Penobscot County Commissioners' Minutes from November 26, 2019

December 11, 2019

For a downloadable copy click HERE

 

Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes November 26, 2019 2265
9:00 AM     Commissioners Peter Baldacci and Laura Sanborn                    36°
                   Commissioner Andre Cushing arrived 9:10 a.m.


Public Comment –


Citizen Larry Dansinger is requesting an update from Sheriff Morton on what he is hearing in Augusta. Have any ideas, suggestions on funding mechanisms been discussed for the current or new jail. Commissioner Baldacci stated that the only hope is state funding for shared operations costs. Larry plans on attending a hearing in Augusta and will question if there are any funding sources from other State Entities that are available to help in diversion.


NWDB Update –


Joanna Russell reported that Northeastern Workforce Development Board (NWDB) will continue to host the “Breaking Barriers to Employment” workshops during 2020. The plan is to utilize the recovery centers in Brewer, Machias, Calais, Houlton and Caribou mostly for the job seekers.


Joanna is continuing to wait for the report focusing on our fiscal review from the Maine Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Labor Monitoring Visits. Joanna will report back as soon as she hears something.


Joanna is actively working with the One Stop Operator Consortium to complete the One Stop Partner (OSP) memorandum of understanding (MOU). She is in hopes of completing this by January 1, 2020. The resistance is coming from the MDOL departments as they have not submitted their budgets. Each OSP is required to submit so that we can calculate the cost sharing plan. If we can’t come to an agreement, than we will have to refer to the State Cost Sharing Mechanism to calculate the cost sharing.


Joanna has not received word yet on the Opioid Crisis NEG Application. She feels optimistic since MDOL was asked to submit answers to USDOL’s questions.


Chief Elected Officials (CEO’s) met last Thursday and presented the following updates:


     o NWDB membership and the need to recruit new members from Piscataquis, Hancock and Penobscot Counties
     o Sara McLaughlin provided an overview of the PY18 and PY19 budgets
     o EMDC and ACAP provided overviews of the WIOA programs and new initiatives in the five counties
     o CEO’s discussed the need to put the WIOA services out to bid. The five County Commissioners voted and approved for Joanna to start this process. She is hopeful that a new provider is ready to go July 1, 2020


The next NWDB Quarterly Board Meeting will be held December 12, 2019.

PRCC Update –


Chris Lavoie reported on a trip to Springfield, MA last week with the Spilman group and State Police to look at a new product.


    o Right now we operate on two separate CAD platforms. This new product would sit in the center and connect the state police so we could see active incidents and share information back and forth.
     o We’re trying to get Motorola to allow Penobscot County to pilot this program; currently there is nobody in the country using this.
     o The State would like to do a statewide inoperative platform using this type of software in hopes that we will eventually get everyone to use it. This would allow us to see any statewide incident. Chris is looking for the State to pay for this system.


There were several radio issues over the past few days. Our most recent event was last night in Dexter. Our backup generator was used. More to discuss during executive session.


Sheriff’s Update –


Sheriff Morton stated that today’s jail population is 186 with 51 boarded out to other county jails. There are no federal inmates, no county swaps and 83 inmates in Pre-Trial Services.


Sheriff reports that there were 197 in house yesterday. Sheriff reached out to several jails yesterday that identify as having all kinds of beds available; truth be told, they are looking for minimum security inmates. That is a struggle since those inmates are either used as trustees or in a diversion program or other alternative sentencing.


Sheriff met with the Director of Dorethea Dix, Riverview, and Assistant Director of DHHS. We will continue with follow up meetings. Dr. Schaeffer provided a report to the Sheriff indicating four inmates that are not suitable for incarceration. Unfortunately, there are no beds Statewide to take these individuals with mental health issues.


Sheriff is requesting assistance for locating staffing. Even after graduation from the academy, we are still down eight officers. Staff would appreciate if the Commissioners would visit the jail and thank them for their hard work.


Also the State is requesting a snapshot of all jails average daily population. There is a question on classification. Sheriff will attend a meeting today with MMA in Augusta for more clarification on what is required for information so that everyone accurately provides the same information.


Sheriff is in hopes that our first day reporting class will be held at the end of January. He has found some funding sources for some of the costs of staffing. The Sheriff is very
encouraged with how this is coming together.


Sheriff also reported:


     o Staff has just completed their second round of interviews for Hermon deputies
     o Town of Hermon is requesting to modify their contract. Due to known car issues, Hermon doesn’t want to take possession of the new car.
     o The Bangor Computer Crimes Contract is still in negotiations.
     o A domestic violence grant to hire a violence coordinator was submitted. It has been awarded to Penobscot County. Our challenge is that there are only funds for half of the wages for this position. Sheriff will come back to you on how the remainder of the costs can funded.
       A Resource Sharing Agreement is no further along than it was the last time he presented.


EMA Update –


Michelle Labree presented the 2019 Training and Exercise overview that EMA has offered and participated in this year.


EMA will be holding “Maine Line Safety for First Responder’s” class next month with EMERA. A great crowd that has already RSVP’d.


Michelle and senior dispatcher Betty Stone will be teaching a class in Hermon next month “You are the Help until Help Arrives”.


Michelle and Brad will be meeting with the Coast Guard and MEMA for the upcoming ice season.


Bill thanked Michelle for sending us updates on the recent weather events.


Finance Update –


Finance Director, Judy Alexander provided year to date expenditures and revenues spreadsheets through October 31, 2019.


Tax updates:


     o All taxes are in with exception of one (Webster Plantation);
     o Judy sent out invoices for interest due to four towns that payments came in after October 31st.


Our bank account balance is approximately $8.9M


Judy provided the Commissioners with the County Audit; highlights include:


     o Our undesignated fund balance rose $1.3 M;
     o Pension expense recovery credited $748 K;
     o The auditors will be here December 17th to present the 2018 County audit findings and will begin performing the audit for the UT for FY 2019.


Administration Update –


Administrator reported that he met with Shaw Weeks who will be replacing Barbara Veilleux as Director of the UT. Shaw’s first day will be December 9th.
Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve One Stop Home Repair as the vendor for the two aluminum stairways in the amount of $12,610. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved. Contract signed.


Paint and Snack is sponsored by our Wellness Group and will be held Monday night.


Bill stated that Mary Anne has spoken to the individual requesting a tax abatement from Howland. Mary Anne has emailed her the letter and form to fill out since the mailed copies were returned.


Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the Dignity First event on Saturday, December 21 to be held at the Y Parking Lot. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0.


Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve the Public Budget Hearing on December 17th, 2019. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0.


Commissioner Cushing made a motion to approve a deputy out on light duty to use the former DA’s Toyota Corolla to work at the Sheriff’s Office. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0.


Bill and Erika will be attending the Workers Comp quarterly review meeting next Thursday.


Bill reported he and Erika will be attending the MCCAM meeting in Augusta next Friday.


Payroll Change Notices signed for: Jesse Dow – Resignation; Robert Booth, Jakob Bouchard, Dalton Dunnells, Tracey Erickson, Ronald Ogden, Kayle Prescott, Jeremiah Smith, Louis St. Pierre and Tracie Wasson – Payroll Changes; George Buswell, Jordanna Sprague and Tyler Thompson – Comp Time.


Payroll Warrant to be approved for: $253,226.62
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $257,336.98
Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: NONE
Unorganized Territory TIF Warrant to be approved for: NONE

Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:15 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Bill Collins, John Hiatt and Judy Alexander. Session ended at 10:28 a.m. No votes taken.


Meeting Adjourned-


Commissioner Cushing moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 a.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Moved to approve passed 2-0


Certified By:

Administrator, William Collins

Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner

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