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DCC Minutes 09-22-2010
Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
5 p.m.
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA

Commissioner Present: Carlene Gatting**, Tristan Israel*, Lenny Jason, Melinda Loberg, Les Leland, John Alley and Tom Hallahan.

County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant to County Manager, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer, Charles Cotnoir – Emergency Management Director.
Others: Vineyard Gazette and Joanie Ames of MVTV.

1. Meeting was called to order at 5:10 PM

2. Minutes

Les/Melinda moved to approve the Minutes of 8-11-2010 meeting. So voted. In favor: Lenny, Melinda, Carlene, Les, Tom. Abstained: John.

*Tristan Israel joined the meeting.

3. Termination Allowance – Noreen Mavro Flanders
Noreen explained that MGL Chapter 32, Section 10 spells out situations in which the termination allowance is permitted. Section 10.2 spells out how the termination allowance is computed and as it stands now it is calculated over the period of 5 years. (Normal superannuation retirement is calculation over 36 consecutive months.)There is an option that was voted in Chapter 473 of Acts of 1984 to calculate the termination allowance over 3 years (36 consecutive months). It has to be accepted by the Retirement Advisory Board (Treasurer from each town) and by the County Commissioners. The Retirement Board agreed to ask the County Commissioners to approve this option to make it consistent with the superannuation retirement (regular retirement) calculation. Memo attached.

John/Tom moved to accept the Chapter 473 of the Acts of 1984. Discussion: Noreen said that only few people used this section in our system. It will increase the retirement allowance for very few people in the future. This will not be retroactive and people need to be vested in (10 years). This had no direct financial consequence for the County. It will have impact on the towns and the county only if there will be people retiring under this particular section. So voted. In favor: John, Carlene, Melinda, Les, Tom. Abstained: Tristan and Lenny.

County Revenues and Expenses

Noreen explained a chart showing the county revenues and expenses, not only in the general fund but also all the funds that the county administers prepared based on budget approved by the County Advisory Board on August 18, 2010 for FY2011 – with no increase of the assessment to towns – about $20K less then what the County Commissioners approved. The FY11 general fund income was $1.9 million, of which $829K is the town assessments. We are required to pay from that $501,702 for Sheriff Maintenance of Effort (MOE) and $282K for Registry MOE, which leaves $44,637 for the County use. We also have to pay for retiree health insurance etc. Once the Sheriff’s department’s unfunded liability is paid off from the MOE ($501,702.96 – 26% of the general fund expense) the assessment to the towns will decrease by this number and we will only be able to assess the 2.5% on the reminder (about $300,000 instead of $800,000) and it will be harder to cover the increases in health insurance etc. We do not allocate revenues, all revenues are general revenues and they cover all the general expenses. Registry of Deeds did bring enough revenue to the county to cover the Registry MOE ($282,360.56 in FY2011). The biggest expense is still the Sheriff’s MOE (26%), second is the Registry MOE (15%).  

4. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Report – Melinda Loberg (Report attached.)
Melinda explained what work have the sub-committee done to come up with the report. They talked to towns and found out that there is a strong support for this program; however the towns had questions about the financing and services provided.

John said that the Rodent Control program started in 1946. Melinda said that the first recommendation of the IPM report was already implemented. The mosquito monitoring program was reinstated as important part of T.J.’s job and the results of the first testing are already included in the packets. Russell will check if T.J. sent the results to the town health departments. The mosquito monitoring will be part of the job description, the projection is that it will require 10 hours per week for 10 summer weeks. We do not want T.J. to acquire a lot of overtime to do it, so if that is the case and he can not manage to do it within his regular time, we could either hire an intern. If we could not afford to hire an intern we would have to instruct T.J. to reduce the amount of private work in order to accommodate the monitoring within his 40 hour week. The committee updated T.J.’s job description to reflect the changes and recommends having a new title of “director” and being a department head of the IPM program department. This would most likely trigger reclassification to a higher grade. Tom suggested a term “coordinator” as T.J. is a one men department and would not be directing anybody. Melinda said that the personnel committee would have to look at it. Carlene was in favor of that. Russell thanked the committee – Melinda, Les, Tristan for the work they have done. Tristan asked what would be the next step. Melinda said that the Personnel Board would review the revised job description. Lenny said that we did not budget for the intern for FY11 so T.J. will have to do the work and see if he runs into overtime. Russell said that the testing started already. Based on the recommendation of the committee and the voted budget for FY11 it is clear that the mosquito testing will take precedents over the private work. Tristan wanted the whole county commission to endorse this direction. Melinda said that all the towns support the program, except for Chilmark Board of Health.

Tristan/Lenny moved that the mosquito monitoring be part of the 40hour week of the Integrated Pest Management program. So voted. In favor: Les, Lenny, Tristan, Carlene, Melinda, Tom. Abstained: John.

Tom asked why the towns' DPWs do not use the program. Melinda said that usually they would refer any problems to the Dept. of Health, which then would take action. T.J. was complemented by several town representatives for his expertise. Tom asked why the workers compensation for T.J. so much higher from prior years.

5. Discount Prescription Card
John/Tristan moved to approve the use of the Cost2Coast Rx discount prescription cards. Discussion: Russell explained that this new card would give people better savings, it would be accepted by more pharmacies on the island and would give the county royalty of 50 cents per prescription. You can use it if your insurance does not cover the drug. Melinda asked if we could get cards in Portuguese. Martina said that anyone at the county can get the card and it will be available not only at the county office but also in the pharmacies, libraries and any other place we want to distribute it. The people who are now using the NACo card would be encouraged to switch to the new card as it will bring them better savings. We do not maintain a list of people who received the NACo card and can not notify them individually but we are planning media coverage when launching the new card to raise awareness. So voted. All in favor.

Martina said they can come in 5-6 weeks and make press conference and distribute the card to pharmacies, libraries etc.

6. County Manager’s Report

Courthouse – fan places in the ceiling of the court room it does not cool the room down but it takes out the hot air. The window replacement will be done according to the architect’s specifications with three options of type of work that needs to be done to the window. This way we will be able to repair more windows. We will use the same glass. Where broken it will be replaced with period glass. The specifications should be done within two weeks and will go before the Edgartown historic commission for approval. The bid will be for price for each of the three types of work needed to be done times number of windows that need it. The trim has been done, the gutters were not and the specifications for that will go before the historic commission at the same time as well as proposal to put a railing by the front door.  

Regionalization Conference in Worcester – presented people from Franklin County Council of Government and leaders in regionalization from Connecticut and presented new approaches to regionalization of services that the towns are now using to make the services more effective.

Veteran’s services on island – We contacted the Providence Veterans’ Administration (VA) regarding the laps in contract with the MV Hospital and our concern for island veterans. They offered as an interim solution a fee card, which veterans had issues with over the last weeks.  The hospital representatives are assuring us that they are ready to sign a new contract with the VA. The VA is working on a new contract as the old one does not comply with their new policies. Carlene read a letter that the commissioners would like to send to the VA (attached) followed by discussion about the wording of the letter.

Tristan/Lenny moved that the chair work with the manager on finishing the letter and sign on the behalf of the whole commission. So voted. All in favor.

Tom asked if we could invite the veterans’ agent to the next meeting to explain the situation. Chuck explained that the veterans can go to the VA clinic in Hyannis, and if they need any more services other then general practitioner, they can then set appointments for more tests etc. to be done in Providence. It all requires trips off island. Carlene said that they will have more discussion about the program at the next meeting.

CDL Licensing on the island – currently there is no testing available on the island which represents burden to all truckers on the island. Russell talked to the state police and they reviewed the course at the VTA terminal, approved it for testing and are willing to send an office her on as needed bases to conduct the testing with maximum of 4 people per day. We contacted trucking companies on the island to make them aware of this new option and to sign up at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which will then schedule the testing. Russell said that Representative Madden was instrumental in making this happen.

6. Correspondence:

Letter from Chuck Cotnoir, the Emergency Management Director asking the commissioners to appoint two deputy directors. Russell said he spoke with both candidates and they are willing to do this, however Ron Burson works for the Sheriff and if needed will have to serve the Sheriff’s needs first. Chuck explained that MEMA team came before the last storm and the work they did and that Martina and Ron helped in the process.  

Tristan/ Les moved to appoint Martina Thornton as the Deputy Director for Administration and Ron Burson as Deputy Director for Information Technologies under the Office of the Director of Emergency Management.

All island selectmen’s meeting is tomorrow night at 7pm at the Aquinnah Town Hall. The emergency management directors are on the agenda.     

Old Business
Tristan asked if our representative to the Cape Light Compact could come to do an update.

** Carlene Gatting left the meeting.

Russell presented the commissioners with a map of the drawbridge property and informed them that the state is assessing it and looking with the Town of Tisbury into eminent domain. Melinda said that we have given the state an easement for the construction of the temporary bridge. Now they are looking to get ownership of the property owned by the County and ownership of the house. Tristan asked if any further discussion is in an executive session.

Old South Road – we signed contract with the Tribe to put catch basins in the bottom of the road.

MV and Cape Electric Coop is looking for sites to produce renewable energy – minimum 5 acres. Russell sent them suggestions for some town areas with understanding that these properties are controlled by the towns.

Barrier Beach Task Force – wants to assist Town of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown in their dredging project in Sengekontacket Pond. The county would buy sand and put it in places on State Beach for erosion control.

Melinda asked for a more in depth discussion about the emergency management. Tristan said we can put it on the agenda for one of the next meetings.


John/Less moved to adjourn the meeting at 6.50 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:

  • Agenda
  • Termination Allowance memo from Dukes County Contributory Retirement System
  • County FY11 income and expense chart
  • IPM sub-committee report
  • Coast2Coast Rx Discount Prescription Card presentation, information and agreement
  • Letter to the Providence VA
  • Agenda for August 17th and September 21st meetings of the SSA
  • Letter from T.J Hegarty regarding the New England Ass. of RC & D Areas Regional Conference in Amherst, MA on October 28-30, 2010.
  • Letter from T.J. Hegarty with results of the mosquito testing
  • Letter from Chuck Cotnoir asking to appoint two deputy directors
  • Cape Light Compact monthly report
  • Map of the “drawbridge” property

The County of Dukes County PO Box 190, Edgartown, MA 02539
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