Dukes County Commission
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Dukes County Administration Building
9 Airport Road, Edgartown, MA
County Commissioners: Chair Dr. Tom Hallahan, Christine Todd, John Alley, Lenny Jason, Leon Brathwaite and Tristan Israel
County Staff: Martina Thornton – County Manager, Connie Andrade - Administrative Assistant to the County Manager, Chuck Cotnoir – County Emergency Management Director, Mike Joyce - Associate Commissioner for Youth, Joseph Roberts – Associate Commissioner for Disability Affairs, Deb Potter – MV Airport, Asst. Manager, Sean Flynn – MV Airport Manager, Norman Perry – Airport Commissioner
Others: Joanie Ames– MVTV, Katie Ruppel - Vineyard Gazette, James Klingensmith, Peter Bettencourt, Steve Myrick – MV Times
The meeting was called to order at 5:07PM.
Tristan/Lenny moved to approve the minutes from January 9th, 2013. So voted. All in favor. Motion carries.
Tom said he would like to duly re-appoint Beth Toomey – Associate Commissioner (AC) for Heath, Joseph Roberts – AC for Disability Affairs, Mike Joyce – AC for Youth, and Connie Teixeira – AC for Homeless all are one year appointments. He then asked James Klingensmith why he would like to be appointed as the AC to Elderly Affairs. Jim said he is now 60 and he has time to devote to this position. He has also worked with Chuck on the flu clinic. Tom told him he’d like to see this position interact with the Center for Living. A discussion followed. Chuck said during the last storm, the County had 300 people in the shelter and 90% of them were over 70 years old. This brings a different need to the use of the shelters. Tom appointed James as the new AC to Elderly Affairs for a one year appointment. Martina
said the Dukes County Health Council appointments will be ready for the next meeting on February 27th. Tom said he would like to thank Chuck Cotnoir for his past service as the AC to the Elderly. Tom said we could not find a more dedicated person for the position and then asked for a vote to re-appoint Chuck.
Tristan/Christine moved to re-appoint Chuck Cotnoir as the Emergency Management Director. So voted. All in favor. Motion carries.
Tom said Marcia Cini is up for re-appointment for County Counsel (it was a three year appointment, but was reduced to one year, so this appointment is basically just for the remaining two years).
Leon/John moved to re-appoint Marcia Cini as the County Counsel for the remaining two years. So voted. All in favor.
- Airport Commissioners Appointment:
Tom asked each nominee to address the DCC and give a little detail as to why they felt they would be a good candidate. Norman Perry who is up for re-appointment addressed the committee first. He said he moved here in 1994, since then he has served on the Tisbury Personnel Board as the Chairman. He was the Conneticut Police Commissioner for 4 terms and has been on the Airport Commission since 2008. He played a role in getting snow removal equipment for the airport, establishing a pistol range for police officers, West Tisbury Building Committee to build a new Police Station and has worked with MVCS (Martha’s Vineyard Community Services). He said he likes being involved which is why he would like to be re-appointed. Next was Peter Bettencourt. Peter said he has been flying in and out of this airport
since 1974 and is very familiar with the operation side of it. He said he was with the town of Edgartown as the Administrator for 40 years. Jim Klingensmith was next. Jim said he attended the airport workshop and has worked in the security business for 25 years. As a security professional, he has received the highest designation, and has been a fire fighter for 35 years and worked in various airports providing security. Tom noted that Richard Michelson also applied for the position. A silent vote by ballot was taken.
Tom said that Norman Perry was re-elected and Peter Bettencourt was newly appointed. He thanked James Klingensmith and Richard Michelson for their interest in the position.
Associate Commissioner (AC) Appointments:
Martina said the position of the Associate Commissioner for Fisheries is still available and at this time we do not have anyone interested in the position. Tristan said he would talk to Warren Doty to get some input on who would be a good candidate for this position.
Martina told the DCC that we currently have a surplus on the budget of $20,000.00. She said we have a couple of projects that we could either use the monies for this year or we could implement them in the FY2014. Mike Joyce was there representing the County’s Personnel Board. He said during the process of reviewing the bylaws it became clear to the board that there were discrepancies. He said he’d like to use approximately $5,000.00 to do a study on job descriptions and pay scales. He said he has found discrepancies from grade to grade, some had 50 points and some had 25 points between grade increases. He suggested an outside agency without an agenda to review job descriptions, rating scales, and compensation. A discussion followed. Lenny questioned whether the cost of $5,000.00 was accurate; because
that was the cost the last time they did the study back in 2000. Martina said that the cost back in 2000 included the airport staff. Tristan said he thinks it should go out to bid.
Tristan/Christine moved to use surplus from this fiscal year and do a RFP for bids. So voted. All in favor. Motion carries.
Martina said at one of the emergency management directors meetings we lost power. She was asked to obtain pricing to get the generator we currently have up and running. She was told that the generator we have is not EPA compliant. She said she obtained a quote for the equipment and it was $6,851.00 from Vineyard Generator, in addition, we will need money for wiring and fuel tanks. Total cost would be approximately $14,000.00. A discussion followed. Leon wanted to know if the County has a dedicated phone line that would work when the power is off. Martina said we do not have a battery operated phone right now. John wanted to know how many workdays were impacted, if it’s only three days, that’s a lot of money for three days. Martina said we need the power for the emergency management. Sean said there’s a
lot more to it, including the structure integrity of the building. He said the maintenance costs alone will chew you up in time. Tom said he’d like to reschedule the discussion for the joint meeting with the DCC and the Airport Commissioners. Tristan said he would like to defer the discussion. Tristan wanted to know if we could have the topic moved to the Old Business Report. No vote was taken.
Tom said in four years of being on the DCC he wished we had more direction. He thinks the County needs a strategic plan or master plan. He thinks it’s really important that we take two or three sessions and address the mission statement. He questioned if the one we have still applies. He said he thinks having someone from the outside come here and walk us through establishing a strategic plan is a good idea. He believes the ballpark amount will be about $5,000.00. A discussion followed. Tristan said we did a charter commission study and we got a lot of information. He believes we should be going out to the community to see what they want; he thinks there’s a more productive way to do one. Tom said it will become a living document and he will use it. Lenny said it will help to determine where the DCC is
heading. Christine said she doesn’t know of a business that doesn’t have one, and she thinks if we don’t have one we should start one as soon as possible and she believes that it could affect the grant writing. Tristan said the Towns have to be a component of this.
Lenny/John moved to have the County Manager do an RFP not to exceed $5,000.00 to do a strategic plan. So voted. All in favor. Motion carries.
Martina said the DCC received the first draft at the last meeting. Martina said that most of the information is based on prior years and that they are able to compare the numbers. Martina asked the board about reimbursement for her mileage and wanted to know if there is an allowance she could build into the budget. It would be less time consuming than manually tracking her mileage. She believes 200 miles per month would be sufficient. Tom said he doesn’t believe they need a vote for that. Martina said they need a vote because they are changing her agreement. Leon said if it was a stipend, some of it would go towards her retirement and she would not receive the full amount. Martina said the joint meeting with the Airport Commissioners is Feb. 27th and we need to go over budget line items.
Tristan said we could meet at 4 pm before the joint meeting to address these issues. Martina said it would be at the VTA building. (Joint meeting was changed to March 27th.) Martina said the IPM and VHCAP programs are not in the general fund anymore because we are trying to track the funding separately and they will offset the next year’s budget because the towns are 100% funding them in FY14. She said there are questions being raised about the $6,000.00 the County is looking to be reimbursed from the VHCAP budget which represents building expenses. Lenny questioned if it was affecting grants. Lenny wanted clarification that we were not charging the VHCAP rent and that the County is not making money from that. Martina told them that is correct. Martina said it is a difference of County costs as opposed to Town’s cost. Tom said that because Tisbury is adding an article to go out to bid for IPM and there are a lot of choices we need to consider as this program moves
forward. Tristan said we should go to the CAB meeting and have that discussion with them. Tom said that he read somewhere that Edgartown wanted skunks included. Martina told him she talked to Art Smadbeck and he said the Town of Edgartown does not want the skunks added to the IPM program. Martina said she is working on the MOU’s with the Towns for a better understanding of what services are included. Tom said that since they are 100% funded by the towns, the CAB and the towns have a direct commentary as to what they want and the county should work as a conduit. Martina said she attended two Oak Bluffs Fin Com meetings – one for VHCAP and one for IPM. There were a lot of detailed questions about the programs and the funding. She was also invited to the Board of Selectmen’s meetings in Tisbury and Aquinnah regarding the IPM and the West Tisbury Fin Com. Martina said the MOU drafts are ready to be discussed with the DCC at the next meeting on February 27th. It outlines the
understanding between the County and Towns about providing the IPM and the VHCAP services. She is planning to present it to the County Advisory Board (CAB) on March 6th and to the All Island Selectmen on March 14th At that point, there will be a discussion as there seems to be differences between the towns on the scope of services and the overall expectations. Tristan and Leon will help her review the drafts.
- Meeting with FEMA Regarding State Beach:
Martina said she met with representatives from FEMA on January 24th for an initial meeting to discuss the requirements for applying for disaster relief funding from Hurricane Sandy that would be specific to the County and our project on State Beach. FEMA will reimburse 75% of the expenses of eligible projects. She said it is clear that we will need a large supply of sand to bring the beach back to the pre-storm condition. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a readily available source of beach sand on the island. She said she has researched potential sources of sand on and off island. There is sand on Eastville Beach left over after the dredging of the Tisbury Harbor, some of which was previously used on State Beach. In her discussions with the Oak Bluffs Conservation Commission, they came across as reluctant to allow us to move the sand because there are several invasive species there and they are worried about cross contamination. She also contacted Marc Hanover regarding the
sand the Steamship will dredge from the Vineyard Harbor this spring. However, the Oak Bluffs Conservation Commission raised question of suitability of the sand due to potential high toxic levels and a test would be needed to determine if it would comply with the restrictions. She has proposals for transportation of sand from the Cape by truck if we find a source of sand or from New Bedford by barge. Both options are much more expensive and with limited funding we will only be able to do fraction of what is needed. She said the only readily available project we have is to move the sand that was excavated from the Little Bridge channel. She has a FEMA representative coming this Friday to work with her on the application. A discussion followed. Leon wanted to know if she had an approximate cost per cubic yard and she said it is around $41.00. Tristan said the town is willing to store the sand until we are ready. Martina told him we have to run tests to see if it is
Martina said that FEMA will not reimburse for planting. We lost 226,000 square feet of beach grass. To replace it all would cost about $31,000 just for the beach grass assuming that it would be done by volunteers. We had originally planned to plant the weekends of March 9th & 10th and 16th &17th, but when contacting the nursery to get a quote for the beach grass they informed us that there is no beach grass available due to the Hurricane Sandy and the high demands from the southern states in fall. She said the only source of beach grass we identified so far was if we also pay the nursery to plant it which makes it 4 times more expensive and not financially feasible. A decision will have to be made about how much planting is necessary and how much money we can spend and place an order for more in
the fall. A discussion followed. Tristan asked if in the future we could raise our own beach grass. Lenny suggested having the high school grow the beach grass for us.
Martina said she also had a meeting with Greg Palermo from Friends of Sengekontacket who is working on identifying the best methods of eradication of the spotted knapweed. The mechanical removal proved ineffective on Eastville Beach and due to the wide spread on State Beach it would not be possible to do it that way anyway. A discussion followed. Tom asked if it would be a good idea to have Greg Palermo come and speak to the DCC in March.
Martina said some of the interior painting is complete. The conference room and finishing the hallways will be done next.
Martina said she had an inspection of the insulation done through the Cape Light Compact and Rise Engineering. We should receive the results and recommendations in the near future. There has not been much progress on the window repairs due to the cold weather and the snow storm. Tom said he thought was a good idea for him and Martina to meet with Chris Scott from the MV Preservation Trust to gain ideas about better preserving the Courthouse.
Martina said the YTF asked her to be on their Sustainability Committee. They are getting ready to reapply for grants that represent a major portion of their funding. They told her they would like to have a plan in place to continue their program if the grant funding is lacking. The YTF will make a presentation at the All Island Selectmen’s meeting regarding the medical marijuana dispensaries. A discussion followed. Tristan said there are problems getting the regulations in place and the towns sent letters to the Department of Health (DPH) requesting more time to establish bylaws. Tom said the towns are leaning towards a moratorium on the issue. He has asked Leon to work with Les Leland to explore what role the county could have if any.
Martina said she attended the State’s Reclamation Board meeting in Hyannis on January 23rd to explore the possibilities of the island being able to send the pools of mosquitoes for testing directly to the State’s Lab. There are several obstacles. With the assistance of Seth Rolbein (from Sen. Wolf’s office), she is trying to find a solution that would work for the island. Martina said he hopes to have an agreement together before summer for the mosquito testing.
Martina said she finally received an approval for a press release regarding the January 2nd visit of the delegation from St. Vincent & the Grenadines. She said she has received a proposed MOU with St. Vincent Island.
The medical marijuana subject was revisited. Lenny asked if we sent the letter to the DPH requesting more time and Martina told him that the letter had to be sent before January 1, 2013 and since we did not have a meeting before that deadline, it became a moot point. Lenny said he thinks there’s a bill to postpone the implementation until September. Martina said she thinks the DPH has until May to develop the guidelines.
John/Tristan moved to adjourn the meeting. So voted. All in favor.
Meeting was adjourned at 6:44pm.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts
Documents presented at the meeting and part of the official records:
- 2014 Draft Budget Summary page
- 2013 County Appointments Available
- Manager’s Report
- Ballot for Airport Commissioners
- Press Release for St. Vincent Delegation