Penobscot County Commissioners' Meeting Minutes for January 29, 2019
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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes January 29, 2019 2224 9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Laura Sanborn and 2° Andre Cushing (Arrived 9:20 AM)
Approval of Minutes -
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve January 2 and January 8, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
Sheriff’s Update –
Sheriff Morton stated that today’s jail population is 169 (139 males, 30 females) with 72 boarded out to other county jails. There are no federal inmates, no county swaps and 77 inmates in Pre-Trial Services.
Sheriff met with Jeff Caulfield who has secured a grant with PCHC for Hep C screening. Jeff provided information on the amount of people in Penobscot County with Hep C. Hep C is typically associated with substance abuse and needles. It is a high risk situation. Jeff was given a tour of the jail. The Sheriff will continue to work with Mr. Caufield to develop a plan.
Sheriff stated that MEDPRO has provided an updated contract with additional nursing coverage. Unfortunately, the quote is $262 K (over budget) to provide RN coverage for 24 hours a day. The Sheriff should proceed with a contract but continue to negotiate if possible to lower the cost of 24 hour nursing care.
The Sheriff has been invited to attend the Bangor Chamber of Commerce Hot Stove meeting’s that are held on Saturday mornings. Sheriff feels we should perhaps make an appearance to discuss the issues we are facing such as the jail expansion, legislation or any topics regarding the jail.
Sheriff reported that we as well as other agencies statewide are having issues with the State of Maine fingerprint live scan. The State required updates to the system and promised it would be a plug and play with no issues. After the installation, the booking screen is not speaking with the other systems. It is now takes twice as long for the booking procedures. This has become a major problem.
Sheriff and his administration team met with Probation and Parole. There was discussion on how to do things differently. Sheriff stated the meeting was beneficial and feels that small changes will make a huge difference. He reports that the stay of executions are still a problem. We had 54 stays alone this year.
Bill Collins interjected that he had spoken to MCCA Director Charlie Pray and was told of the special ad hoc group meeting yesterday with criminal justice and appropriation members in regards to ongoing Jail Funding.
MSA and members of the committee have agreed to a bus tour of facilities for key Legislators. No dates have been set, but does indicate Penobscot will be part of the tour. Currently, there is question as who will be picking up the cost for meals and lodging. NWDB Update –
Joanna Russell stated she met with Commissioner Laura Fortman from the Maine Department of Labor and spoke about issues important and relevant to the State Workforce Board. Commissioner Fortman is giving serious consideration to revising the 70/30 policy. Joanna spoke with the Commissioner about the competitive skills scholarship program (CSSP) which uses unemployment insurance funding for the State of Maine. Joanna also reviewed the NWDB activities that have occurred over the last couple years. Joanna’s hope is that Commissioner Fortman will attend the NWDB quarterly meeting in March. March 14, 2019 from 10am-1pm. The additional meetings will be held the 2nd Thursday of June, September and December.
Joanna worked with Judy Alexander and Jon Farley from EMDC to hold interviews for the new NWDB Program Assistant. The position was offered to Ashley Smith who will begin in her new role on Monday, February 11th, 2019.
The NWDB budget was approved as presented. Joanna noted that budget and operations are not flowing as they normally would. This is due to the workforce WIOA funds being withheld for the last year and has delayed spending leaving us with about two years of funding. This will impact program performance and operations in about six months.
The Recovery & Workforce Program developed by the NWDB, Jon Farley of EMDC, the Hancock County Jail Administrator, and Barbara Royal from the Open Door Recovery Center. Program performance is being looked at closely with Washington and Aroostook Counties. This Program has resulted in individuals entering employment through the job readiness training and job development.
Joanna provided an update to the Commissioners regarding the December 19th, 2018 meeting Maine’s Opiod Crisis: Removing Barriers to Workforce Development. Joanna states that there were a number of businesses, HR representatives, and State Representatives in attendance. Joanna reports that overall there were two very important presentations with the most impact. o Jim Woodside from the Maine State Police/SBI is the person in charge of the State’s legal background documents. He presented to the group of some of the issues when employees pull up these legal backgrounds. Employees have requested a presentation from him on how to work with job candidates that are trying to change. o Amy Sneirson, Executive Director from the Maine Human Rights Committee was helpful by providing an outline on what employers could focus on in interviews that would make themselves vulnerable. There was a request for another workshop dedicated to Human Rights. Further the group requested an opportunity to learn more about the Drug Court program. The employers are very supportive and want to understand this program. Commissioner Baldacci recommended that Joanna request a meeting with the new Penobscot District Attorney Marianne Lynch. Joanna agreed to act on that in the near future.
Joanna extended an open invitation to Commissioners to attend the public quarterly meetings on the second Thursday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Joanna provided an update on Bangor Area Recovery Network (B.A.R.N.). o Sober housing is adding another house purchased by Matt Roy in Bangor with ten new sober beds. o BARN was awarded the M. Jane Irving Community Service Award during the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. They received two standing ovations for the work that they do in providing Bangor Region’s quality of life. Two banks (Bangor Savings Bank and Machias Savings Bank) were so moved by the video presenting information relevant to the work of BARN, they each made a donations of $5,000.
PRCC Update –
Chris Lavoie provided an update of the radio issue that has been ongoing in East Millinocket and Medway. Chris met with the fire chief of East Millinocket and their administrator. They spoke of the project we are working on and the funding issues we are facing. Radio testing was completed and the audio that has been an issue was fixed. We are still waiting on the equipment that was ordered to arrive. Chris has been researching grants for the communication systems. Chris doesn’t believe we qualify for federal funding as systems that are federal funded need to be P-25 compliant. Our system is not P25 compliant as this format is a digital radio system. The cost to the end user is significant to change over. Chris has identified a grant through Gloria Mackenzie Foundation that does fund government projects with as much as $250K grant. It is due by March 1st. Chris intends on submitting a grant request. He is also going to find out what they would need included in our request. If awarded the grant, the monies would not be allotted until 2020.
Chris reported that three dispatchers went to the mental health training and first aid class that was held recently. Chris states that all dispatchers and call takers will be attending that class being held next month. Employees that don’t make it to the mental health and first aid class will go to the 40 hour Crisis Intervention Team class for CIT certification. Dispatchers deal with the mental health crisis. We have had situations where callers didn’t want to speak to crisis negotiators. Some dispatchers have resolved stand offs over the phone. Chris believes it is important for Dispatchers to be trained in the mental health and first aid.
Chris stated that the board and radio committee meeting will be held tomorrow.
Bill Collins asked Chris about the issues with the radio computer driver which was malfunctioning. Chris said it had fixed.
Buildings Update –
Cap Ayer and Terry Sullivan presented the Commissioners quotes for renovations for their approval. o Judge’s Chambers – to update existing office which has not been updated since the early 1970’s. o Probate Office – requesting a half wall on top of existing countertop for security purposes.
o Woman’s Bathroom – to update with new fixtures, walls and tiles. This was not updated when the rest of the building had been.
After reviewing bids, Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to award the Bid to Aaron Newcomb Building Construction, Inc. with a recommendation to have a solid start and completion date included and adhered to in the contract for new work. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Cap asked the Commissioners if they were still interested in having the Post Office parking lot paved since it is in need of repair. Commissioner Baldacci recommended they prepare a bid to go out.
EMDC Update –
Lee Umphrey, CEO of Eastern Maine Development Corporation complimented Joanna Russell and her work on substance abuse problems. Lee, too, met with Commissioner Fortman, Maine’s new Department of Labor’s Commissioner and also the Economic Developer. There was discussion about ways to blend workforce and economic development and suggested to use our region as part of innovation and pilot program.
Lee presented an update on the Katahdin Region Revitalization Economic Development Director position. The job posting went out and has brought in 17 applicants. The first round of telephone interviews will take place on Friday with five candidates. Lee provided a list of people that are on the Board and stated that they have had meetings in East Millinocket and Patten. Lee is hopeful the successful candidate can start in a month or so. In addition, Lee met with the northern border and states that the plan is to put together another proposal for a coordinator to assist the new director, as well as some new technology investments in the office. The office will be situated at the Community College in East Millinocket.
Commissioner Cushing moved to have Commissioner Sanborn replace Commissioner Davis’ seat on the EMDC Board. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Awarding of the County Used Vehicles Bids
Judy Alexander reported to the Commissioners that she received another bid emailed in the allotted time that has been added to the official spreadsheet. Commissioner Baldacci noted that Cody’s Siding bid has been added to the spreadsheet.
Commissioner Cushing questioned the process on awarding of bids. Judy explained that the bidders have 30 days to remit the bid amount in certified funds and pick up the vehicle or they forfeit the bid and the vehicle goes to the next highest bidder.
Judy Alexander presented an official spreadsheet on the counties used vehicle bids. The proceeds from the sales of the Counties used vehicles will go into Sheriff’s vehicle escrow account.
Winning Bidders were:
o Derek Smith $ 2,200 for 2012 Chevrolet Impala, $ 1,500 for 2010 Ford Crown Vic and $ 1,500 for 2010 Crown Vic o Bill Grindle $ 1,027.21 2008 Ford Crown Vic o Tyler Overlock $ 4,009 for 2013 Ford Explorer, $ 5010 for 2014 Ford Explorer o Chicago Motors $ 3,807 for 2013 Ford Explorer o Grace Quality Used Cars $ 4,900 for 2013 Ford Explorer.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the bids as presented. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion to approve passed 3-0.
Finance Update –
Judy Alexander presented the Commissioners an unofficial year end revenue and expense report for 2018. These numbers will be subject to change.
Judy states the there was only one department that was overspent and that was due to an insurance plan updating from single to family.
Judy brought to the Commissioners attention that we may want to consider the cost of replacing our 30 year old boilers before we have a crisis situation and begin putting funds into a capital account for their replacement. The Commissioners requested that Judy work with Cap and Bill on this issue for cost estimates.
Judy reports that there are still two towns with tax commitments that we are waiting on.
Judy states that we may need to go out for the TAN earlier this year. Judy will be keeping an eye on where we stand and will report back.
HR Update -
Erika Honey, Human Relations Director reported that during her first week has met most department heads briefly and has gained access of the different systems for HR and payroll.
Erika will report on statistics of new hires, turn overs and workmen comp at a later time once the information is compiled.
Erika is working on developing a work plan and doing a review process on all our HR practices. She and Bill will meet and prioritize together.
Erika recognized in reviewing the new employee orientation packages that we are missing a required document. DSER is a mandated New Hire Reporting under the Maine Child Support Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery. Commissioner Cushing moved to incorporate DSER in the orientation package going forward. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion moved 3-0.
Erika reported she will be working with the department directors and working through workers comp issues. All the departments are participating in the sexual harassment class being held Thursday.
Erika is working with LT Hotaling on bringing to this side of the house Power DMS that is used at the Sheriff’s office. Erika feels this will benefit all the departments.
Administrative Update –
Bill Collins reported that EMA provided information to him to be shared this morning. o Currently there is a workshop with state partners being held this morning with training and exercise plan for the next three years. o Working with the Bangor Region on the reunification plan draft presented and will be meeting to review it. They’re participating with the University of Maine System table top exercise next Monday. Brad is part of the planning team with Eastern Maine and the University. o EMA is holding a planning meeting next week for the tabletop exercise for EMA functions. This scenario will be weather based. o Ongoing with coast guard with ice breaking on the Penobscot River. Waiting to hear when they plan to come. o Bill reported that he had direct communication with Rob Frank from WBRC and he has sent electronically all the information requested from what has been done thus far.
The Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) seat is being advertised. The cutoff date being February 8th.
Commissioner Baldacci forwarded information regarding the Boundary and Annotation survey which has been given to Barbara.
IT is in the process of updating the computers in this room.
Bill has been very busy with negotiations which will be discussed in executive session.
There was discussion held on Commissioner Cushing’s request to hold meetings twice a month versus the standing weekly meetings that is currently held. Commissioner Sanborn at this time cannot support the change in meetings. Commissioner Baldacci would like department heads to come in monthly or at least quarterly for updates.
Commissioner Cushing is requesting that the Commissioners receive information on items to be voted upon the Friday before the meeting.
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Kayle Prescott – Hired Full-time; Stephen Marko, Noel Santiago, Beau Seekins, Gary Mehuren, Nicholas Covell, Barbara Veilleux and Michelle Tanguay – Payroll changes; Cap Ayer and Mary Anne Hesseltine – Comp time.
Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 213,390.93 Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for pay date 1/25/19: $500.00 Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for pay date: 1/29/19: $70,292.64 UT A/P Warrant to be approved for : - NONE-
Public Comment –
Doug Dunbar, citizen of Hermon, spoke with Jenna Maynard who is a peer support specialist. Doug is requesting that there be a change in the volunteer policy prohibiting former inmates not being allowed to volunteer before five years out. Doug states that he and Jenna spoke of the healthy minds movement with more to be done. Doug states that if funding is an issue, he has a group of concerned citizens that will pay for the education.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:30 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Treasurer John Hiatt, and HR Director Erika Honey. Session ended at 10:56 a.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:57 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Erika Honey and Sheriff Morton. Session ended at 11:50 a.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:51 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Chris Lavoie, Josh Lilley and Erika Honey. Session ended at 12:02 p.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 12:03 p.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, PRCC Director Chris Lavoie, Deputy Josh Lilley and HR Director Erika Honey. Session ended at 12:08 p.m. No votes taken.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:09 p.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 3-0
Administrator, William Collins Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner