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Penobscot County Commissioners' Minutes from August 20, 2019

For a downloadable copy click HERE

Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes August 20, 2019 2251

9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci & Laura Sanborn 70° Commissioner Andre Cushing (Arrived 9:12)

Approval of Minutes -

Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve August 13, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.

Sheriff’s Update –

  • Chief Birch reported that today’s jail population is 146 (122 males, 24 females) with 69 boarded out, and 78 currently in Pre-trial services. Chief states that although the numbers are down in the jail, we have a high number of inmates boarded out. The intake/holding area is very crowded with inmates coming in with special needs and mental health issues.

  • Chief states that the new Patrol hires are all set up and doing well in their new roles. The Town of Orrington is very happy with the new law enforcement contract and the Sheriff’s department is still working with the Town of Hermon.

  • Lt. Hotaling and Chief Birch reported regarding the public request for additional data on incarcerated inmates.

  • Commissioner Baldacci stated that the reason for this request is for a better idea of who is being incarcerated. This information (offenses, pre-trial or sentenced) could be used to apply for grants for jail programming, diversion efforts, and/or therapies.

  • Lt. Hotaling states that we are following guidelines set from the FBI/Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS). These guidelines have a high security threshold for information. Lt. Hotaling states there are parameters for summary information, but a lot of what is being requested is protected information. Due to HIPPA, mental health interviews fall under this category and this information cannot be released. Information that can be released is updated daily online on our website. It lists who is currently in-house and those who are boarded out.

  • Lt Hotaling reports we work on grant applications and they are looking for more summary information.

  • We don’t have any form or document that comes close to what is being requested. Our database is more of a management, with averages and trends.

  • Lt. Hotaling stated he will put together a spreadsheet of information that can be released; such as how many bookings, Classes (A-C), Probation Revocations, and average length of stay.

  • Commissioner Baldacci requested that Lt. speak to our mental health providers to see if they have information that may be useful with the opioid lawsuit. It is important to know these facts of how these numbers have placed a burden on the jail. Lt. Hotaling states it has been difficult to identify. It was recommended to look at costs at our jail budget in 2008, compared to 2019. This will reflect where the cost increases occurred; such as medical prescriptions, hospitalizations, medical contracts, etc. Lt. Hotaling will do this.

  • Bill Collins reports that there will be a meeting by the end of the month with the Attorney General and Lawyers regarding the opioid lawsuit.

  • Bill states that he has heard from Aroostook County Commissioner Fournier that they are increasing their jail medical budget by $300 K.

  • Larry Dansinger stated his request is for the purpose of applying for grants and programming thus needing the data to do so. He also doesn’t understand the purpose of why the charges are publicized. He feels that the violations are misleading as listed. He is not sure if the inmate is pre-trial and/or sentenced.

  • Commissioner Baldacci recommended that there be a tour of the jail for the Commissioner’s and interested citizens.

  • Commissioner Baldacci asked the status of the Board of Visitors. Captain Clukey states that currently there is no Board of Visitors committee.We are in a recruitment stage. Commissioner Baldacci would like an update next week on the progress of this.

UT Update –

  • UT Director, Barbara Veilleux reported she and George Buswell went to the Millinocket to do some 9-1-1 addressing. They met with Matt Polstein who requested new road names on his property: Katahdin View Drive, Gravity Lane and Hammond Ridge Road. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve these new road names. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0.

  • Barbara states that yesterday was very productive locating some very remote camps.

  • Barbara presented for signature the following snow removal contracts previously approved:

  • Grand Lake Road plowing contract with K & C Quik Stop & Service Center. Signed.

  • Argyle plowing contract Joe Reinzo. Signed.

  • Barbara reported that the Greenfield paving project is set to begin either next week or the first week of September.

  • Barbara stated that roadside mowing is in progress right now.

Administration Update –

  • Bill provided a letter from Travis Kennedy regarding to LD 1518 – Brown tail moth research. He is looking for a letter of support from the County as well as other local municipalities before August 30th.Commissioner Baldacci requests more information on this topic.

  • Sheriff is currently with members of WBRC and SVT in Syracuse touring a jail facility.

  • Bill signed the agreements SW Cole for soil samples as well as Shyka, Shepard & Garster and survey work they are doing.

  • The lower parking lot has been paint striped.

  • The City of Bangor Parking Commission is meeting to discuss Court Street and the two hour parking ban.

  • Bill and Commissioner Baldacci reported on the MCCA meeting that they attended last Wednesday. Major part of the discussion was the new dues funding formula. All counties that were present approved with the exception of Washington County. Also remember Franklin County is no longer a member of MCCA.

  • Chris Lavoie and Tyler Thompson are each on vacation this week.

  • The Sheriff’s Office Employee Appreciation Barbeque is scheduled next Tuesday in the back parking lot.

  • The Wellness Committee has a Fall Wellness Challenge that is starting September 9th for eight weeks. If you would like to participate the deadline to sign up is August 31st.

  • Commissioner Baldacci has been asked to serve on the State Workforce Board.

  • Payroll Change Notices signed for:Kendrick McCarthy and Gerald Carstensen – Promotions.

  • Payroll Warrant to be approved for pay date:$230,037.51

  • Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for pay date : $57,801.47

  • UT A/P Warrant to be approved for: $27,789.55

  • UT TIF Warrant to be approved for: NONE


Larry Dansinger stated that he was unaware of a databased spreadsheet system in which he feels will be very helpful to have access to.

Larry wanted to follow up on the July 23rd meeting minutes when Sheriff Morton reported:

Sheriff feels now that the video arraignment project is in full swing, we can temporarily utilize this room to be used for intake; not booking. Sheriff will present a proposal in a couple weeks to hire two civilian staff clerical members to provide administrative work and free up the corrections officers.

Larry feels that once this is implemented, it could be helpful in getting the information needed for the spreadsheets. He is hopeful that some of the monies received yesterday by PCHC for the opioid program will provide data that can be used by the Sheriff’s Office.

Larry commented that there will be more legislation regarding bail conditions once back in session. He thinks having the inmate list include who is being held on bail and their amounts will be useful to him in presenting to the Committee.

Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 9:45 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, Cap Ayer, Chief Birch, Captain Clukey and Lt. Ty Babb . Cap Ayer left at 9:58 a.m. Lt. Babb left at 10:31 a.m. Session ended at 10:43 a.m. NO votes taken.

Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:43 a.m. under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approve 3-0. Present was: Bill Collins Session ended at 10:49 a.m. NO votes taken.

Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:49 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, Renee Stupak and Judge Amy Faircloth. Session ended at 11:06 a.m. NO votes taken.

Meeting Adjourned-

Commissioner Cushing moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:08 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 3-0.

Certified By:

Administrator, Bill Collins


Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman


Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner

Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner

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