Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
Commissioner Present: Tristan Israel, Melinda Loberg, Les Leland, Carlene Gatting, Tom Hallahan.
Not Present: John Alley, Lenny Jason
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Martina Thornton – Ex. Assistant, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer
*Others: Tad Crawford, Rex Jarrell, Terre Young – Health Council, Patricia Carlet, Rob Kendall – Tashmoo Overlook Citizens Committee, Remy Tumin – MV Gazette, Dan Martino – MVTV.
Meeting was called to order at 5:00 PM
Carlene/Melinda moved to approve the Minutes of 10-26-2011 as presented. So voted. Abstained: Les Leland. In favor: Tristan, Melinda, Tom, Carlene.
2. Health Council – Amendment of the Bylaws – Tad Crawford (see on file)
Tad presented an amendment to the Health Council Bylaws that clarifies the membership makeup. It removed definitions of specific categories of members and streamline who can vote. There will be 32 voting members. There are 5 associate commissioners with voting rights, but they do not count for a quorum as they do not all participate regularly in the meetings.
Melinda/Carlene moved to approve amendments to the Dukes County Health Council Bylaws as presented. So voted. All in favor.
3. National Rural Health Day Proclamation
Russell read the proclamation (see on file)
Melinda/Les moved to proclaim the 3rd Thursday of November as National Rural Health Day.
* Tad, Rex, Terre left.
4. Parking Clerk Report (see on file)
Tristan read the Memo. Carol will meet with the Police Chiefs and present a proposal how the County can provide them with the handheld units and other services that the outside vendor is proposing. Melinda suggested having a written agreement with the towns should we be purchasing the handhelds and spending county funds in anticipation of lease payments from the towns later to cover the cost. Commissioners agreed that Carol can proceed with the proposal and to transfer money if additional funds are needed this year to do this. (6 units x $3K = $18K).
5. SSA lot at the Airport Business Park
Russell said that we received a copy of the lease ($28K per year) from the SSA, which allows for us to assume it and he informed the Airport’s Land-Use Subcommittee of the County’s intent. He would like to approach the towns to come up with ideas how the property could be used. Tristan appointed a subcommittee: John Alley, Lenny Jason and Les Leland to come up with ideas (like storage space for the towns, use by a non-profit…) and present it to the full board.
The proposed installation of PV panels on 30 acres at the Airport near the generator was dismissed by the Airport’s Land-Use Subcommittee at this time due to the need to amend the Master Plan before this project could be allowed. Russell should write a letter to the Airport Commission stating that we are interested to proceed with this project once the Master Plan is amended.
6. Social Security letter (see on file)
The letter states that they are not coming every month anymore because of budgeting, transportation and security issues. Russell should prepare a letter offering transportation from and to the boat and contact our federal representatives again regarding this issue.
7. Personnel Committee Report (see on file) – Melinda Loberg
- The County Personnel Board met with the Commissioners’ Personnel Sub-committee and the first tasks they were a revision of the County Personnel Bylaws and to come up with recommendation for COLA to be included in the budget. Martina provided them with all needed documents and a resolution that lists their responsibilities.
- At a request of the County Advisory Board the Sub-committee reviewed the job description of the County Manager and the Executive Assistant to explore if two full time administrative positions are needed. and as a result presented recommended changes to the Administrative Code to comply and reflect changes made in the MGL regarding County Manager’s form of government (see on file – additions are in bold, deletions are in parenthesis). Most of the changes were made based on our proposal to the legislator after the Charter Study. Noreen suggested under (j) to changes the word “board” with the word “Commission’s” if it should mean the County Commission for consistency.
Carlene/Melinda moved to amend the proposed language to change the first word “board” in section (j) to “Commissioner’s”. So voted. All in favor.
Carlene/Les moved to amend the proposed language to change the word “manager” to “County Manager”. So voted. All in favor.
Tom/Les moved to approve changes to the Administrative Code as amended. So voted. All in favor.
Melinda said that the Executive Assistant’s job description was recently revised and that they did not find any need to change it. It consists of daily/weekly/monthly and annual tasks needed to assure administrative functioning of the County. The County Manager provided the Sub-committee with a letter (attached to the report) showing a two and half week snap shot of how his time is spent. It shows that further discussion is needed regarding priorities for the County Manager. Russell explained that he spend about quarter of his time on county administration, half his time goes to different projects and quarter of his time is spent on public interaction. Tristan said that he would like the Manager to spend more time interacting with the town boards and pursuing new initiatives. Russell said that the PV project at the Airport is one of
the new initiatives that he spent time on recently. Carlene asked for an actual time log showing how much actual time was spent on each category and have it more detailed, she would also like to see time being spent on grant writing. This shows issues that the County Manager is dealing with but not how much time is spent on each issue. Russell said he can do that.
8. Manager’s Report
Tashmoo Overlook (see letter on file) – Pat Carlet, Rob Kendal
Tristan excused himself from the discussion as he feels there might be a potential conflict of interest with his position as Tisbury Selectman as Tisbury is currently in negotiations with the owner. Melinda took over to chair the meeting. Pat explained that she is leading the committee of citizens that are trying to restore the original views of the Tashmoo Overlook and showed pictures from the past and the current views, which are overgrown by trees. The trees were planted by the owner within 100 ft from the wetlands, which is a violation of the Wetland Act. The view was sought out so much that the town put a turn off there to make it less dangerous for people stopping and taking pictures. The committee tried to contact the owner since 2007 but with no success. They contacted the MV Land Bank and the MV Commission regarding protection of
the historic scenic vistas on the island with no success. The committee would like to propose to have the County eminent domain the view easement only, not the land itself. They are asking for Community Preservation Committee (CPC) to support their effort to take the rest of the trees down and fund the contour study and a survey to define the area of the view easement, the legal and consulting fees and the appraisal of the value of the easement. The Vineyard Open Land Foundation would help them to draft the language. Rob added that if the view easement was to be eminent domained, the owner would be compensated according to the appraisal. Tristan said that currently there is no Memorandum of Understanding between the Town of Tisbury and the owner, but that they are looking into drafting one. The selectmen met with the owner several times and are looking into all possible solutions. Pat asked the Commissioners for a letter of support for their application for the CPC funds –
under $20K. The CPC article would be voted on at the town annual meeting. Carlene asked why would they not ask for $50-100K and buy the easement instead, Pat states that the funds are for a study/an appraisal and legal fees. Tom and Les said they would like to hear the other side. Russell said that the County would not eminent domain any property without the town’s request.
FY2012 Transfers – Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program – Tom Hallahan
The estimated cost of the mosquito testing for the season is $4,200 based on hours spent, which is paid by the Boards of Health and it does not show on the town warrant for IPM program. In February of 2011 the job description was approved making the mosquito testing part of the job. The money collected for the mosquito testing should be therefore included in the IPM budget and Tom proposed to make a transfer of the remainder of funds from the Mosquito Fund into the IPM budget Tom Hallahan stated that there is too much to do in the IPM program and that the mosquito testing is done outside of his regular hours. Tom said that comp
time is a managerial issue and the comp time should go down significantly. If needed it could lead to part-time summer employee. Tristan was surprised there is any comp time as the directive after the IPM program review was no more comp time. Les agreed that this directive was approved by the whole board during the week, not during comp time. Russell said that the mosquito testing is not done at a 1.5 time comp time but just straight time off that T.J. can take in the winter when there is less work. Tristan said that no comp time was endorsed by the board and we might need to hire a summer intern in that case. Tom agreed that that could be even more cost effective. Russell said that there is no additional money in the budget to hire a new employee and the comp time does not increase the budget. Noreen said that it is a legal question if T.J. is an exempt employee or not. She believes he is not, in which case he is legally entitled to 1.5 time comp time. T.J. went to a seminar
regarding overtime several years back and accounts for it accordingly.
The County Advisory Board did not agree to take the money needed to cover the shortfall left in the IPM budget due to Oak Bluffs not voting into the program for FY2012 from the unreserved fund balance. The Commissioners would like to see strict allocation of time spent servicing customers in each time. Russell said that if one town votes out we do not spread the cost over to the rest of the towns. Tristan said that there needs to be a reduction in the budget by that amount. Tom said that there needs to be documentation to show that there are new contracts and time allocated to make up for it. Carlene questions where is the benefit of having additional private customers if it results in a comp time.
Tom/Melinda moved to transfer the remainder of the Mosquito Fund to the IPM FY2012 revenue budget line (about $3290). So voted. All in favor.
American Legion meeting last week with representatives from Washington was a success. Congressman Keating is coming to the Island on November 13th to meet with the veterans on the clinic issue.
Carlene/Tom moved to declare the Crown Victoria car a surplus property. So voted. All in favor. (Value between $4-8K)
Letter to the Tribe (on file)
Russell read a letter he prepared to the Tribe thanking them on behalf of the Fishermen’s Association for participation in the Winter Flounder Restoration Project and making the hatchery available at nominal cost. Russell prepared similar thank-you letters to the Towns of Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and Chilmark.
Tristan said that November is a Native Americans Heritage Month and he would like to see stronger, more formal connection between the County and the Tribe. He asked Russell to reach out to the Chairwoman of the Tribe to see how the communication could be improved (by establishing an ex officio member of the Tribe on the County Commission or a liaison position etc.).
10. Old Business
Carlene asked to get a report on the status of the Courthouse at the next meeting. She also asked if the Commissioners could be informed about upcoming SSA meetings and the agendas. Martina said she will contact Marc Hanover to see if it could be arranged.
Melinda asked if a representative from the hospital could be invited to the Commissioners’ meeting to talk about what is a current practice in servicing veterans.
Noreen asked if the Commissioners could transfer $5K to cover the cost of part-time temporary employee to cover Martina’s maternity leave.
Tom/Carlene moved to transfer $5K from the unreserved fund balance to the temporary employee line in Department #300. So voted. All in favor.
Carlene/Les moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:15p.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:
- Personnel Sub-committee Report with proposed changes to the Administrative Code
- National Rural Health Day information
- Proposed changes to the Dukes County Health Council Bylaws
- Letter from Patricia Carlet re Save the View to Lake Tashmoo
- Letter to the Social Security Administration
- Thank-you letter to the Town of Oak Bluffs
- Old Business List
- Cape Light Compact September report
- SSA November 15th meeting Memorandum