Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
Commissioner Present: Carlene Gatting, Tristan Israel, Lenny Jason, Melinda Loberg, Tom Hallahan, Les Leland.
County Staff present: Russell Smith – County Manager, JoAnn Murphy – Veteran’s Agent, Chuck Cotnoir – County Emergency Management Director
Other present: Joanie Ames of MVTV.
1. Meeting was called to order at 5:00 PM
2. County Manager’s Report
New Discount Prescription Card Program
Russell said that it helps primarily the uninsured people but it could be useful to people with insurance as well. You don’t have to be a Dukes County resident to apply for the card under Dukes County and it can be used all over the United States. You can apply for your relatives and send it to them to help them out.
Courthouse – We received a letter from Dept. of Capital Assets Management (DCAM) that we can use the money left from the roof project for other exterior work on the building. We have an architect to prepare specifications to repair the windows with the CPA money. Carlene asked about the status of the trim. Russell said that the only thing left are the gutters and he will address it with the Edgartown Historic Commission at the same time as the windows. We will put out a Request for Proposal in January and do pre-qualification in February. We plan to do the work in the spring. We would like to use a local business that can do this type of work on historic preservation building. It will depend on the amount of money it will cost if they need to be DCAM certified. Lenny suggested doing it before the spring court session.
Carlene asked if the money will be sufficient. Russell said that it will for the initial intent of fixing the windows in the old part of the building and he hopes that there will be some left for windows in other parts of the building that need work. Tristan asked if we will ask towns for more money for the Courthouse. Russell said no. Noreen said that Dianne mentioned a couple of times the problem of no gutters over the back stairs that serve as emergency exit. Carlene said she does not see the reason why we have to wait for the windows to get approval of the gutters. Lenny asked when the window specifications will be done. Russell said we should have the written Request for Proposal within a week or so. Lenny said Russell should go for the approval from the Historic commission before he gets the Request for Proposal to make sure he gets the windows they approve.
3. Personnel committee - Melinda reported that Lenny, Tom and she met with Russell. JoAnn Murphy who is the elected employee representative to the newly created Personnel Board was there as well as some members of the staff. The committee is working on personnel rules and regulations and would like to find common ground with the Airport. The next meeting is scheduled for first week in December and hope to have revised job description rated and put on the step and grade system and ready for approval. All will be then presented to the new Personnel Board. Tristan asked if the recommendations of the committee revising the Integrated Pest Management Program will be implemented or not – there were different options that would affect the job description and the budget. Russell said he will put it on the next agenda and Carlene
asked for the report to be sent to all the Commissioners prior to the next meeting.
4. Veterans Agent JoAnn Murphy – report
The Veteran’s Day celebration started last Friday when Oak Bluffs School asked for presentation and the kids were very involved and did a great job. Today was a dedication to Tom Bennett who worked for 40 years at Community Services and he ran a veteran’s rap group for a long time and she is still referring veterans to him to get social help. They put a Vietnam War Veterans’ Memorial by the Community Services today and had a ceremony that many veterans attended. Tomorrow they will put 250 flags in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven and each flag represents a veteran to remember. The parade starts in Oak Bluffs at Our Market at 10.45am and they will march to the Ocean Park where the ceremony will be and back to Our Market and then they drive everyone to the VFW, who is the sponsor of the Veteran’s Day activities.
At 1.30pm they go to Windemere where will be a ceremony for the veteran’s who live there. They will be taking the flags down at 3pm and please come to help us. Friday night at 5.30pm there will be a ceremony at the Hebrew Center to honor the four chaplains that were killed in WWII. The Tribe also has a veteran’s rep Lee Morris and they asked if they could also march with their flag.
5. New Business
Regional Emergency Planning Committee (REPC) – Chuck Cotnoir
Chuck said that the REPC is a federal program and was originally designed to locate chemicals in the community. In Massachusetts each municipality should have Local Emergency Planning Committee and the regional efforts are in place in most of Massachusetts. We are one of the few communities that do not have a REPC. This spring all the emergency managers on the island voted to apply to create a REPC. The first step is to get each entity to sign a letter of support and to designate a coordinator. Town of Aquinnah already voted to sign. Chilmark, Tisbury and West Tisbury are meeting on this next week. There was a meeting of the selectmen and the Mass Emergency Management Agency. There was also a representative of FEMA. Some selectmen were interest to use the REPC to develop a protocol for Code Red – the new reverse 911 system, and also to
develop a plan for pre-deployment for emergency services for the whole island. Chuck said he would like to develop a plan to allow the selectmen to coordinate simultaneous passages of information during emergencies with other selectmen and to develop methods to integrate the non-municipal agencies like the Steamship Authority, the bus companies, the Airport, the Hospital etc. He is also interested in pre-disaster joint planning with FEMA and MEMA on delivery of food, medicine and other supplies during disaster. The FEMA representative said they will not deliver food to six separate towns they will deliver to one regional agency on the island. Tristan said that there was a Memorandum of Understanding signed that in case of emergency the towns will coordinate to have single voice off island. Chuck explained that the REPC would be planning for an emergency before it arrives. The Planning Committee has 13 disciplines – Elected Officials, Fire, Police, EMS, DPW etc. Lenny asked if
the County is supposed to have an Emergency Plan. Chuck explained that his authority as County Emergency Manager is only over the county property and county personnel. The towns are autonomous and power goes straight from the state to the towns. The County has a plan only for county property and personnel. There is no regional plan at this point. The MV Commission received a grant to look at regional pre-disaster mitigation plan and made recommendation in case of wild fire, earthquake etc. but the plan was not adopted by anybody. Russell said it would have to be the selectmen that need adopt the REPC, which would make us look like most of the communities in the state when we ask for supplies in the case of emergency – to coordinate what we ask for and what we get. Chuck said that this would not lessen the autonomy of each town as this is a planning committee. Tristan said that he feels that there should be also coordination at the time of the actual disaster. Chuck agreed
that there is no island –wide plan for what happens after the first 24 hours of a disaster and there should be one. Russell added that the Emergency Management Directors from all island towns are meeting monthly. Melinda asked how the Nationwide Incident Management System fits in with the REPC. Chuck explained that this is a command system that was put in place after 911 to make sure that the different branches (fire, police etc.) have a system in place that will allow them to talk to each other and in what manner so all goes smoother. The REPC is in sync with the NIMS. Melinda praised the emergency directors for all their work.
Melinda/Tristan moved to join the effort to creation of the REPC. Discussion: Russell said that we have dedicated and knowledgeable people but the communication was lacking during the actual emergency. During the last storm an Emergency Operation Center was created for the first time and gave the towns a place where there could be information exchanged and coordinated. Carlene asked if the REPC is only advisory. Chuck said that it is a planning committee and all recommendations would have to be accepted by the selectmen in each town. So voted. All in favor.
**Chuck left the meeting.
There will be no meeting on Wednesday before Thanksgiving unless something pressing comes up.
Russell said that at the next meeting the Animal Shelter Board will come to speak to the Commissioners.
Veterans Services on the Island
Russell informed that he received new information regarding the progress of negotiations of the Veterans Administration with the Hospital and that besides the contract for primary care there will be a contract for radiology and another for laboratory work. They are planning to present these contracts to the MV Hospital within 2-3 weeks.
Tristan asked if we could have someone at the meeting to represent the veterans’ interests. Lenny suggested sending JoAnn Murphy, the Veteran’s Agent.
Tristan/Melinda moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:52 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: