Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
Commissioner Present: Tristan Israel, Melinda Loberg, Lenny Jason, John Alley, Tom Hallahan, Les Leland
Not present: Carlene Gatting
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer, Chuck Cotnoir – Emergency Management Director.
*Others: Animal Shelter Board members: Greg Orcutt, Duncan Ross, Diana Dozier, Mary- Jane Pease, David Nash; Lisa Hayes – Animal Shelter Manager, Carter Luke – MSPCA, Ron Whitney, Remy Tumin of Vineyard Gazette, Joanie Ames – MVTV.
Meeting was called to order at 5:00 PM
Melinda/ Les moved to approve the Minutes of 4/13/2011. So voted. In favor: Les, Melinda, Tristan, John, Tom. Abstained: Lenny.
Melinda/Les moved to approve the Minutes of 4/27/2011 meeting. So voted. In favor: Les, Melinda, Lenny, Tom, Tristan. Abstained: John.
2. MSPCA – Carter Luke of the MSPCA made 3 points:
1. The MSPCA will donate the property with all the contents to the Animal Shelter at no cost as soon as they acquire the non-profit status.
2. The MSPCA received a donation of $10K to create a fund for veterinarian bills for needy animals on Martha’s Vineyard. This fund will be available true the shelter and could be used partially for the shelter animals and partially for the animals of individuals whose animals need medical care.
3. Mr. Luke thanked the County for taking the leadership role in the emergency situation two years ago and congratulated the Animal Shelter Board, Lisa as the shelter manager, Russell and Martina as the County personnel and all the volunteers and donors for the accomplishments and setting a good example. He thanked Kerry Scott for her role at the very beginning and ABell Washburn and Ron Whitney for their work and Katherine Foot for starting this effort on the island and making it possible for the future generation to continue her effort. Melinda echoed as the liaison to the Board and thanked everyone for the great job.
3. Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard – Duncan Ross, Chair
Duncan thanked the MSPCA, the Commissioners, Russell and Martina for their support. He said that the Shelter is now incorporated in Massachusetts and is preparing to apply of the non-profit status with IRS, which could take six months or longer. Diana suggested creating a sub-committee of both groups to discuss the transition from the County to the new non-profit organization. Tristan said that Melinda is the Commissioners’ liaison to the Animal Shelter Board and all could be discussed with her first. Duncan invited everyone to the Celebration of Pets on June 18th noon to 2PM in Oak Bluffs as Sunset Park.
*All guests left except for Remy and Joanie.
4. Eastville Beach – continuation from last meeting. David Nash said that unfortunately the Assistant Director of the Office of Fishing and Boating Access had to cancel his visit due to conflict. David said that he Committee is only trying to keep the improvement of the beach going and saw the improvement of the parking facility the State wants to build as a next step. He urged the Commissioners to consider a long-term impact of any decision and in case they do not want to consider the state’s offer to have the three property owners to come up with a long-term management plan. So far the work has been done thanks to volunteers, which is not always reliable. Tristan asked for Commissioners’ concerns regarding the Land Management Agreement. John was the only one that handed in his comments. He was questioning
what Section 9 of CMR is, which is mentioned in the agreement. He also objected to the condition of “subject to appropriation”. He quoted that the municipality is responsible for daily operation and maintenance. He also pointed out to the fact that the agreement can not be dissolved without State’s approval. Lenny objected to Chapter 131, Section 45, which pertains to great ponds but they refer to it on page 2 of the document. The wording is that you have to abide by the Commonwealth’s rules and regulations for facilities and public places. The State will build this facility, but we have an obligation for maintenance and to do what we have been always doing. He does not see the benefit of this agreement, only giving up the control. He suggested going to towns and ask for CPA money to deal with issues that come up like trash or public bathrooms. Tristan said that Tisbury owns much smaller portion of the beach than the Town of Oak Bluffs and the County and the
project was scaled down from the original to only involve the portion of the beach that is not used for swimming. Les suggested the County could run the beach on behalf of the towns with the CPA money and it can be run locally and have a much quicker response to any arising issues. Lenny noted that the Eastville Beach Committee is facing the fact that we do not have a management plan for this beach, which is our own fault. David said that they are using some of the CPA money to create a management plan mainly focusing on environmental issues. The Committee is focusing on issues of erosion, invasive species and maintenance of the parking lot, but does not work on the political aspect of the management plan with all the property owners. There was a grant from the State to purchase the County portion and part of the agreement when turned over to the County was that there will be a Management Agreement, which County and the Town of Oak Bluffs signed. Tristan noted that we do not
have funds at this point, but the State does to construct the road. Lenny asked for a budget - how much it would cost to maintain the beach properly. John agreed not to involve the State and supported the idea of managing the beach locally. Tristan said the Committee would work on a plan and get back to the Commissioners. Melinda said that a management plan is being prepared by a consultant paid from the CPC money. It should be done in July and we should wait until we get it back before making any decisions. The Committee is currently seeking members from Oak Bluffs. Russell said that the property ownership is: County 5.2 acres, Town of Oak Bluffs 0.6 acres, Town of Tisbury 0.4 acres, but it is not clear where the property lines are. The Committee has done work at the beach like elimination of the invasive species, fencing, installed public signs and kiosk. The parking area was improved.
5. Manager’s Report
State Beach – Last week we moved 2,000 cubic yards of material to groins #3 & 4 and worked with the Oak Bluffs Conservation Commission and the Audubon Society to make sure the beach and the birds are protected while doing so.
Second Bridge – We are working with the Oak Bluffs and Edgartown Highway Departments to put a fence up on the second bridge to prevent accidents.
Project up at Aquinnah (Old South Road and Lobsterville on County land) funded by the Tribe to deal with drainage issues started and the County will receive $8K for helping with the oversight.
Animal Shelter – the MSPCA is separating the water and sewer for the front and back buildings and Russell helped out to make sure it is done correctly.
CGI project – they are coming next week to do the videos – 6 towns get 60 seconds each to promote their town on their own website and on the County website.
Veteran’s clinic update – see the latest letter on file.
Prescription Cards – April royalties were $300, which shows that people are using the card and it is working. It is free and people with no prescription coverage are taking advantage of it.
Tom said the bridges look great and asked about the progress to install railing on the second bridge. Russell said it will take half day to put the temporary fence up; we have material we used last year. We proposed a simple permanent design to deal with this issue, but it will not be possible to do until after the bridge is signed off on this fall. Mass DOT does not want to make any alterations as they do not see jumping of the bridge as an approved use of the bridge. Tom argued that this should be looked at as a general safety issue and need for crowd control. Tristan proposed for Russell to set up a meeting with the Mass Highway Dept., Commissioners and Sen. Wolf and Rep. Madden.
Tristan said that Carlene forwarded Woody William’s e-mails to Sen. Wolf’s staff regarding the veterans’ clinic. Congressman Keating’s staff is coming to Oak Bluffs and Tristan suggested Russell goes to see them to update them on the issue.
Next County Commissioners’ meeting is on June 22nd.
The all island selectmen’s meeting is tomorrow June 9th at 7pm at the Tisbury Senior Center.
The offshore wind turbine discussions with the federal representatives are taking place at the Katherine Cornell Theatre tomorrow at 5pm.
John/Melinda moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:00 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:
- E-mail from Mr. Antonnacio
- Steamship Authority Memorandum from the May 12th meeting
- Letter from George B. Brush re: Resolution of dispute between Airport Management and Tenant John Folino (14A)
- E-mail from Steve Myrick (MV Times) with public records requests
- E-mail from Woody Williams re: No dogs on the beach
- Letter from Steve Maxner re: Greenlands