County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes November 14th, 2017
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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes November 14, 2017 #2163 9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Tom Davis and Laura Sanborn 39°
Approval of Minutes-
Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve the November 7th, 2017 minutes. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Sheriff’s Department – Update
Sheriff Troy Morton stated that today’s jail population is 215 (179 males, 36 females) in house with 50 boarded out to other county jails. Over the weekend we were at 240 inmates. There are no federal inmates at this time. During arraignments yesterday only eight were released of the 46 that went to court.
Sheriff reports that an out of state Attorney had requested permission for with an inmate. Sheriff wanted feedback as he was told that this attorney cannot practice law in Maine. Commissioner Baldacci stated it was ok to allow this visitation.
Sheriff is pleased that the RFP for medical coverage for the jail has gone out and he has been contacted by a three companies. Sheriff would like to allow companies to adjust the model to make the contract more streamlined. Bill Collins they bid the specs provided but could offer alternative suggestions for bid too.
Sheriff reported that a large amount of drugs were taken by a female inmate that was a new admission to our facility.
Sheriff states the he will be attending in Augusta an opiate forum for corrections. He states he will be presenting on the RISE program. There will be three Sheriff’s and one administrator from the department of corrections presenting on other programs that have successfully been used in other county and state correctional facilities.
Sheriff states that the Governor’s office wants to partner with the counties in conducting how we could do better on substance abuse screening upon admissions. Sheriff says that things have worked out very well on the mental health screenings and hopes that we will be able to do the same on substance abuse. We need to have a baseline to better assist the inmate coming in with the appropriate programs. These programs take monies and the Governor has taken away the supplemental funding for such programs.
Sheriff reports Patrol had another car accident in Argyle that caused $3000 in damage. As of today we have investigated 806 car/deer accidents in Penobscot County alone. Unfortunately, we have had two of these accidents.
Commissioner Baldacci received a letter from Senator Susan Collins office in regards to a letter received regarding complaints of conditions in our jail. Some of the issues cited over crowdedness, poor menu (too many carbs and not enough protein), attitudes of personnel, and theft of food by other prisoners.
Law enforcement has just finished training in Brewer for night vision shooting.
Maintenance – Snow Removal Update
Cap Ayer, Terry Sullivan and James Gallant discussed snowplowing issues faced by our snowplow contractor. James reported the major problem is the moving of vehicles to plow. It was mentioned that people that are leaving their company cars in the lower parking lot during storms. It was recommended that these cars be parked at the old Y parking lot.
The Sheriff has offered to provide inmates at any time needed for snow removal this winter. The Sheriff lacks the staff to provide supervision. It was recommended that one of the maintenance staff supervise the inmates. When there is a storm to have Cap and Terry stagger their hours so that they can be here to supervise the trustee’s.
Unorganized Territory Update -
Barbara Veilleux received a draft withdrawal agreement from MRC. It has been forwarded to Ed Bearor of Rudman & Winchell for review.
George completed his inspection this week of the junkyard in Greenfield at Sunset Development. Commissioner Sanborn made the motion to renew the license for Sunset Development. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Move to approve passed 3-0.
Barbara presented an update on the junkyards in Prentiss. The most serious site is the Ratcliff site. We had sent a letter giving them a 30 day warning. They cleaned up a bit. A second letter was sent providing an additional 30 days to clean up the remainder of the site. Barbara provided pictures showing that there was more trash now than before. Legally the only way to rectify this problem is to summons them through the DA’s office. The second Prentiss site is becoming cluttered again. Barbara will send out a second warning letter.
Tax Abatement Concern –
Ms. Eva Szillery from Orono brought up a tax abatement concern she has with the town feeling that she is not being treated fairly. Eva presented paperwork outlining her quest to have her taxes adjusted.
Commissioner Davis told Ms. Szillery that there is nothing that the Commissioners can do to assist with her concerns. The Town of Orono has a board of assessment appeals. Commissioner Davis then stated we have absolutely no authority to rule or not rule on her appeal. Our authority covers towns without board of appeals.
Commissioner Baldacci told Ms. Szillery the Town has until December 2nd to rule on her appeal. When a decision is made, you have the opportunity to accept or decline that decision. If you don’t like what the board of appeal has to say, then you can go to the Superior Court. The other concerns Ms. Szillery mentioned of unfair hearing and discrimination, would require legal assistance.
Director Cliff Warren discussed the update issues encountered with Microsoft Office 2016. The application of outlook is not compatible with the 2013 version. We have been using EM Client which is fully compatible to our current email system. The Commissioners have requested that Cliff contact Michelle Tanguay to make sure that her concerns have been addressed.
Cliff is waiting to receive quotes for what system will be the best for the exchange servers. Cliff will come back once he receives all the quotes.
Bill provided a letter from Sen Susan Collins office acknowledging correspondence in regards to SALT. Sen Collins appreciated the input of the Penobscot County Commissioners.
Flexible spending forms are due by December 2nd.
We received a tax abatement request from Robert Mosca. We will contact the State of Maine and Mr. Mosca to schedule a tax abatement hearing.
We are starting to receive payments on the sheriff’s used vehicles.
County Administrators are paying to have a wage study completed for all the counties.
Commissioner Davis is short one budget committee member.
Reminder that Thursday, November 16 at 5:30 pm is the Budget Committee Meeting.
Another inmate complaint letter was received. Sheriff Morton is investigating their concerns.
Sheriff Morton met recently with the Town of Brewer. During the meeting he was asked what the tax increase is going to be for Brewer. Judy Alexander will contact the Town.
The Penquis Steering Committee meeting is this evening.
We have received two grievances from Corrections officers in the Sheriff’s Office.
A claim was sent to Risk Pool in regards to the video arraignment TV that was broken a few weeks ago. The equipment new cost is $ 3000, not the $20,000 previously stated.
An ad was placed in the Bangor Daily News for the Deputy Registrar of Probate position.
Payroll change notices signed for: Justin Backer Full time to Part-time; Trevor A Smith Hired Full time; Cory Hamilton Hired Full time; Dustin Umlauf Hired Full time.
Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 224,025.71
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 54,330.44
Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: $34,324.86
Executive Session- Commissioner Davis motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter at 10:55 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (A) Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3 – 0. The Commissioners, Administrator Bill Collins, Treasurer Dan Tremble, Renee Stupak were in attendance. Executive Session ended at 11:10 with no votes taken.
Executive Session- Commissioner Davis motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter at 11:11 am under 1 MRSA §405 (6) (A) Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3 - 0. The Commissioners, Administrator Bill Collins, Treasurer Dan Tremble, and Chad LaBree were in attendance. Executive Session ended at 11:34 am with no votes taken.
Public Comment – None.
Meeting Adjourned- The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 am with no further business on the agenda.
Administrator, William Collins Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner Thomas J. Davis, Jr., Commissioner