Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
Commissioners Present: Lenny Jason, Les Leland, Carlene Gatting, Tom Hallahan, Melinda Loberg
Commissioners absent: Tristan Israel, John Alley
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Erin Leighton – Temp. Ex. Assistant, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer
Others present: Tad Crawford – Steering Committee, Peter Brennen – Gazette, Joanne Ames - MVTV
Meeting was called to order at 5:03 p.m.
Melinda thanks Tristan for his year as chairman.
Les/Lenny makes motion to appoint John Alley as vice-chair. So Voted. All in favor.
1. Report of Steering Committee on DOR Report
Melinda reports that the Department of Revenue (DOR) did a review of the functions of the County, the Commissioners appointed a committee to go over the DOR Report’s recommendations and report back the Commissioners. The executive summary consolidates the main recommendations of the committee. The DOR report recommended considering abolishing the County and establish a Council of Governments; which was rejected by the Charter Study. There were also a number of recommendations having to do with the financial management of the County. The Committee feels that the Treasurer’s department was taking care of these items. The Commissioners thank the committee for all of their hard work. The Dukes County Health Council has raised over $3,000,000 in grants to the island community. Carlene asks to wait for approval of the report until all
Commissioners are in attendance. Tad Crawford suggests to present the Report to the All Island Board of Selectman at their meeting.
2. Report from sub-committee on uses of Airport Property
Lenny met with Sean Flynn who indicated the 4 acres that the SSA leases are undefined as to how the land is laid out. The airport is committed to solar. Lenny informed Sean of the possible building to house the Center 4 Living (C4L) with space in the basement to be used for storage. Russell filed for a grant hoping to place a modular building in the space that is becoming available. This space would not meet all of the needs of the Center 4 Living but it would be a good start. The grant was put in for $385,500; the awards will be made some time in February. Melinda asks what the additional needs are of the C4L, Russell stated that they met with an architect had drawn a plan which outlined their need of 5400 square feet. The proposed building would be 2500 square feet. The Center for Living understands that the possibility exists to add
square footage on the end of the building. Tom asked what additional space they were looking for Russell stated that they did not have an exact floor plan but they do need a kitchen, handicapped bathrooms and a room to have their day program. The Center 4 Living has been very supportive of the grant and feels it will solve a lot of their problems. Carlene adds they have two different locations that they move to twice a week, the towns in return lose their senior centers until late in the day each of those days. Carlene adds there is a waiting list for seniors wanting to participate in the program; this new facility would allow them to join.
3. Maintenance of State Beach
Russell reports the County manages State Beach for the State. During the late spring of 2011 and early summer 2011 months beach plums have been planted, groins have been filled, bird monitoring and the fencing has been put up. The Dredge Committee met to have additional groins filled; this was able to happen through the generosity of the Town of Edgartown. Nature Watch filed a report indicating the invasive species mapped on State Beach with a plan of trying to eradicate them. The green club from the High School will be going to State Beach to help with the process. Carlene asks about the remaining money in the account. There is a remaining balance of $28,000, this money is for emergency situations (the road washing out). She asks when the next $30,000 will go into the account. Russell answers that this time of the year the money is
requested, it is imminent to get the next $30,000. Carlene brings to the attention that the quarterly reports have not been filed with the State since October 2010; she feels it is irresponsible to not keep the reports up to date. Carlene asks about winter maintenance plan along State Beach, she would like the beach to be cleaned once a month during winter months. Russell answers the spring, fall and two summer clean ups is what is currently done. Les asks if Brian Kennedy can be contacted to have a regular program set up, saving the County money. Russell will contact Brian Kennedy. Melinda adds that other volunteer groups that may be other resources to contact.
Melinda also addressed the issue brought to the attention of the Commissioners by Woody Williams of dogs on State Beach. Russell has spoken with Woody regarding the matter, while dogs are permitted during winter months they are not allowed April through August and September 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. Russell has spoken with the Sheriff to ask for his help with the matter if called upon, but this is not his responsibility. Also an ad has been placed looking for volunteer rangers to help control the matter. The dogs do affect the nesting of birds along the beach. Carlene feels the signage needs to be larger and more prominent at each entrance of the beach. Noreen stated the Chamber could have something on their web site indicating people should be discouraged from bringing their dogs while on their vacations as they are not permitted to be on the
beaches. Tom adds each beach has different rules. He would like to see something more uniform for each of the three beaches. Melinda stated if patrolling were a consideration the cost of filling this position would be $8,000 - $10,000 for the summer season.
Les/Tom moved to approve the minutes of November 30, 2011. So voted. Les, Carlene, Tom, vote – yes. Lenny and Melinda- abstained..
5. Acceptance of Chapter 32B Sec 21-23
Noreen explains this is new legislation which allows for an expedited bargaining process, allowing changes in health plans without having to bargain their decision within the traditional MGL Chapter 151 process which would be bargaining to decision. If the Commissioners accept they are saying they would like to be able to change the health plans to be more cost effective.
Lenny/Tom makes a motion to accept Chapter 32B sec 21-23. So voted. All in favor.
Carlene asks about the current process. Noreen answers it is impossible to have all 100 unions within the Cape Cod Municipal Health Group agree on a change under the MGL Chapter 151 process and that is why it has taken 15 years to make any changes in the health plans. Noreen states that the new rates will actually save 9.5%. In the first year, 25% of the savings must go to the employees as part of the negotiation plan; the County will be saving $29,000 with $7,200 going back to the employees.
6. FY2012 budged – IPM request
Russell asks the Commissioners to increase budget line 53990-3200 from $7,000 - $11,000 for the IPM, this line is used to purchase materials. T.J. needs to buy additional materials as the program has grown. Noreen informed TJ that he needs to increase the appropriation and then increase the anticipated revenue in order to keep a balanced budget. Tom adds his supply number is higher some years as he purchases in bulk.
Tom/Carlene makes a motion to increase line 53990-3200 in the IMP budget from $7,000 - $11,000 and recommend to the CAB that both revenue and expense lines in the budget by $4,000. So voted. All in favor.
Noreen adds that TJ has brought in 75% of his anticipated revenue for FY2012 in the first six months of the fiscal year.
7. Budget Update
Tom, Jonathan and Russell have been meeting regularly to work on the FY13 Budget; one department still has to give their numbers for the upcoming year. Tom stated there is an increase in workman’s comp insurance and retirement and the comprehensive building insurance. Noreen answers that retirement might be different, they are waiting for the actuarial study to come through, and the County currently has an estimate of the fiscal year. Russell adds these areas are where they are seeing the big increases, but actual spending is staying the same as past years.
Noreen stated that the Cape Cod Municipal Health Group will be distributing the Retiree Drug Subsidy of approximately $15,000 which can be applied to the budget process for FY13 by taking it as an estimated receipt.
Warrant articles have gone out to all towns for VHCAP and IPM to all towns except West Tisbury which will go out next week. The budget process will include a Plan A and Plan B which will indicate what will be done in the event the towns do continue to support these two programs or an option shows what will happen if the programs are not supported. Additionally these plans will address whether or not private contracts will be allowed in the towns that vote out of the program. Carlene will take the place of Tom in participation of the budget process but Tom will still be available through email.
8. Remote participation at the meetings - Tom Hallahan
Tom asks the Commissioners if the meetings could be moved from 5:00 to 3:00 p.m. to allow him to still attend the meetings via Skype. The Commissioners agree that time change would be acceptable but will wait until the next meeting when so all the Commissioners will be in attendance and able to discuss this further. Tom explains he will be in Jordan teaching at the University of Jordan in their Hearing and Science Department returning to MV June 1, 2012. He will be actively involved through email and Skyping into the meetings.
John/Carlene moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:35 p.m. So voted. 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:
- IPM Letter
- State Beach update
- Community Innovation Challenge Grant
- Sec 21 of the Municipal Health Insurance Reform Act
- General Fund - Revenue
- General Fund – Departments