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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes November 6, 2018 2213
9:00 AM Commissioners Laura Sanborn and Andre Cushing 45°
Peter Baldacci – Late 9:30
Approval of Minutes -
Commissioner Cushing made a motion to approve the October 16th, October 23rd, and October 30th, 2018 meeting minutes. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
UT Update –
Commissioner Cushing moved to approve renewal of recycler license for Sunset Development, Inc. as presented. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion passed 2-0. Signed.
Barbara Veilleux reports that George Buswell is in the Matagamon area today and will be checking on the progress of the dam repairs. Commissioner Sanborn stated that you can watch a video of the repairs online through Matagamon wilderness.
Barbara is pleased with all the work that the Sheriff’s Office work crew is doing. George delivered a chipper this morning to use for clearing off brush and small trees in Greenfield.
Barbara stated the she and George are still completing E911 addressing. Last week they erected 14-15 street signs in T2R8 and Hopkins Academy Grant townships. They are trying to get them in before the ground freezes.
Barbara reports that their summer work is winding down as they are now gearing up for winter work with the change of season.
Sheriff’s Update –
Sheriff Morton stated that today’s jail population is 188 with 46 boarded out to other county jails. There are no federal inmates, no county swaps and 61 inmates in Pre-Trial Services.
Sheriff gave details about the benefits of Maine Pre-Trial. Troy states the two contracted employees provide jail diversion tactics where inmates are supported through home or programs such as Wellsprings. The inmates must check in either daily or weekly, and occasionally receive a home visit. Considering some of these cases have serious medical conditions, it makes more sense to utilize this service.
Sheriff and Captain Clukey spoke about the challenges keeping corrections officers on staff. A number of officers have recently resigned, retired, and/or have moved on. This causes a difficult situation with extra stress on the remaining officers. In years past corrections officers were handling security, now it is more about mental/medical health. When we lose staff it is another 40 hours of overtime that needs to be filled. Currently we have three FT time positions opens with anticipation of a couple more. We have a limited amount of part time personnel able to fill the absences so we are forcing overtime. There are five new hires that have completed the academy training and will be starting our three week in house training Wednesday.
Sheriff reports that they are using all resources available for recruiting such as college job fairs, career and workforce fairs. The challenge is the pay is not as competitive as other agencies. Sheriff notes that other counties are offering sign on bonuses with a commitment with terms and conditions for long term employment.
Sheriff commented on two inmates with serious medical challenges. One is required to stay in the hospital three days a week. The other has severe problems requiring a medical bed, constant assistance, is wheelchair bound, and must be separated from other inmates. The amount of staffing to facilitate this need is incredible. Due to their charges and previous violations we are unable to release them.
Sheriff will be attending a meeting at the end of the month with Chief Justice Saufley, legislators, and others in the court system discussing court processes.
Court administrators and an EMMC physician recently took a tour of the jail facilities to better understand how things work.
On a positive note, Corrections Officers brought donations to the Bangor Homeless Shelter and Shepard’s Godparent Home to provide paper products. Sheriff reports that when the Correction Officers walked into the Bangor Homeless Shelter there was a standing ovation given to them from clients in the facility.
Sheriff reported that the Bangor Citizens Police Academy attendants toured the jail.
This is the fourth year that the Sheriff’s Department is participating in “No Shave November”. For the month, officers can pay a donation in order to not shave. The donations benefit patient outreach at the Lafayette Center in Brewer.
Sheriff is involved with Community Opioid Overdose Response Committee. This is a statewide committee with multiple committees through the State. Recently the committee put together a survey and it was distributed to multiple agencies as well as in the jail to inmates. The survey seeks to find out what works, what doesn’t, and what would be helpful. Sheriff is finding there is a lot of denial within the jail when it comes to if there is a problem.
Sheriff is pleased the trustees working with Roads and Mapping program is back to where it started. Helping out the communities since there are a lot of requests for this type of service.
Sheriff stated law enforcement is currently down three deputies. Two of our deputies will be transferring to the State Police and one is on extended medical leave. Sheriff reported they recently hired Aaron Brooker as the new patrolman for the northern region which is a perfect fit since he comes from that region.
Sheriff reported that the old patrol vehicles will be ready to go to auction next week. They have all been moved to the old Y parking lot for easy access for those that want to look at them.
Sheriff, command staff and deputies supported many of the local school bus drivers by following them during their routes. The schools were very pleased that the Sheriff’s Office participating in this type of customer service.
PRCC Update –
Commissioner Sanborn thanked PRCC when she had to use their service the other night.
Chris Lavoie reported that last week PRCC responded to 1,437 9-1-1 calls. Saturday’s calls was just under 400 9-1-1 calls related to the storm. Chris stated he had to institute an emergency rule so not have to following the fire protocol because there were so many calls they had to be able to process the calls quicker.
Chris reported that the additional carpet has been ordered.
Chris opened the three dispatcher positions and offered those positions to the five call takers to apply. These position closes the end of the week.
Chris stated that last Thursday DPS Augusta started taking 9-1-1 calls from the City of Bangor. ESCB was called trying to figure out what was going on it was told that US Cellular updated towers with the Bangor cell phone calls being shipped to Augusta. This was corrected yesterday.
Administrative Update –
Finance Director, Judy Alexander reported to the Commissioners’ the interest figure on the TAN is $43,310 on the $4.4M borrowed. Judy is requesting more detail on this amount.
Judy updated the Commissioners that there will be an executive session with Rob Frank from WBRC next weeks meeting.
Judy informed the Commissioners that a Freedom of Information Act request was sent to EMA and PRCC. PRCC answered this request the same day.
A repair request was received from the post office. They reported yellow water in their toilet. Maintenance supervisor Cap Ayer found this was due to the City of Bangor working on the water lines. He contacted the post office and let them know the cause and the issue should be cleared up in a week or two.
A reminder that Karon Noyes from VOYA will be here Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
As a requirement of ACA, information on our health and dental coverages were included with all paychecks on November 2, announcing it is open enrollment time. It is also open enrollment for our flexible spending plan as well. Barbara Veilleux is handling the open enrollment for that portion of our benefits.
Judy attended the MCAA meeting for Bill in Augusta last week. Judy stated there was a spirited discussion on the proposed jail study. The group felt it was going a little too fast for a meaningful study and they want to make sure the study is done correctly to provide useful information to the legislature. The group felt that there should be a collaboration between the sheriffs’ association, commissioners, administrators/managers and finance directors of each county to gather the information for the study. Finally MCCA should take the lead.
Judy states that in preparation of the budget committee meeting books a memo stating the date and time of the meeting were sent out to the Budget Committee yesterday. An ad will be in the Bangor Daily News on November 7 and the 14th inviting the public to attend as well as an email to all department heads reminding them of the meeting.
There was discussion on the PILT revenue budgeted. Commissioner Baldacci feels we need to be conservative with the revenue estimate. These monies should be used in case of emergencies. Judy agrees that the conservative approach is best due to the jail deficit.
Judy will prepare and present to the Commissioners an addendum for the budget committee members.
Commissioner Cushing moved to reduce the transfer to $175K this year (instead of the $300K previously approved) for PILT in the budget. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Payroll change notices: Blake Miller – Promotion; George Buswell – Comp Time
Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 216,811.63
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 363,578.16
Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: - NONE –
Probate Update –
Renee Stupak reported that she has spoken to Cap and Terry from the maintenance department regarding the safety concerns for her office. They had suggestions to offer for both the records and clerical room. Judy interjected that the monies would come out of Department 32’s budget, not probate.
Renee then spoke about new probate laws. She informed the Commissioners that she had been following protocol of notification of parents on the ad-litem emergencies before it even became a law.
Renee states her clerical specialist position opening closes this Monday, November 12th.
EMA Update –
Michelle Tanguay reported that this will be an extremely busy month for EMA. Emera held their annual meeting with the County. Emera is making a lot of changes by updating their outage maps on identifying restoration times and locations. This will assist both EMA and customers of EMERA on gaining information from outages.
Michelle notes the challenge with localities is caring for their citizens such as sheltering during smaller event. The county comes in with the regional shelter for major events. EMA has been focusing on educating locals on their immediate requirements as a municipality in supporting their community.
Michelle will be hosting the local EMA directors meeting at the end of the month and Emera plans to attend. This will assist with service calls to understand the flow and have a better means of communication.
Michelle reported that FEMA will be here next week for a procurement class.
Commissioner Baldacci asked about an increase to “project minimum”. Michelle responded that yes, the project minimum increased to $3,140 however; there are other factors involved in the declaration process and what FEMA allows.
Michelle explained that EMA has the ability for conference calls with the locals now and has tested the system and received positive feedback from our partners. This will allow Michelle to have additional and better communications and information sharing during events and trainings. Commissioner Cushing asked if we would have the capability to record the meetings so they could be shared, Michelle will look into that as well.
Public Comment –
Doug Dunbar, citizen of Hermon reported the Spirit of America Awards that the county hosted was on the cover of the Hermon Connection newsletter. Doug is doing outreach to clergy members for jail visitation as well as trying to get more self-help resources/books for the inmates.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:15 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (E) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Judith Alexander and Sheriff Morton. Session ended at 10:30 a.m. No votes taken.
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) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Judith Alexander and Chris Lavoie. Session ended at 10:45 a.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:45 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0.
Present were: Judith Alexander and Chris Lavoie. Session ended at 10:55 a.m. No votes taken.
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the Sheriff’s request on staff pay increases. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Moved 3-0.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:25 with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 3-0.
Finance Director, Judith Alexander
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner