a new vehicle 1993 Lexus donated by Dr. Perkins of Katama.
5. Minutes of July 28, 2010
Tom suggested a different wording regarding the helicopter fly bys under new business. Tristan/Melinda moved to approve Minutes as amended. So voted. In favor: Carlene, Lenny, Tom, Melinda, Tristan. Abstained: Les.
The filed legislation regarding the changes in the County Manager’s form of county government passed. It is a law now that the county manager live within the county, that it could be a part- or full-time job and that the county manager serves at the pleasure of the board. The other legislation is correcting Retirement Board’s mistake for one individual in the past, which needed legislation to be corrected (both attached). We would like to send a thank-you letter to Representative Madden and to Senator O’Leary for their help to move this along.
Russell said that the letter from Marcia Cini regarding the support for organizations providing regional services (attached) states that the county can not financially support any non-profit or other such organizations, which are not publicly owned or under exclusive control and supervision of public officers. This has direct implications on the animal shelter if it were to become a non-profit. In such a case, it would be difficult for the County to manage it.
Lenny said that there should be a letter from Brackman, Sawyer and Brewster (approx. 1997) regarding the emergency funds and how to do it (Do what?). Carlene asked to find the old memo and put this topic on the next meetings agenda. Carlene asked if the YTF is also part of the County. Russell said yes. Noreen added that the two people working for YTF are independent contractors because their funding comes from grants for specific period of time (3-5 years). If the YTF and the County Commissioners later decide that they want to make them County employees they could then buy back the time. Currently, these individuals do not get health insurance through the County. Carlene said we should explore this possibility of independent contractors with Marcia Cini. Russell said we are also waiting for the report from the DOR and suggestions
regarding the use of independent contractors .
7. Old Business
Carlene asked Russell to prepare a timeline for work at the Courthouse – trim, windows, and electrical system repairs, how much it will cost and how much money we have for it, and to have this ready for the next meeting of the Commissioners
Melinda said that the sub-committee to review the Integrated Pest Management Program would like to recommend immediately reinstating the mosquito monitoring within this department as there are reports from near by communities of mosquito born diseases. The state provides the material for it and the testing; we would provide the labor (T.J.).
Melinda/Lenny moved to do the mosquito monitoring for the remainder of the summer. Discussion: Tristan said that more recommendations for next year will follow. Melinda said that in the past this required overtime. They (Who are they?) are now asking that this be made a priority and built into the regular workweek before doing service to private customers. So voted. All in favor.
Russell said that T.J. already started preparations for collection of the samples.
8. New Business
Tom asked about the recent fuel bid and asked for explanation of procedures that were followed. Russell excused Martina from the meeting as her husband was one of the bidders and, in keeping with the state ethics rules, she should not be present for the discussions. Martina left the room and Carlene took over the recording of the minutes. Russell said that we received two bids, both bidders met the qualifications for the RFP. One bidder was 4 cents per gallon lower then the other. The bids were reviewed by a committee consisting of Russell, Michael Dutton - the Town Administrator in Oak Bluffs and Amy Tierney - the Financial Officer for the MV Schools, whom are the biggest users. The total package for fuel bid is approximately 250,000 gallons based on prior year usage. Last year, we had to re-negotiate the price as it was fixed at a higher
price then the market value. At that time, the supplier was willing to re-negotiate, saving the community a substantial amount of money.
This year, we asked for a price tied to the Boston Low rack price for #2 fuel. The difference in the two bids was about $10,000. The committee did not feel comfortable to use the lower bidder as they do not have any on island storage facility and, in case the boats are not running, there would be no fuel for elderly housing, the schools and other important public institutions. The weekly usage is about 10,000 gallons. The committee decided to reject all the bids as they felt it was in the best interest of the public. The lower bidder is in the process of obtaining 10,000 gallons storage. The committee re-wrote the bid to include a 10,000 gallons storage requirement and re-advertised it. The new bids are due on August 17th. Despite the appearance of possible favoritism, the committee is had public interest and safety in mind, and
want to ensure no disruption in service due to the boats not running. The lower bidder will have a chance to bid next year.
Tristan raised concern about the impact of the number of fuel trucks going on the Steamship boats. He said however, this should not be the deciding factor and he would rather pay the lower price. Russell said that should not be a deciding factor next year either because the 250,000 gallons is minimal compared to the usage of all the houses on the island. Carlene said to revisit this issue next year.
Veterans’ health services on the island
Noreen raised a concern about an issue she learned about recently at the Department Head’s meeting. Veterans on the island cannot get services at the MV Hospital without first receiving prior authorization from the Hyannis office. This not only affects physician visits, but also prescriptions due to the fact that the contract between the MV Hospital and VA has lapsed. This is a VA requirement. Noreen encouraged the Commissioners to look into it. Congressman Delahunt helped with signing the initial contract. It might help to write some letters to our representatives and at the same time keep the Veterans on the island informed of that situation.
Les said that he had the same experience with the pharmacy as it concerned our Veterans. Lenny said Veterans needed to sign up with JoAnn to be put on the list to be able to see the VA approved doctor on the island. Melinda suggested inviting JoAnn to the next Commissioners’ meeting. Martina offered to forward to the Commissioners notes from the Department Heads meeting for more immediate information regarding this issue. Lenny suggested Russell contact Mark Forest, Rep. Delahunt’s Chief-of-Staff. Russell said he is waiting for JoAnn to give him direction as she is dealing with the VA directly and knows what the status is.
Lenny/Les moved to adjourn the meeting at 6.45 p.m. All in favor.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts
Documents presented at the meeting and part of the official records:
- FY2011 Proposed Budget 7/27/10 draft
- Memo re FY2011 Budget
- Letter from Marcia Cini
- Legislation re County manager
- Legislation re DeBettencourt