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DCC Minutes 11/14/2012

County of Dukes County

Dukes County Commission


Wednesday, November 14, 2012
5:00 p.m.
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA

Dukes County Commissioners (DCC): Melinda Loberg, Beth Toomey, Tristan Israel, John Alley* and Tom Hallahan

Associate Commissioners:  Connie Teixeira, AC for the Homeless, Beth Toomey, AC for Public Health, Chuck Cotnoir, AC for Elderly, and Joseph Roberts, AC for Disability Affairs

County Staff Present: Martina Thornton - County Manager, Noreen Mavro Flanders – County Treasurer, Sarah Kuh - Director Vineyard Health Care Access,  T.J. Hagerty - IPM Director, Connie Andrade - Administrative Assistant to County Manager, Carol Grant - Asst. Treasurer, JoAnn Murphy - Veteran’s Agent and County Personnel Board member, Dianne Powers – Register of Deeds

Others: Joanie Ames - MVTV, Katie Ripple – MV Gazette.


Tristan/Beth moved to approve Minutes from November 23, 2012 as presented. So voted. Melinda, Beth, and Tristan voted yes, John and Tom abstained. Motion carries.

Request by the Airport Commission
John Alley advised he’s heard some concerns about Airport Policies, he asked that a joint meeting be scheduled around the 2nd week January (due to the Holidays) at the VTA Building for both Boards to meet to review policy and procedures.  Melinda asked the other Board members and they all agreed.  Tristan requested to see the agenda before the meeting in case the DCC has issues they would like to add, and he would like to see the Airport’s Master Plan.  Melinda advised them to bring any concerns or items for the agenda to Martina.  Martina and Sean should work together to do the agenda.

Noreen reported that R.M Packer Company has been awarded the bid. She received four inquires about the bid but only one bid. The bid is $0.2672 Over the weekly Boston Low Rack Price as reported in the IPEX. Melinda thanked her for taking that on.  


AC for Homeless - Connie Teixeira: There are currently about 150 people that are considered chronically homelessness on the island.  We also have about 30 people that move from house to house sleeping on couches.  These people are handled by Island Counseling as many are substance abusers. There are also 200 people waiting for elder housing. About 15 of them are living in crowded conditions, either sleeping in rooms with young children or sleeping on couches.  The balance of that number are living in tents, or sleeping under houses in the campgrounds, in unlocked cars, some even sleep in a residence that they had recently done work in.  We even have one family with children that have been living in their car for over 5 years.  People are afraid to come forward. Connie requested that an assistant be hired to fill out applications, do referrals and follow up with people. She would also like to establish a Homeless Shelter on the island.  A discussion was held about possibly putting together a task force to review what Nantucket has done and go to see their facility.  Duffy Health Care will be visiting the Island on Monday November 19th to meet with Vineyard Health Care Access Program (VHCAP) and the Walk-in-clinic in Edgartown to devise a plan of action to help uninsured islanders.

AC for Public Health - Beth Toomey:  Beth gave a brief history of the AC for Public Health position. Her concern is that there is no clear focus and goals. She would like to work on a suicide prevention project.  Tristan said that perhaps she could act as a liaison for programs like the VHCAP and the Health Council and report back to the DCC. Tom said that we may need to revisit their mission statement to make sure that efforts are not duplicated with other health care agencies. Beth agreed. Melinda recommended that Beth meet with Martina and the Public Health Committee to set goals for her and the committee.

AC for Elderly Affairs - Chuck Cotnoir: Chuck said that he assisted the elderly with preparations for a disaster such as a hurricane.  He prepared an emergency kit and presented a sample of it to the Wampanoag Tribe elderly members. He also has been working with the Woodside Village residents by helping with fundraisers. At the Oak Bluffs Street Fair he helped set up the elderly tent, and then helped store their equipment free of charge. The seniors on the island have a lot of resources they can rely on, and they all do outstanding work. A discussion followed. Tom would like to see a list of specific duties for each of the Associate Commissioners’ position. Martina said she will put together a mission statement for the AC’s and present it to DCC for final approval.

*John Alley left the meeting.

AC for Disability Affairs - Joseph Roberts: Joseph gave updates on his continuing education, including the ADA (American Disability Act) standards and EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) strategic planning for 2012 thru 2016 and how it fits with the state and county emergency planning, employment opportunities on the island and communication. The Information Resources and Individual Educational Plan (IEP) diagnosed 2 high school students and one elementary school student with autism. He also had one caregiver referral for dementia and one referral for NEDAIS.  He has applied for a grant from the Christopher Reeves Foundation for Rising Tide. He also did monitoring of compliance with the handicapped access requirements at 11 North Water Street. He is currently working with MVCS (Martha’s Vineyard Community Service) on Safe Link, which provides phones to disabled people. He also received complaints about the VTA (Vineyard Transit Authority) because the drivers are the ones that determine if someone qualifies for the disability discount fares and in some cases it has been embarrassing for the disabled persons trying to get the discount. He has been also in contact with the Attorney General’s Office about the Post Office in Edgartown not being handicapped accessible because of the size of the doorways.  He also voiced his concerns that the people that come to the Courthouse for jury duty have to go to the basement, which is not wheelchair accessible. Dianne Powers said that about 10 years ago the County did a thorough investigation into adhering to the ADA law but no easy solutions were found. Martina will review the findings and report back to the DCC.

County Manager’s Report:
  • COLA: Martina reported that at the Department Heads’ meeting on Tuesday (November 13th) it was brought to her attention that the Airport non-union employees received a different COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) that the rest of the county employees. By not using the same COLA it has created two different pay scales. See memo attached for details. The Department Heads requested a legal opinion to clarify if this is acceptable practice. A discussion was held.
Noreen pointed out that the airport employees receive the same benefits as the rest of the County employees and that COLA is considered a benefit. M.G.L. Chapter 32B, Section 7A states that all employees must receive the same insurance benefits. Both the Registry of Deeds and the Sheriff’s Department (when they were part of the county) were not receiving funds from the general funds but they all gave the same COLA as the County. There are only three employees at the airport that got the 3.10% increase, but it is enough of a problem that it is making the other county employees unhappy. She believes that is why so many county employees attended this meeting.  A question was raised if the County employees should have a union to be able to negotiate their COLA. The Airport uses a CPI (Consumer Price Index) as the calculation formula to request COLA for the non-union staff members.  Noreen said she was curious as to why the CAB voted on two different COLAs, one for the county and one for the airport, and that in prior years they were always the same. Dianne said she read the lawsuit years ago and she understood the airport could set their own wages, but it was not clear if the wages were to be set within the county pay scale and guidelines.

Tom/Tristan moved to seek legal counsel opinion to clarify the situation. So voted.  All in favor.

  • Doe Permits: The County is now authorized to sell hunting permits, including fresh water and salt water fishing permits. The hunters are not able to purchase the doe permits at the weigh-in station as they do not have an internet access there, so they will be sending them to the County.  
  • The Community Preservation Committees (CPC):  The applications to the CPCs are complete and were all submitted to the Towns, the last one will be submitted to the Town of Tisbury tomorrow.  
  • Hurricane Sandy:  In preparations for Hurricane Sandy, we held the group meetings at the County Administration Building. We lost power during a conference call with the National Weather Service, which raised concern that there is no working generator here. The participants requested that the DCC approve funding to have working generator on site. Martina will look into the most cost effective approach. The county offices were closed on Monday October 29th due to the storm. On Tuesday Martina inspected all county buildings and the beaches with Chuck, the County Emergency Manager Director and prepared an initial damage assessment report, which was later submitted to MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency). See report attached. Most of the damage was at the State Beach where we had erosion and lost lots of beach grass. There is also damage to the bike path. Martina had several meeting with different groups involved with the maintenance of the beach and the bike path. Chris Kennedy advised her that we lost half a mile of the Norton Point beach, so the breach into the Edgartown Harbor is now even larger. The damage assessment from the Trustees of the Reservation was included into the County’s report.  
Tristan/Tom moved to get a working generator for the County Administration Building. So voted.  All in favor.

  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program and Town of Oak Bluffs:  Martina attended the Oak Bluffs special town meeting on November 13th and gave a brief presentation regarding the IPM program.  The Town voted to be included in the program for FY2013.  
  • The Community Innovation Challenge (CIC) Grant: After attending the regionalization conference, Martina contacted Cape Cod Commission for information on their proposal for development of e-permitting software and later distributed it to the Town Administrators.  All of the island towns seem to be interested in this grant and she will be helping them to facilitate and join the Cape towns in the 2nd round of grants.   
  • Marine Debris Grant:  On November 7th, with the help of Lynn Fraker, the County applied for a grant to remove several deserted boats in Lagoon Pond in Tisbury, and do an educational outreach and exhibit in collaboration with the MV Museum about the negative effects of marine debris on the marine habitats.  
  • FY2014 Budget: The Budgets for VHCAP and IPM have been prepared and are waiting for final review by the CAB.  The budget worksheets have been distributed to the Department Heads and are due by November 27th.  
  • Mosquito Testing:  Martina met with Seth Roblein from Senator Wolf’s office and asked him to help the island establish an agreement with the State so we can send mosquitos for testing directly to the State’s lab.
  • Sale of Lexus:  It will be advertised in the MV Times on November 23rd. The deadline for sealed bids is on December 7th at 10am.  
  • Administration Building: The main door was replaced. The trim on the building was painted by Brian Kennedy and his crew.  
Adjournment (6:28 p.m.)

Next meeting of County Commissioners is scheduled for December 5th, 2012 at 5pm at the County Administration Building.

Respectfully Submitted by:

JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO, JR., Clerk of Courts

Documents presented at the meeting and part of the Official Records:

  • Agenda
  • DCC Minutes from October 23, 2012 meeting
  • R.M. Packer Fuel Bid Letter
  • County Manager’s Report  
Memorandum from County Manager regarding COLA
Letter from Jo Ann Murphy as the employees representative to the Personnel Board
COLA calculation spreadsheet
  • FY2014 proposed IPM Budget
  • AC for Disabilities Task Report
  • Steamship Authority Memo of Meeting on 10-23-12
  • Letter from Woody Williams

The County of Dukes County PO Box 190, Edgartown, MA 02539
Phone: 508.696.3840    Fax: 508.696.3841
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