Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
Commissioner Present: Lenny Jason, Les Leland, Carlene Gatting, Melinda Loberg, John Alley, Tristan Israel
Commissioners absent: Tom Hallahan
County Staff present: Russell H. Smith – County Manager, Erin Leighton – Temp. Ex. Assistant, Tad Crawford, Woody Williams, Phyllis Williams, Remy Tumin – Gazette, Chuck Cotnoir, Joanne Ames – MVTV, Steve Myrik – MV Times
Meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m.
1. Courthouse Windows
Russell reported that the window project obtained CPC money from all six towns to refurbish the old windows; questions arose through the Town of Tisbury based on the submitted paperwork. The paperwork had some clerical errors, the MA Attorney General has looked at the documents, and they see no reason to pursue an investigation or any fines to do with any wrong doing. The County has stopped the work on the windows and will re-bid the remaining 14 windows. Carlene adds the Attorney General found the contract was null and void, so it has to again go out to bid. Melinda and Russell contacted Mr. O’Donnell (the Attorney General) with a list of the mistakes on the paperwork. Russell will advertise for new bids with a March 1 closing date, the re-bidding needs to go in a local paper as well as the Central Register. The bond fee had been
waived previously but it will not be waived for the next bidding process. Carlene asks if any action needs to be taken on work that has already been done. Melinda answers the Attorney General stated there were two remedies to seek special legislation in order to ask the town pay the bill or the town will pay the bill once they see the proper steps have been taken in order to remedy the issue. Tristan would like direct contact to be made with the other towns that were not aware of the issue. Russell apologizes for the errors that occurred during the process. Melinda adds that in speaking with Mr. O’Donnell, he had indicated these errors were common and he did not suspect they were with any intent to get around the law; no punitive action would be made on this account. Russell adds that $60,000 was saved during the process. Tristan stated that counsel was contacted as well as the Attorney General to shine a light on the problems.
Joseph Roberts feels he has a unique view on being the Associate Commissioner for Handicapped Affairs. Mr. Roberts has worked for three years with Army families, while he was helping with these families; he was unable to get into the building as it was not handicapped accessible. He feels prior to his being hurt he was unaware of what needed to be done to help with accessibility. Carlene thinks that Mr. Roberts is very qualified for the position, the commission would be very grateful for his service and thanks him for coming. Lenny thanks Mr. Roberts for his service and asks where he sees the job evolving. Mr. Roberts answered there are avenues that can be approached to take simple steps to help making buildings, areas more accessible, little things can be done, tax credits and programs are available. If a building/business is handicapped
accessible people are more likely to attend these places.
John/Carlene moved to appoint Joseph Roberts as the Associate Commissioner for Handicapped Affairs. So voted. All in favor.
Chuck Cotnoir adds as the Emergency Management director and Associate Commissioner for Elder Services he thinks they can both benefit from mutual cooperation.
3.Dogs on the Beach
Woody Williams explains this is the third summer he has been trying to get some enforcement on State Beach from people bringing dogs to the beach during April – August. He feels that the best way to fix or control the issue is to put No Dog signs on the speed limits signs and putting the signs back up that have been taken down from each entrance, he will be satisfied with these next steps including the prior steps that have been taken. Melinda agrees signage would help. Russell has spoken with the Sheriff who has agreed to ticket when he can. Poles would need to be put in just outside of the roads right of way, or the State would need to be contacted to see if the signs could be put on the State’s signs. Tristan and Carlene both feel that the Department of Transportation should be contacted to ask for permission to add the signs.
Carlene asks if the Sheriff is able to ticket, Russell adds yes, each ticket would be at a charge of $50.00.
4. Steering Committee Report on the DOR Report
John/Tristan move to accept the report and thank the committee. So voted. All in favor.
Tad Crawford will present the report to the All Island Selectmen’s meeting the following day. Mr. Crawford will have a hand out that captures the main elements of the report. Tristan asks if an internal discussion can happen. Melinda adds another vote needs to happen for the technicality to file an annual report. Martina has Melinda asked to add partially completed reports on the web site in a timely manner. Based on the law requirements minimum of 8 copies needs to be printed and distributed
Tristan/John move to put the reports up on the website once completed or while still in progress. So voted. All in favor.
Melinda adds another recommendation that was stated in the report is to undertake the legislative changes that need to be made to change the County Treasurer’s job from an elected position to an appointed position; this would not take place until the current Treasurer’s retirement. Lenny would like to have the question go out on a ballot question to give the voters a chance to make the decision. Tristan would like to look into the issue and wait until next year to allow the commissioners to discuss further all implications of the transition. Tristan and Lenny volunteer for the committee to discuss the change of an elected position to an appointed position. Melinda will recruit somebody from the CAB and thanks Lenny and Tristan for signing up.
Tad points out the reason the presentation is being made before the All-Island Selectmen is because the Steering Committee feels that the Board serves as the “Steering Committee” that was recommended by the DOR in recognizing any needs in creation of new regional service.
Tristan/Les moved to approve the minutes of January 11, 2012. So voted. Les, Carlene, Tristan, Lenny, John – in favor. Melinda- abstained.
Tristan/John move to approve the minutes of January 31, 2012. So voted. All in favor.
Melinda states a proposal has been made to meet at 3:00 p.m. on February 22nd in order for Tom to attend the meeting via Skype. Appointment will be made in March.
Carlene/John move to start the February 22nd meeting at 3:00pm. So voted. All in favor.
Russell has taken steps to transfer the remaining money to the Animal Shelter, leaving some money to remaining outstanding bills. Carlene asks if the Shelter now owns the adjoining building, Russell answers no but the building will be seated to the Shelter at no charge.
Russell met with Brian Kennedy to have them clean up the road along State Beach. Carlene asked if this will be done on a periodic basis. Russell answers no but he is available on an on-call basis.
“Mass in Motion”, a grant received by the Health Council; the contract has been signed by the State for the grant process; they hope to have a part-time employee by February 15th.
Russell and the Commissioners have been talking about his employment as County Manager, effective April 1 he will be giving four weeks notice and will be around through May to help the new County Manager. It is important to Russell to put the County in a good light; he will hold his head high for things he has accomplished. He feels the County is a very important entity and is needed. He encourages the Commissioners to start the process of searching for a new County Manager quickly and will do everything he can to help. The Commissioners all thank Russell; Lenny adds that Russell has put the County in a better place than when he found it. Melinda adds Russell is leaving the County on good footing and she thanks him for being available to help with the process of finding someone.
Tristan/John moved to adjourn the meeting for the purpose of approving the minutes of Executive Session not to reconvening in open session at 6:13 p.m. So voted. Tristan – aye, Lenny – aye, Les – aye, Carlene – aye, Melinda – aye, John – aye.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts
Documents presented at the meeting and part of the official records:
- Joseph Roberts Volunteer Application
- Morgan Woods support letter for Joseph Roberts
- Email from Woody Williams (2)
- Letter to Mr. O’Donnell, Attorney General
- Steering Committee Report
- Update letter for Veterans Clinic from Steven Henry
- Old Business List