top of page

Penobscot County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes from September 11, 2018

For a downloadable copy click HERE

Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes September 11, 2018 2205

9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci and Laura Sanborn – Present 61°

The Commissioners’ and members of the audience took a moment to reminisce of what occurred 17 years ago on this date when our Country was attacked.

Approval of Minutes -

Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the August 21st, August 28th and September 4th, 2018 meeting minutes. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.

Sheriff’s Update –

Sheriff Morton reported today’s jail population is 190 (153 males, 37 females) with 45 boarded out to other county jails. There are no federal inmates, 50 inmates in Pre-Trial Services and two county swaps.

Sheriff said that the US Marshalls have shut down the pretrial services program at the Campus of Dorothea Dix for federal inmates.

Pretrial Services has hired another new case manager. The Sheriff has requested a meeting with Pretrial Services and the DA’s Office to develop new practices working together.

Sheriff was in a Budget meeting with Finance Director Judy Alexander, LT Keith Hotaling, and Bill Collins. The budget increase is directly related to boarding costs and medical/mental health growth.

Sheriff met with MCCA Executive Director Charlie Pray yesterday. He agrees that MSA should meet with MCCA at the convention this weekend. Everyone should recommit to work together on Legislation for this fall.

Sheriff reported that an individual died in the lobby a couple weeks ago.

Senator Kim Rosen stopped by and spoke to the Sheriff regarding the increase in female population in the jails. Sheriff discussed the RISE program as well as the pre-trial service programs.

Sheriff spoke to Steve Lever, the new deputy commissioner for DHHS. Sheriff feels that there was good conversation regarding mental health challenges in the jails. There was conversation that DHHS should consider budgeting monies to care for the peoples that are in crisis that don’t initially belong in the jail. Other states incorporate funds in their budget for "Restoration Centers". These centers keep people out of the jails and emergency rooms as a one stop clinic where people can receive the services they need such as psychiatric care and substance abuse services.

Sheriff reported on our Nationwide Stepping up Initiative. This is a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Sheriff states that five of the six steps are completed. The final step being worked on is how we partner, fund and divert people to support them in their recovery.

NWDB and Barn Updates -

Joanna Russell has submitted the 2018 Budget and Program implementation plan. She is still waiting on the contract template from the state that needs to be signed off on.

Joanna reports that during the conference call with the Board Commissioners, Commissioner Baldacci was elected Chairman of the Chief Elected Officials’ (CEO) board.

Joanna recently stepped down from the BARN Board of Directors. Joanna will assist the BARN Board President if needed with the BARN proposal for funding from the county. Chris Martin, Barn’s Board President come before the Commissioners with updates and reports.

Joanna continues to be involved with sober housing for women. She assists as needed with Holyoke Haven in Brewer. Currently she is working with others to build infrastructure around sober living. These include recovery coaching, which helps navigate recovery resources available. Joanna reported that the BARN completed a recovery coach training this past Sunday. We now have six additional recovery coaches in the area.

PRCC Update –

Jim Ryan said the SOP (Standard Operating Practices) manual is complete. All supervisor policies have been updated. These will be presented to the policy board at the September 26th meeting. Once approved, the Commissioners will be provided a copy.

Jim stated that Chris Lavoie and Tracey Erickson are in Augusta today at an event on Law Enforcement protocols.

Jim and Chris attended the annual regional meeting of the Penobscot County Fire Chiefs in East Millinocket. Members were assured that their concerns were heard and resolved with the support of our County Commissioners. Jim has offered response plan training to any of the agencies via Senior Operator Mike Azevedo.

Jim asked the Chiefs if they could identify the tower owners and see if we could be granted permission to add public safety equipment to them.

Jim stated that the radio tower consultant Norm Boucher and the radio board will be here Thursday. The panel will discuss Norm’s findings and look at his recommendations.

Jim has submitted a grant to MMA for ergonomic equipment for staff.

Jim provided a quote from Red Thread for the replacement floor tiles. The material is $3,200. The installation quoted along with the materials is $6,100. He has contacted a local area business for a quote to install and will report back once received.

Jim reported that staffing is moving right along with six employees in training with one waiting for their polygraph. Once the call takers are finished training one will be promoted to the vacant dispatch position.

Tracy Hall will take over the administrative assistant role leaving her dispatch supervisor position open. Jim has posted in-house a Dispatch Supervisor position.

Jim commented that many of the calls received are violent in nature; i.e. suicides and overdoses. Since Penobscot County is small and many of the calls coming through can result in a personal connection to our dispatchers. Jim is looking for a facilitator that is trained with stress in the workplace. He would like to hold a meeting for all public safety employees.

Finance Update –

Judy Alexander presented highlights of the budget for 2019. Prior to Dept. review there is a 6.847% increase over last year which is slightly less than last year’s increase.

o This is with Health Insurance budgeted with a 0% increase

o Liability and workman’s compensation has been increased 10%. This is based on workers compensation experience

o Risk Pool has been increased 10% for budgetary purposes

o EMA increase is due to the new Deputy Director position

o PRCC increase is due to requesting a fourth supervisor position

o Buildings and Grounds increase is due to transferring previously discussed jail expenses to the county

o Jail shows a $856 K deficit.

Public Comment –

Doug Dunbar from Hermon spoke to the Commissioners in regard to mental health disorders. Mr. Dunbar wanted to elaborate that mental illness doesn’t necessarily always mean violence or criminal behavior. He feels jail personnel are not equipped to handle inmates with mental illness. Mr. Dunbar had been an inmate at PCJ and witnessed inmates with mental illnesses being treated poorly. He feels that correction officers need to be better trained.

Administrative Update –

Bill and the Commissioners selected September 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm for the Budget Committee Caucus.

Bill will be meeting with Bangor City Engineers, Building Committee members Jim Ring and John Rouleau next Wednesday and WBRC.

WBRC and architects will be here next Friday to present the three possible plans for the jail.

Commissioner Davis will be honored during that evenings events. Mrs. Muriel Davis and son Tom will attend the MCCA Convention Saturday night.

The citizen that was sending threatening emails a while back is now sending voice mail messages. Bill is working with the Sheriff’s Office to see what can be done.

The State CRAS system for reporting Jail Expenses is down.

A Dept. is asking if the Commissioners would consider a four-ten hour day week. The department would still be staffed for the entire week.

The State Courts will be using the third floor great room on October 18th.

Bill was emailed by an individual from Woodville regarding an audit. The individual feels that money is not being used properly. Bill directed them to the AG’s office.

Former State Representative Steve Stanley would like to present to the Commissioners next week regarding the Katahdin Revitalization Project.

Payroll change notices : None

Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 215,596.21

Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 240,528.55

Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: None

Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:30 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (E) Contract Matter. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve 2-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Barbara Veilleux, George Buswell and Dan Tremble. Session ended at 10:52 am. No votes taken.

Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:53 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (E) Contract Matter. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve 2-0. Present were: Bill Collins and Dan Tremble. Session ended at 11:14 am. No votes taken.

Meeting Adjourned-

Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:15 am with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve 2-0.

Certified By:

Administrator, William Collins

Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman

Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner

bottom of page