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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes April 16, 2019 2234
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing, Laura Sanborn 43°
Approval of Minutes -
Commissioner Cushing made a motion to approve March 19, 2019 and April 2, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
NWDB Update –
Joanna Russell reported that Federal to State WIOA Funding for PY19 looks like a total of about 9.9% cut in the budget overall. (Approximately $250 K)
o Dislocated Worker Program was cut by 3.12%
o Adult Program was cut by 9.9%
o Youth Program was cut by 9.88%
When NWDB receives their local allocation, we will work with the service providers to build their line item budgets & program plans. Once that is completed, we will present the overall plan and budget to the local board itself for approval. In addition, whatever Commissioner Fortman decides to do around the policies that have already been developed prior to her hiring will also impact our budgets from PY18 and PY19. The 70-30% allocations towards training versus overall operations. Joanna’s hoping that Ms. Fortman is going to change that policy.
MDOL continues to work with USDOL to provide technical assistance to the Local Boards as we prepare to develop the cost sharing plan with all our required partners. There are 21 workforce partners described in the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. Joanna plans to schedule a meeting with our local northeast area work force development area one stop partners to discuss the information provided at the April 9th meeting held in Augusta. I’ll present the excel template sheet which was actually provided by the Department of Administrative and Financial services in Augusta. This template shows each partner can put in their budget for their USDOL allocation and will use that budget to calculate total cost of the total workforce system and create a cost sharing plan where all partners contribute to one stop career center. Our next meeting with USDOL is scheduled for May 22, 2019.
The Board received our financial review letter for FY17 from Department of Administrative and Financial Services. I am pleased to report that NWDB had no findings for our review. Thanks to Sara McLaughlin, our financial consultant for her great work!
NWDB is hosting its next quarterly meeting June 12th from 10 – 2 at the new Bangor Savings Bank building down by the waterfront. The board will host approximately 75 people and provide three workshops. The first workshop will clarify the provide information on the “rap sheet”; the second workshop will be facilitated by Amy Sneirson from the Maine Human Rights Commission who will walk employers through the process of interviewing and hiring folks in recovery; and the last workshop will be on “Recovery” and hiring folks who have changed their lives and are ready to become supporting members of their communities. Joanna would like to have representation from the BARN to discuss the challenges in the legal background getting employed and successes in employment.
Sheriff’s Update –
Sheriff reported that today’s jail population is 202 (157 males, 44 females) with 38 boarded out to other county jails. There is one federal marshal, and one county swap and 73 inmates in Pre-Trial Services.
Sheriff states this this was a busy weekend with 49 new arrests bookings within 72 hour period.
Sheriff met with the Town of Hermon regarding their community policing program. Hermon’s contract expires this year and are looking at possibly extending it for a five year contract. It shows a strong commitment from the town that they want to continue. The Sheriff will keep the Commissioners posted on any new developments.
Sheriff is also communicating with the Town of Orrington regarding their community policing program. They’ve had some challenges due to building and personnel issues. Their long term sergeant has resigned as well as some part time officers. Sheriff will be meeting with the town manager and select board to see where they want to go in regards to their community policing program. Sheriff will recommend either a supplement contract (like Eddington, Milford, Orrington, etc.). Sheriff finds this challenging since under the community policing program they are not our employees, we cannot direct what they should do if a problem such as personnel or scheduling issues arise. The County provides their law enforcement credentials, training and other support services such as court and investigative services. This service with Orrington has been in place a very long time and Sheriff feels it beneficial to end the existing arrangement. Commissioner Baldacci states we can’t keep subsidizing these towns with our resources.
Our two newest deputies are up and running. We still have one full time position to hire a contract deputy to be assigned to Carmel. Sheriff will start this process and the Carmel Town Manager will be involved in the final selection.
Sheriff reported that the MSA conference is underway and will have eight courses of instruction.
The jail funding bills that were scheduled this week in Augusta have been tabled until next week.
Sheriff spoke about the Aroostook County lawsuit in which an inmate will be provided her suboxone treatment. There is no permanent direction from DOC in regards to other facilities provision of the same treatment. Dr. Noah Nesin, Dr. Tripp Gardner and Laurie Dwyer, CEO of PCHC were on the campus last week and after touring the jail were taken back. They will be coming again with some thoughts and practices that may assist us.
Sheriff introduced Amy Brook from CHCS who oversees our service contract for mental health in the jail.
o Amy reported that CHCS has been in partnership for a little over a year as the contract provider for mental health in the jail.
o There is a master’s level clinician in the jail seven days a week. The first thing we tend to do is clear out holding for psychiatric crises in order to free up space. The clinician then tends to mental health needs that are not quite in the crisis stage; so it doesn’t require an ED visit or something that is going to consume more resources.
o We have added 25 hours a week of coverage so we are able to bring in another part time person for evening hours. Feedback from the night crew correction officers has been very helpful to intervene before something escalates into a full blown crisis.
o Dr. Schaffer is now at three hours per week. The process in place now allows Dr. Schaffer to attend to a number of inmates.
o Limited space is a challenge. Dr. Schaffer’s time is valuable and when resources are thin trying to move inmates around can burn up time quickly.
UT Update –
Barbara Veilleux reported that the invitations to participate in our cooperative salt bid have been mailed to all towns in Penobscot County.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to send George Buswell to the Maine
Resource and Recovery Association convention April 29 and 30 at Point Lookout at a cost of $275. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0.
Barbara states that the State has received out packet for our LUPC appointment nomination letter to the Executive Director of the Legislative Information Office.
The Office would like us to send out separate letter that addresses Charlie Pray’s withdrawal and nomination. Barbara will get that out to them today.
Barbara received a message this morning from Samantha Horne, a planner for LUPC. A new bill has been introduced that would amend the laws governing the LUPC.
o Require the commission to coordinate with neighboring municipalities by engaging in regional land use planning and directing future development into the communities where possible.
o Direct the commission to conduct an inventory of all existing structures in the unorganized and deorganized areas of the State by July 1, 2020.
o The Governor would appoint five members with a change in the required expertise of the appointees.
PRCC Update –
Chris Lavoie reported that this week is National Telecommunications Week. Chris will have cake and ice cream on Wednesday and extended an invitation to the Commissioners.
The NENA Conference will take place in South Portland in three weeks. Chris has seven members attending. Chris has nominated three people for awards.
On staffing, Chris reported that two are moving forward and will be scheduled for their polygraph. Chris has two more positions to fill and will re-advertise.
Chris stated that the carpets will be completed on a weekend overnight soon when it is not quite so busy and there is less staffing.
The spare microwave radio has been ordered, but there is no ship date as of this time.
Chris has not received any information on the McKenzie Grant, but feels he should be hearing any day.
Deeds Update –
Susan Bulay updated the Commissioner on the Map Legislation that was held last Wednesday in Augusta. After Susan’s testimony, the surveyors stated they will not support the bill. There has been communication, Susan feels confident that it can be worked out with language both parties can agree on. After the work session tomorrow, hopefully the amendment will be satisfactory for both the registers and surveyors.
Susan is requesting to start the process of hiring a replacement for her Deputy Register who is retiring August 2nd.
Finance Update –
Finance Director, Judy Alexander requests funds from Dept. 32 - Buildings and Grounds be carried forward from 2018 into the reserves for 2019 in the amount of $107,628.83. Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the fund transfer as presented. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0.
Administration Update –
Bill Collins reported that Cap Ayer should be back to work by the end of the month after shoulder surgery.
Bill provided a response from Judge Faircloth noting her reasons why she would like her hours/wage modified. Bill will meet with her this week.
Don McCann will be here next week at the Commissioners meeting to discuss his position on the Red Flag Law.
Bill reported that Commissioner Baldacci had received a call from the Governor’s Office regarding our LUPC seat. Commissioner Baldacci informed the State that interviews were held and our nomination (Mr. Peter Pray) has been sent in.
Bill and Commissioner Baldacci reported on the MCCA meeting last week. Presenter Dave Cheever from Maine State Achieves, is the Chair of the Maine Bicentennial Commission and they are planning a series of celebrations throughout the State next year for our 200 year Anniversary.
o One event is having tall ships sail into Casco Bay and come up to Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers and make stops in Bucksport and Bangor. They would like young people ages 14-21 to have the opportunity to work on the tall ships for about a week sailing. They would like counties to make these nominations.
o Planting of white birch trees
o Time capsules
Bill reported John Hiatt has been in the press lately in regards to Autism Month. John has been interviewed by television news and received congratulation mail.
The Department of Justice paperwork for Shaketta Cunningham is still being worked on.
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Nicholas Hardwick
Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $ 224,892.00
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $102,112.44
UT A/P Warrant to be approved for: $55,192.82
UT TIF Warrant to be approved for: -NONE-
Public Comment -
Larry Dansinger, citizen of Bangor, presented: Report of the Intergovernmental Pretrial Justice Reform Task Force from 2015, Jail/Arrest Diversion Grant Program from the State of Massachusetts and Appendix G regarding Bail and Pre-trial services.
Commissioner Baldacci stated that DA Lynch will be in attendance at the April 30th Commissioners meeting.
Monique Gautreau, an eight year volunteer through her faith community at jail, stated she has followed a number of people throughout the years and has watched their experiences and heard some of their stories. She requests that as you go forward to consider what form the new Penobscot County Jail will look like, i.e. beds planned for and consideration of tax payer monies. There are more programs addressing the underlying reasons for incarceration from rehab for alcohol and drugs, homelessness which ties into the population.
Monique, when time allows attends the Maine Prisoner Reentry Network meetings that are held once a month. At the last meeting she attended, she found multiple program brochures to assist the inmate opportunities when they get out. Because of this, Monique doesn’t see the population in the jail increasing. Demographics are not pointing in the direction of more beds being necessary. A few of the programs mentioned: the RISE program which is already in the jail that has federal monies to help while incarcerated instead of waiting until inmates get out on the streets, gives them an opportunity to plan ahead, i.e. housing, jobs, transportation, & counseling.
Commissioner Baldacci states that a re-entry program is great for prisons, but unfortunately 70% of our population has not yet been sentenced. Also, many of the jail population are in for bail violations. These folks were released on bail, then somehow violated their conditions and ended up back in jail. The national trend is to get away from cash bails. The judge will decide upon safety issues and conditions. Commissioner Baldacci reiterated that we need to stop the boarding out not only for the monetary expense, but for the support system for the inmates housing them here. Sheriff injected, that the focus should not be on the number of beds being built. Housing as it is now sabotages the hard work done with certain inmates, but having to house someone just coming in with perhaps drugs, attitude. It should be more focused on a building that will incarcerate and allow appropriate space for more available programs to the inmates. This will allow them tools they need when they leave. Sheriff thanked Monique for volunteering. The RISE program that is in the jail plants a seed and eliminates barriers once the inmate get out. RISE program has housing and transportation, PCHC Dr. Gardner services are all free. However, you cannot force inmates into following through once they get out. There are multiple programs available, the question is HOW you get people to stay with the program once they are out.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:52 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, Judy Alexander, Sheriff Morton, Treasurer John Hiatt and Erika Honey. Sheriff Morton left at 11:20 a.m. Session ended at 11:44 a.m. No votes taken.
Commissioner Cushing moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:45 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 3—0.
Administrator, Bill Collins
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner