For a downloadable copy click HERE
Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes March 26, 2019 2231
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing & Laura Sanborn 27°
Approval of Minutes -
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve February 26th, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Finalization of TAN –
Commissioner Cushing made a motion authorize a $5.1M TAN loan amount with Machias Savings Bank. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion to approve passed 3-0. Signed.
Sheriff’s Update –
Sheriff Morton reported that he has had a busy week in Augusta going to multiple hearings on topics regarding the jail and mental health.
o Representative Warren is sponsoring a bill to promote four regional Restoration Centers that DHHS would set up. There was a spirited discussion with those involved in the mental health professions. Crisis workers feel they can do the work in the field as opposed to locating at a facility. These Centers focus on mental health treatment and divert people from jails to get the help they need. The concept makes sense and law enforcement feels this would be beneficial. However, there is push back from the medical community on who will fund it.
o Sheriff testified on behalf of the BARN (Bangor Area Recovery Network) and the work that they are providing. Sheriff spoke of “Many Pathways to Recovery “which is one of BARN’s four pillars. Sheriff feels there is no one plan that will work for everybody.
o A jail funding bill was moved along even though DOC opposed the bill. Sheriff believes they didn’t want their budget affected.
o Rebecca Grant from MMA (Maine Municipal Association) did an outstanding job discussing the responsibility of paying for the jails. While protecting towns and cities – she spoke of the importance of having multiple tax resources to pay for the jail. Everyone should bear the burden of funding the jails and not just on local property taxes.
o There was a hearing on changing the way an elected official can be removed from an office. That was voted out ought not to pass 11-1.
o Sheriff stated that today’s jail population is down to 162 with 59 inmates in Pre-Trial Services.
o Sheriff reminded the Commissioners that the Maine Sherriff’s Association will be hosting the Annual Conference in Bangor on April 17th and 18th. MSA is looking to have MCCA and MACCAM have a lunch time meeting to share thoughts.
Administration Update –
Bill provided the Commissioners three applications received by the closing date of March 22nd for the LUPC seats. Bill reported there was one received after the closing date. LUPC in Augusta referred Bill to someone else interested in the position. The Commissioners requested time to review the applications and will discuss later when to set up interviews.
Bill delivered correspondence from Probate Judge Amy Lewis Faircloth requesting to modify her schedule from two to three days per week. The Commissioners will take her request under advisement.
Bill received correspondence from Don McCann, Chairman of the Penobscot County Libertarian Party. Mr. McCann is writing in response to the “Red Flag Legislation” being deliberated. He would like to discuss a possibility of a referendum for Penobscot County to become a second amendment sanctuary county. Bill plans on meeting with him to
discuss this issue further.
Bill reported that the voice data recorder contract through OTELCO has been signed.
Commissioner Cushing moved to contract Quest Diagnostic to conduct biometric screenings for the Health Fair in June. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Signed.
Bill stated that all recently signed Union Contracts have been updated in the Commissioners binders.
Bill reported that Executive Director Charlie Pray from MCCA will be out on medical leave. Commissioner Fowler from Waldo County will replace him during his absence. Bill shared requested Penobscot County’s jail data with the Criminal Justice Committee.
Bill conveyed updates for PRCC since both Director Chris Lavoie and Deputy Director Josh Lilley were unable to attend.
o PRCC is down 2 dispatchers, 1 call-taker and 1 Senior Operator. There are four candidates going through the background process. If they succeed this will bring the department to full staffing.
o Chris is working with Whitten’s 2-Way on a significant communication failure that has been occurring in which the backup center has had to be activated. Whitten’s needs a tower climber to go up on the Eddington Tower to assess the situation. Whitten’s installed the new Medway Microwave and it is back up and running successfully.
o Commissioner Cushing brought Chris and Josh to Augusta where they were able to discuss with State Senator’s, Representatives and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology to discuss LD 674 and how it would impact our operation. Chris and Josh later attended a work session where it was voted to defer this bill to a stakeholder committee.
o Chris submitted a grant to the McKenzie Foundation for $250 K for partial funding for a new radio system. Chris is looking to hear back prior to April 15th.
o Chris contacted Mike Michaud to discuss the possibility of co-locating our equipment on the State of Maine towers. Mike will assist him with that process.
o Chris, personnel from the Sheriff’s department, Erika Honey, and Chris Fox met to discuss the recent event in the Jail Lobby. It was decided to have someone from Homeland Security send someone to our buildings to complete a free “threat assessment”.
o A big thank you to Dispatcher Kendrick McCarthy and Senior Operator Blake Miller who have started the floor project and it be finished shortly.
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Bradley Nuding
Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 220,843.00
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $136,918.39
UT A/P Warrant to be approved for: -NONE-
UT TIF Warrant to be approved for: -NONE-
EMA Update –
Michelle Tanguay presented the most current spreadsheet reimbursements of the Windstorm of 2017 in Penobscot County. The federal share monies have been distributed and now the municipalities are just waiting for the final payment which is the state share including the administrative costs. The communities are entitled to 75% from the feds and 15% from the State plus admin costs once everything is completed.
Commissioner Baldacci spoke of some the reforms with FEMA that NACo is working on.
Michelle reported that LD 372 was amended from our initial report out to focus on the response and recovery plans for power companies during events. The bill has been tabled for right now.
Public Comment –
Doug Dunbar, citizen of Hermon wanted to know when the next Building Committee meeting will be held so that he can inform others. Doug reported that Matt Tardie who was a big part of the jail community for education has passed away.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:00 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, John Hiatt and Jim Ring. Session ended at 10:34 a.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:35 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: Bill Collins, Sheriff Morton, Chief Birch, Frank McGuire, John Hamer and Erika Honey. Session ended at 11:20 a.m. No votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:24 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: Bill Collins and Erika Honey. Session ended at 11:42 a.m. No votes taken.
Commissioner Cushing moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:43 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Sanborn 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