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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes August 13, 2019 2250
9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci, Andre Cushing & Laura Sanborn 70°
Approval of Minutes -
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve August 6, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0.
Deeds Update –
Register of Deeds, Susan Bulay is requesting to hire a temporary employee from September to end of year. Susan reports that two employees will be out on medical and she will need replacements. The Commissioners approved Susan’s request to look for an additional person.
Susan requests permission to travel out of state to Texas for the PRIA Conference (Property Records Industry Association) in February. The Commissioners requested more information before approving.
PRCC Update –
Director Chris Lavoie reported that he received a resignation this week from an employee still in training. It was decided that the resignation would be effective immediately to save money on the trainer. Chris has a pool of 9-10 applicants to interview next Tuesday.
Chris thanked Erika Honey, Bill Collins and Lt. Jim Ellis for participating in the Oral Board’s for the senior operator position.
Chris attended the National Guard’s 120th Boss Lift on the base in Bangor. Chris partook in combat and convoy simulators, and rode in a black hawk helicopter. Chris said it was an awesome experience.
Chris recapped the State’s 9-1-1 system failure last week. There was a fiber pipe compromised and 42 cell phone towers between southern Penobscot and Presque Isle failed. Luckily for us our system was only down for a minute compared to everyone else. There is no definitive answers as to what caused this to happen.
Chris reports that he is working with the IT department to get “I AM RESPONDING” set up and fine-tuned.
UT Update –
UT Director, Barbara Veilleux provided pictures of the troll on the Scraggly Lake Road. Barbara stated that it has been removed.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the amended contract with the Town of Mattawamkeag for fire coverage for Kingman Township. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Signed.
Barbara stated that George Buswell has completed the ditching project on Scraggly Lake Road. He is working with the paving companies to see when want to start our projects.
Barbara reported that State UT-Fiscal Administrator Marcia McGinnis has retired.
HR Update –
HR Director, Erika Honey presented an overview of what she has been working this month since her last report.
Recruitment and Retention -
o HR is becoming more involved in the posting of positions for not only the County side, but for Corrections as well. Erika will continue to establish work flow process between the departments.
o There is a clerical specialist position open in Probate which closes Friday. This position was just posted last Friday and we already have 50 applicants.
o There are on-going recruitment efforts for Corrections.
o Erika will be participating in the C/O initial interviews (13) all day Thursday. The Academy will be holding their next class in September and we would like to be able to send some new recruits.
o Erika will be participating with the NWDB Program Assistant interviews at the end of the month.
o Erika spoke to both Sheriff Morton and PRCC Director, Chris Lavoie. Each agree to create one employment application for the County. This application will provide consistency. The new application will be available on our website by the end of the month.
o Erika provided a quick snapshot of historic turnover at the County. Sheriff Morton has commented that turnover for Corrections Officers are a challenge. This is not isolated to us but is a challenge statewide and across the Nation. Erika noted that another County is offering a $2,000 sign-on and retention bonus. Erika is not sure what the guidelines are to get this bonus.
o Erika’s goal is to assist departments with streamlining the hiring process (posting of jobs, collection of applications, setting up interviews, sending out notifications, reviewing interview questions, participating on oral boards, creating offers of employment letters and pre-employment screenings).
Employee Relations –
o Erika is managing all FMLA, ADA, Workers Compensation, Restricted Duty and Return to Work Plans in coordination with departments. Erika has established some process/forms, however, she is still working to solidify some of the policies.
Employee Benefits –
o Erika will be working with Mr. Hansen on our renewal pricing. Erika will be scheduling an employee benefit fair during open enrollment.
o Erika reported that AFLAC had been on site for the last couple weeks and has processed over $6,000 in wellness claims for our employees.
Training/Employee Engagement -
o Newsletter – Erika will be sending out an email today to all the Department Heads announcing that starting September we will be producing a Penobscot County Newsletter. We will use this for communicating upcoming events, reporting on prior events, providing information about department’s services, introducing new staff, etc. The Commissioners feel that a quarterly newsletter to start is appropriate.
o Safety – Erika is waiting for the results from the Department of Homeland security assessment that was conducted last month. Erika will provide a debriefing once received. We are looking to conduct Active Shooter response training in the next month. A CPR re-certification class is being offered on the 21st for County employees; A CPR Certification course will be offered in the near future for County employees that are not mandated by their job.
o Sexual Harassment Training/Respectful Workplace Training – Annual Training to be conducted in October and opened to all County Employees. Erika has partnered with Penquis and their Rape Response Unit who will be conducting the Sexual Harassment Training.
Special Projects –
o PowerDMS – All of our departments now have County email. Erika will be setting up appointments with each department Director and staff in the next two weeks to review and assist with accessing PowerDMS. Right now it is limited to only HR information, but we have plans on expanding more into the program.
o PREA – Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. The Sheriff’s Office, with Captain Clukey as the lead, is currently working on a grant through the DOJ, BJA and PREA Resource Center. This program “PREA Targeted Implementation Planning and Support (TIPS) Program” is a new federal funding opportunity specifically for locally operated small to medium sized jails, juvenile facilities, community confinement facilities, lockups and tribal facilities that are seeking to become sexually safer environments through compliance with the PREA standards. An area Erika and the Sheriff’s Office is concentrating on is a large part of this initiative is the culture component and focusing around training and education of employees and volunteers. This is a 2-3 year grant project with two phases.
The approach we plan on taking is using existing staff and making a team that is comprised of all levels of representation so that we are all trained in the different components. The grant is due August 30th and is a one-to-one match requirement. Grant awards are from $20,000 to $100,000.
o NACo – Erika has started the NACo Leadership Academy course. This is a 12 week program that requires about 3-5 hours per week of course work. There are six groups (about ten participants in each group) from around the nation enrolled. It is broken down into four course areas: Your Leadership Mindset & Positive Engagement, Leading Effective Change, Communication and Collaboration and Leading High Performance Teams. Erika will provide Bill Collins with monthly updates on her progress.
Employee Communication –
o Erika has drafted a HR and Finance – Employee Directory. This will provide communication to employees and departments where to go for what, i.e. Changes on W-4’s, Work Place Injuries, Applications, Parking Passes, etc. While this continues to be worked on, Erika is in hopes that it will be finalized and sent out to employees within the next couple weeks.
Administration Update –
Bill Collins stated that the elevator is fixed.
Bill spoke at length with David Ziskind of STV and wanted to assure the Commissioners that they are working on the schematic design for a new Jail. David’s expectation is that we will be hearing back from the surveyor this week. Their goal is to have something back to the County by Christmas. He also believes it’s very important for the Commissioners to tour a newly built correctional facility. David plans on coming to Bangor within the next two/three weeks.
The paint stripping for the County parking lots was postponed from last Saturday to this Saturday, August 17th.
The Contracts for the PO parking lot paving project has been signed. It will occur at the end of the Month or early September.
A formal request was received from the State Auditor’s Office requesting three years of budgets in a PDF format.
The monthly MCCA meeting is tomorrow.
Bill reported the following information from Maintenance:
o The new gate closers arrived Monday and will be installed today.
o There was an incident where a shower drain located above Sgt. Goodspeed’s Office resulted in water pouring down and hitting Sgt. Goodspeed. A plumber will repair the pipe, electrician will repair the lights and Service Master will disinfect the office
Bill discussed the communication he sent to Attorney Jamie Belleau regarding the bankruptcy notification from a pharmaceutical company that produced opioids. Mr. Belleau appreciated sending the information. There is still no date sent for the meeting in Augusta with the Attorney General.
The Sheriff has created a PowerPoint that talks on why we need a new jail. Sheriff has asked that it doesn’t go public.
There was discussion of Bangor Citizen Larry Dansinger’s request on screening data for the Jail. It was noted that some of what Mr. Dansinger seeks cannot be disclosed due to privacy concerns. Since Larry was not able to attend today’s meeting, it was decided to revisit this topic next week when he is available.
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Jennifer Sanford – Re-hired P/T; Chaz Gray - Deceased; Kyle Bjelf – Payroll Change Notice; Andrew Rideout and Mahkayla Mailman – Resignation; George Buswell, Bradley Fitzgerald, Terry Sullivan and Brittany Robertson – Comp Time.
Payroll Warrant to be approved for pay date: $238,861.44
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for pay date : $64,246.73
UT A/P Warrant to be approved for: NONE
UT TIF Warrant to be approved for: NONE
Katahdin Area Trails Update –
Matt Polstein, Executive Director of Katahdin Area Trail (KAT) reported he was able to provide a fifteen year lease Katahdin Area Trails to satisfy the TIF Committee members concerns.
The project has expanded as KAT received a $250 K grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). The three mile project that TIF will help fund will be connected to another 7-8 miles of the funding through the NBRC grant.
This will bring a total of 10-11 miles of trail building. We have six miles trails built now and this would push us up to 17-18 miles of trails.
This is specifically designed for use as bike trails, but certainly can be used for other events during the winter months such as snow shoeing.
Matt provided three quotes to the Commissioners as follows:
1. Katahdin Area Trails quote – we’ve been building $40 - $45K/mile claim.
2. Joshua Tauses (Trail Consultant) has been working with us provides his best estimates on Hammond Ridge. His quote is $153,600 – a little over our $150K budget.
3. International Mountain Bicycling Association – They would build the downhill (which is more difficult to build) and KAT would build the uphill.
Commissioner Baldacci agrees this will benefit the community to stimulate the economy and draw more people to the region.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the TIF grant in the amount of $ 75K. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Public Comment – None
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:12 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Chris Lavoie and Erika Honey. Session ended at 10:40 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:41 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, John Hiatt and Chris Lavoie. Session ended at 11:01 a.m. NO votes taken.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:02 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Moved to approve 3-0
Administrator, Bill Collins
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner