Penobscot County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes for December 18th, 2018
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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes December 18, 2018 2219 9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Laura Sanborn and Andre Cushing 21°
Approval of Minutes -
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the November 20th and December 4th, 2018 meeting minutes. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
UT Update –
Barbara Veilleux presented the Commissioners with a TIF grant request from Bowlin Matagamon Snowmobile Club in the amount of $46,000 to purchase two drags that are towed behind the groomers. This club grooms 130 miles of trail with all but five miles in Penobscot’s UT. Barbara has sent them to Matt from for the TIF committee to look at the request.
Barbara states that she still hasn’t heard from EMDC regarding the Economic Development Director.
Millinocket Marathon Race Director Gary Allen sent Barbara a nice card updating her on the event that took place December 8th.
Barbara present the Commissioners photos that were taken Friday on the Rackliff property. These have been forwarded to ADA Demarco as there isn’t much improvement.
Barbara states that there had been an issue with loose insulin needles in the trash in Greenfield. The resident has been spoken to and will start placing them in a heavy duty container before disposal going forward.
Barbara received a complaint from a Hudson resident in regards to a neighbor’s dog getting loose. Barbara has notified Ann Greenlaw and is sending a copy of the statute to the dog’s owner.
NWDB Update –
Joanna Russell stated that the County Commissioners met yesterday via phone conference to discuss the documents that needed to be updated, approved and signed. One document is between the Chief Elected Officials, the Workforce Development Board and the County of Penobscot. The Commissioners designated the County of Penobscot as the fiscal agent again this year.
They reviewed and approved the bylaws with no changes made. Washington County has asked Betsy Fitzgerald to sit in for Vincent Cassidy for a while and to serve as a proxy. Commissioner John Wombacher has asked Scott Atkins to serve as a proxy for a while. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve hiring a program assistant for NWDB since funds are available. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion moved. 3-0
This Wednesday USDA from Washington, DC and USDA from Augusta will be holding an informal workshop at EMCC and the topic will be to remove barriers for job seekers for people in recovery and to raise awareness. The Workforce partners believe that changing the format of the legal background check would go a long way in simply summarizing the legal offense and bringing the end charge to the readers attention. Too often the legal document runs on in details about the offense and employers have given up due to the lengthy summarization. This goes behind just removing the box from the job application. Joanna reports that other States have been more active in assisting people in recovery be more active in the workforce. Other states have placed educating potential employers and the value of recovery. The State of Maine’s background check report is lengthy and redundant and more times the potential employer never gets to bottom of the report.
Joanna reported that the BARN held a fundraiser over the weekend. Joanna met two individuals that plan on setting up new sober living houses. Joanna will be sponsoring and mentoring them to set up a house for men and one for women.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to designate Judy Alexander to be a signatory. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion moved. 3-0.
PRCC Update -
Chris Lavoie reported to the Commissioners that the Fire Department came to the County’s radio room at 0500 this morning. There was the smell of smoke in the dispatch center in which found one of the state’s 9-1-1 computer equipment burned up. The State was notified and will be up sometime to replace it.
Chris reported that he met with PUC last week for the 9-1-1 bureau meeting. Conversation was around the policy that currently is being used with our radio system. It was understood that there would be no press release for 2-3 weeks. However, a couple days later that the State was one. Channel 5 will be in house tomorrow to report on how this works.
Chris reported that the phone system is still being monitored by our IT department and OTT and as of late, have not received any more SPOOF calls.
Chris and the IT department had an after action review meeting following the incident in the IT department a couple weeks ago. A report will be provided to the Commissioners shortly. Chris states that the carpet has arrived and plan on having it installed in the beginning of the year.
EMA Update –
Michelle updated the Commissioners on the Federal Disaster Declaration from the 2017 wind storm. FEMA reimburses 75%, and the State will reimburse 15% leaving the Towns responsible for 10%. There is administrative funds, called DAC monies, that can be requested by the Towns as well however; the process is confusing. MEMA plans on working 1 on 1 with the communities on both options and they can choose. Michelle is unsure when the Towns will get the State share of funds as it is not in their budget. MEMA is guessing sometime near Summer 2019.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve Ken Strout six to eight (6-8) hours a week from LEPC to work in the EMA office starting January 7, 2019. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion moved 3-0.
Brad attended the annual ice breaker meeting last Friday with the coast guard. The official kick off for the season was yesterday with a conference call.
Michelle spoke about the Health Access Network (HAN) which is a free account that provides mass notifications to all County Employees. Each employee must register to receive these notifications which can be received through email or text. This system would allow better communication to all employees in the timeliest manner possible. Bill has already signed up and it was recommended that he communicate this system at the next MCCA meeting so that other county governments are given the opportunity to use this.
Michelle reported that the active shooter activity went off with no complaints last Friday.
Administrative Update –
Bill received word that the old Maine Human Rights complaint has been dismissed.
Bill attended the MCCA meeting in Augusta last Wednesday and he reports that the budget was challenged and didn’t go well. Bills group is still recommending the DOC allocation to be given to Penobscot County. The shower project for the Wellness Center facility is being hurried to finish up so that it can be billed before year end.
Arraignments have been made with Rudman and Winchell leading a sexual harassment training to occur on January 31st.
Commissioner Cushing and Treasurer Elect attended the MCCA newly elected officials meeting last Friday in Augusta.
Official notification went in the BDN that there will be no County Commission meeting next week and will resume on Wednesday, January 2nd.
The Sheriff’s office participated in Wreaths across America in Arlington again this year.
Kari Kurth, Cody Haverly-Johndro and Jeffrey Durley – Resignation; Daniel Gastia, Ken Strout and Rebecca Woodard – Hired; Brittany Robertson, Joshua Lilley and Evgeni Aleksiev – Payroll Changes; Terry Sullivan – Comp Time.
Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 211,604.45 Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 171,425.45 UT TIF A/P Warrant to be approved for: $80,000.00
Public Comment –
Dan Tremble took a moment to thank the Commissioners and Staff for this great experience of the last 12 years that he’s served as Penobscot County Treasurer. Dan relayed that the people of Penobscot County should feel confident with the County Staff as they are a very professional group of people. Commissioner Baldacci thanked Danny for his service and hopes that he will continue to be involved with the jail project. Commissioner Cushing thanked Danny for his dedication and service.
Doug Dunbar, resident of Hermon, wanted to publically thank Joanna Russell for all she’s done in supporting sobriety through BARN. Doug would like the professional visitation for people that had been incarcerated be changed from the five year ban in order to volunteer. Doug is asking for the written policies on volunteering in which Bill will get for him and provide them to him. Doug is again requesting that the release of inmates at midnight be revisited because he does not feel that is a wise choice for inmates to get out at that time.
Judy Harrison, spoke as a public citizen requesting that we continue to have the “fine pizza” during the Budget Meeting prepared from Fairmont Store.
Commissioner Baldacci states that we have been faced with an amended agreement with WBRC on how to proceed. This board feels we need to refocus because of the price tag concerns. We will hold significant discussions to address feasibility before rushing into anything since there will be no June referendum. We feel we should not be pushed on a fast track until we know what we are doing. We are looking at the best plan and at other funding sources if available since a plan of this size is not feasible without assistance. The price tag didn’t come in early in the process and it doesn’t look as though there will not be any State funding.
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 Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Dan Tremble, Sheriff Morton, LT Hotaling, Jim Ring, John Rouleau, Harry Sanborn, Judy Alexander, Cap Ayer, Terry Sullivan, Chief Birch, Brian Thibeau and John Hiatt. Session ended at 11:59 a.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 12:00 p.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (E) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Sheriff Morton, Chief Bill Birch, Lt Keith Hotaling, Treasurer Elect John Hiatt and Dan Tremble. Session ended at 12:28 p.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 12:29 p.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (E) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Treasurer Elect John Hiatt and Dan Tremble. Session ended at 12:32 p.m. No votes taken.
Commissioner Cushing moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:33 p.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 3-0 Certified By: Administrator, William Collins Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner