Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
Commissioner Present: Tristan Israel, Lenny Jason, Les Leland, John Alley, Carlene Gatting
Not Present: Tom Hallahan, Melinda Loberg
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Erin Leighton – Temp. Ex. Assistant, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer, Roger Wey, Jonathan Laird, Mark Hanover - SSA, Gina Barbosa - SSA, Wayne Lamson – SSA, Joanne Ames - MVTV
Meeting was called to order at 5:00 PM
Tristan reads a letter (see attached) from the MA Attorney General regarding Tom Hallahan to remote participate in meetings via Skype while he is overseas.
5:05 Carlene joins the meeting
Les/Lenny makes motion to accept under the rules of the general law to allow Tom Hallahan to participate remotely. All in favor. So Voted. Les informed the commissioners that Tom had expressed his interest to participate remotely. Les/Lenny makes a motion to appoint Melinda Loberg to serve as chairman for the coming year. All in favor. So Voted. The commissioners will wait to vote on a vice-chairman until the next meeting.
1. Steamship Authority
Mark Hanover presented to the commissioners about the space available on the SSA boats. These issues are raised during holidays, school vacations, and the end of the summer. Mark pointed out that the more spaces that are put aside for preferred reservations leaves less spaces for people planning ahead for their trips off the island. Wayne adds 120 preferred spaces are put aside per day in the summer and 80 spaces during the off season. Wayne read statistics which he prepared for the meeting during the summer months (see attached). Carlene stated that during the season change of the SSA schedule the 8:15/9:30 boats are filled which she would like to have additional boats available for preferred spaces. Mark agrees but feels those parties who book their boats in advance will not be able to do so because these trips will be full,
challenging those who plan ahead. John adds he feels this system is working well, although there are times that people cannot get boats but he commends the SSA for how this is all working. Carlene adds the shoulder seasons have grown longer which effects getting on and off the island. She asks them to look into this time period as well as the holiday seasons. Mark adds if the Island Home is running this helps the process but it does need to go out for servicing, but they are trying to put that vessel out during a time that won’t hurt the higher times that the additional space is necessary. Wayne gives the commissioners a pamphlet with information about the SSA and their policies.
Noreen really likes being able to make a last minute reservation and would like to see this available not just during the summer, Gina responds that any day of the year they will make a reservation if space is available. Tristan asks when the pump out facility will be happening; Wayne answers the request for bids will go out this spring, likely the landslide facilities will start being installed this fall going into mid spring 2013.
5:34 Wayne, Gina and Mark leave the meeting
2. Retirement Board Applicants
Jonathan Laird presents his resume (see attached). He is the principal owner of Lightship Capital Management in Vineyard Haven with 18 years experience; they manage approximately 300 clients, managing $100 Million out of his office. He believes having a profession on the board would be a great asset to the County Retirement Board. He has talked with Kelly to ensure no conflict of interest. He would forgo working with any clients that are also clients of his management company. Carlene asks Noreen how long the terms come up for the Retirement Board, they come up every three years one of the five member board is elected by the commissioners. Carlene asks how often they meet, Noreen answers monthly, big decisions are made on eligibility, investments and board policy concerning buying back and other items. A professional consultant does
consult for manager searches; they consult on all decision making for the board. Additionally all board members will be required to attend educational seminars to be up to date.
Roger Wey reads his letter to the Commissioners (see attached). Roger informed the commissioners regarding the finances and structure of the Retirement Board he would like to be re-appointed. Lenny asks where he is seeing things go, Roger believes it is getting better, people are cautions but the economy is getting better.
Carlene asks when the next Retirement board meeting is, she would like the whole DCC Board to be together to vote on a three year term, January 25 is the next meeting. Lenny adds that Roger has brought some stability to the Retirement Board. Tristan adds he hopes to see Jonathan’s name in the future for other openings through the County appointments. Noreen adds all of the meetings are open meetings; she welcomes Jonathan to their meetings
John/Lenny moved to re-appoint Roger Wey to the Retirement Board for a three year term. Lenny, John, Les – yes, Carlene – no. So voted.
5:58 Jonathan and Roger leave the meeting
3. MVC Letter Response
Tristan reports that the MVC sent a letter to the Commissioners stating why they did not use the County’s resources (see attached). Noreen had sent a letter in October 2009 offering services to the MVC, an administrator was retiring, and Noreen believed she could take over the responsibilities of that position for $40,000 annually which would be more than half of the job responsibilities, for a job the MVC was paying over $100,000 annually. Mark London had sent a letter indicating he was not interested in the services of the County and would like to open the application process in-house for the position; they did hire an applicant who is a CPA. The candidate was hired for $3,300 less than the retiring administrative assistant. The MVC could have used the County saving those substantial amounts of money, rather than that option they chose to
save just $3,300. Carlene asks how many employees they have for the $100,000 salary including benefits, Lenny answers 6 people. Tristan would like to respond to the MVC and cc the All Island FinCom; he feels this is a real loss of opportunity to save the tax taxpayers. He asks Noreen to draft a letter responding to the MVC, she will do so; the Commissioners will sign the letter. Lenny will attend the All Island Selectman’s meeting and present the letter in February.
Carlene/Les moved to approve the minutes of December 14. Lenny, Les, and Carlene vote – yes. John - abstained. So voted.
5. Managers Report
Russell reports that ¾ of the budget process has been completed. The Personnel Board has been going through the Personnel By-laws with questions being raised about the contractual employees, regular or grant employees. MASS in Motion Grant has a budget developed, they will be housed at the County Administrative Building and help them perform the function of the grant. There is an Innovative Community Grants; this is including schools, councils of government and towns, excluding Counties. The Center for Living is interested in being housed at the Administrative Building, with a lead town the County can apply for the grant. Russell has support from the six towns to put a building on the SSA lot to house the Center for Living and additional storage.
Regarding State Beach Knapweed which can effect where birds nest will be being pulled on Saturday by a group from the high school; a study was done on the nap weed and they will be pulling the invasive species.
The Town of Edgartown and Dredge Committee have filled the groins at State Beach at no cost to the County. Les asks about the piece of property, when it can be moved on? Lenny and John will be meeting with the SSA and will have those answers at the next meeting.
Noreen reports the Steering Committee worked on the rates for the health insurance. She asks the Commissioners to put on the agenda acceptance of Chapter 32B Section 21-23. The preliminary rates show a 9.8% reduction in rates overall.
John/Carlene moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:27p.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:
- Roger Wey Letter
- Jonathan Laird Letter
- Letter regarding remote participation
- SSA Statistics
- MVC Options/Figures
- Old Business List