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Penobscot County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes February 14, 2017 #2125
9:00 AM Commissioner’s Peter Baldacci, Tom Davis, and Laura Sanborn. 18°
County Website Update-
• Department head Cliff Warren and Adam Prosser from the IT department presented the newly created version of the county’s website. Adam described the main focus of the redesign was to improve the aesthetics and navigation of the site. Aerial views of Bangor were used as the backdrop for the entire web design. Adam explained that some of the pages of the website were edited and/or consolidated to provide an easier navigation experience.
• Adam noted the entire webpage is setup as a blog site, so that anyone that the county designates can logon to edit or post content. Cliff explained that the layout and links of the website will be locked, so that the designated county worker would only be able to post/edit content and not alter the actual infrastructure of the site.
• Cliff stated the most all of the county’s departments currently have their own websites and that their links are more clearly displayed on the updated webpage.
• Commissioner Davis asked if there were contact emails posted in event that someone wished to contact the commissioners directly. Cliff strongly suggested that personal emails not be posted. He expounded this was important to lessen the threat of a network breech and to limit the amount of unsolicited emails the network servers have to process. Bill explained the amount of general unsolicited emails he already receives through the current webpage’s email process. The site already blocks his email address from being displayed. However, Bill did note the increased level of customer service a direct email address for a government would provide.
• Bill asked if the website had the ability the search via a keyword any posted content on the site. Adam noted that feature is an added cost for the page, but the site can filter searches by date if you search for an item in its respective page.
• Bill shared that Barbara Veilleux was much happier working with the new web page service in creating a site for the county’s Unorganized Territories, versus others she had tried.
• Cliff stated that the current host, Squarespace, charges $18/month, which is three dollars a month more than Wix.com. He added that while you can find cheaper hosts, the level of user-friendliness for content editors and the ease that the site transitions for mobile users, makes Wix.com the best value for the county.
• The Commissioners stated they were happy with site’s revisions and thanked Cliff and Adam for their work.
Unorganized Territory Update-
• In light of the near record snowstorm Monday, Barbara Veilleux and George Buswell stated they have yet to receive a complaint on the conditions of the roads. George noted his only concern is in areas of the county that are heavily prone to drifting. His plan was to go view the road’s conditions. Commissioner Sanborn added for George to note the visibility at the mouths of the roads for entering/exiting purposes. George stated he would.
• Bill Collins brought to the attention of the Commissioners that the National Weather Service is calling for an additional twelve inches of wet snow Wednesday afternoon into Thursday night.
• Bill said he will follow up with James Gallant on the parking lot. Sheriff Morton was frustrated that the jail’s correction officers had to spend the large part of the day outside cleaning up the lot with inmates. The Commissioners noted it would be difficult for any plowing service to keep up with a record storm of this size.
Sheriff’s Department Update-
• Sheriff Troy Morton stated the department would like to go out to bid for seven new Ford Explorer patrol vehicles. The only difference with this year’s order compared to last, is that he would like to add tinting to the middle row and rear windows. Troy explained that there’s room in the budget for seven additional vehicles.
• Troy was pleased to add that a couple years ago the department modified the process in which it rotates the old patrol cars in with the new. The department would have been in need of nine patrol cars instead of the seven.
• Troy noted that the deputies are very satisfied with the new Explorers except for the stock tires. He said the department purchases a heavier duty emergency response tire and saves the stock set as spares and patrol cars that aren’t used in the field as often. Commissioner Davis made the motion to approve the bid request for the seven patrol cars. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
• The Sheriff then presented two forfeitures from drug related cases that the department assisted. The forfeiture for one case was for $1,550 the other for $146. The Sheriff explained that the department uses this money to purchase specialty equipment for training procedures. Commissioner Davis made a motion to accept these funds. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
• Troy presented that the in house jail population was at 186; 44 are boarded out. Twenty-three of the boards are being held at Cumberland County at $70/inmate per day. Bill stated that he had contacted County Manager Peter Crichton and Sheriff Morton contacted Sheriff Joyce to see if Cumberland could reduce their boarding rates. They could not. Commissioner Davis asked if Sheriff Morton had contacted Somerset County to negotiate a better boarding rate. Sheriff Morton responded that he had negotiated rates with Somerset and that they were still higher than Cumberland. He added that Somerset was also more selective with inmates they receive than other counties we send boarders. Sheriff Morton praised the Cumberland jail for the fact they have never refused any inmates we send.
• Commissioner Davis asked if we expanded our jail how many federal females could we expect to board. Sheriff Morton stated that the number of federal females are down considerably. Troy said he thought we could board six if at some point we had the additional room. He and the Commissioners hoped that we could arrive at the point where our jail could begin housing more federal female inmates, and shift more of our male population to neighboring counties.
• Sheriff Morton said he had a great meeting with the District Attorney’s office regarding the reoccurring issue of stay of executions for people with serious drug charges. He discovered that some of his requests had not been circulated to all of the ADA’s. He expressed his concern that his list of recommendations to the courts may not be making its way to the judges either. Sheriff Morton pressed the issue in the DA’s meeting that his office is spending valuable time and resources on tracking down, transporting, and screening stay of executions that have serious drug charges. The jail is discovering a large amount drugs being smuggled into the jail upon stay-of-execution subjects turning themselves in. He provided a list of seventeen recent cases of stay of executions and some who never arrive for their jail sentence. Troy noted that once the DA’s office reaches a conviction, they don’t track the convicted individual from that point on. His hope is that the office makes improvements with the handling of these cases. Commissioner Baldacci suggested that the county should have a Criminal Justice coordinating Committee that meets on a monthly basis where Judges, DA’s, Sheriff, etc. attend and discuss these issues. Troy mentioned that they have had these meetings in the past but the Judges have not attended. He would however love for these meetings to happen if all parties involved would attend.
Public Comment- None.
Executive Session- Administrator Bill Collins made a request to go into Executive Session to discuss a legal matter at 10:18 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (E). Barbara Veilleux, George Buswell, Dan Tremble and Bill Collins. The Executive Session ended at 10:38 with no votes taken.
Executive Session- A second Executive Session to discuss a Legal Matter began at 10:39 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (E). Attending in addition to the Commissioners were Attorney Ed Bearor, Erik Stumpfel, Sheriff Troy Morton and Bill Collins. Executive Session ended at 11:25 am with no votes taken.
Executive Session- Bill Collins made a request to go into Executive Session to discuss a Personnel Matter at 11:26 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (A). Attending in addition to the Commissioners were Sheriff Troy Morton and Bill Collins. Executive Session ended at 11:40 am. Commissioner Davis made a motion to set reset the Part Time Clerical wage rate to be $ 11.00 upon hire; $ 12.50 per hour on the completion of three years of employment and go to $ 14:00 per hour after five years of employment. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3 – 0.
Administrative Update Continued-
• Bill presented for approval the interest rate of 7% for late payment of each town’s respective tax liability for 2017. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the interest rate. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
• Payroll Warrant to be approved for $ 205,885.73
• Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for $ 51,650.57
• Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: None
• Payroll change notice signed for: None
• Compensation notice signed for: Terry Sullivan – 6 Hours.
Meeting Adjourned- The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 am with no further business on the agenda.
Penobscot Count Administrator
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Thomas J. Davis, Jr., Commissioner