Penobscot County Commissioners' Minutes from January 14, 2020
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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes January 14, 2020 2269 9:00 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci and Laura Sanborn 23° Commissioner Andre Cushing arrived 9:20 a.m.
Public Comment –
Rep. Lawrence Lockman of Bradley came before the Commissioners to discuss the County Commissioners giving their consent to allow refugees settlements sponsored by taxpayer funded non –profit agencies in our County.
Rep. Lockman stated that President Trump issued an executive order in September, 2019 requiring these agencies receive written consent from both state and county governments before allowing refugees in for re-settlement. Governor Mills gave her written consent on behalf of state government on December 16, 2019.
Commissioner Baldacci asked if Mr. Lockman feels that the refugees are a net negative. He replied research he has done, shows that the refugees are a net negative. Rep Lockman believes that there is no benefit to refugees being here and will provide data to prove his case. Commissioner Baldacci asked if he was aware if there were any refugee’s settlements coming into Penobscot County. Rep. Lockman stated no, he was being proactive in the event there is movement to Penobscot County.
Ms. Melissa Berkey, a citizen of Bangor opposed Rep. Lockman’s presentation. She stated his economic argument is unfounded. She feels Rep. Lockman comments on social media demonstrate he is a fear monger and possesses paranormal abilities on how a person will vote based on which country they immigrate from and the color of their skin. Rep. Lockman fears that these immigrants will take over seats from “Trump” States. Anyone coming from a Muslim Country is clearly here to promote Sharia law and white genocide. Ms. Berkey ended her statement by saying she is in support of Governor Mills to allow refugees into the State of Maine.
Phil Locke, a citizen of Bangor stated he was here to back up the statements of Ms. Berkey. Mr. Locke read an inscription from Emma Lazarus that is found at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your, poor, Your huddled masses Yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, Tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Gene French, a citizen from Lincoln stated that he came to learn more about how the Commissioners feel about refugee resettlement.
Commissioner Baldacci thanked everyone for their comments. Today’s discussion will be taken under advisement and discussed again at next week’s meeting.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 9:12 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Motion approved 2-0. Present were: Commissioners, Bill Collins, Erika Honey, Marianne Lynch, Kristine Higgins, Judy Alexander and John Hiatt. Session ended at 9:35 a.m. No votes taken.
UT Update –
Director Shaw Weeks presented the regional animal control agreements with the Towns of Eddington and Bradley. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the contracts as presented. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 3-0. Signed.
Shaw presented the Patten Ambulance Service Agreement. T1 R6 is completely covered and not just beyond mile marker 253 by this contract. Commissioner Sanborn moved to approve as presented. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Signed.
There will be a public hearing next Tuesday for Sawmill Grill’s special amusement permit.
Administration Update –
Administrator Bill Collins stated that STV from New York will be here tomorrow and Thursday.
The Emera Maine and Three Phase Construction project ran smoothly Wednesday. However Thursday we experienced a generator failure while Erika Honey was hosting Safety Works.
Commissioners Cushing and Treasurer, John Hiatt are registered to attend the Chamber’s Annual dinner on January 24th.
AFSME Corrections Line will be in later today for contract signing. Mr. Mackie field representative, Steve Lyons from the Boston Office will be in.
Bill and Commissioner Baldacci attended the MCCA annual meeting last Wednesday. The new incoming president is Amy Fowler from Waldo County. Our General liability insurance policy increase is a little less than 1%.
A Sheriff Deputies vehicle with less than 2K miles has estimated damage of $28 K following an accident this past weekend. We expect the vehicle is a total loss. Lt. Hotaling and is looking at getting a replacement with last year’s monies and insurance monies from this vehicle
Erika Honey discussed the safety works consultation that took place last Thursday and Friday. This was a consultation and not an inspection. There are no punitive findings or fines assessed. Erika provided a tour of all the departments and everyone was very accommodating. This inspector had been here five years ago in a different capacity, so he was well aware of our complex. A list will be generated of deficiencies found in which we will have 60 days to respond; if necessary we can always ask for an extension to correct.
Director, Chris Lavoie and the Radio group are finalizing our Radio RFP.
We have received multiple emails from concerns regarding refugee resettlement.
Bill shared that Penquis has received an inquiry opposing construction of a Large Jail.
Bill presented for signature a criminal forfeiture funds for the DA’s Office.
o State vs Voisine in the forfeiture amount of $176.55
Commissioner Cushing moved to approve receipt of these funds. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Signed.
There was discussion of the accident that occurred on I-95 involving multiple vehicles.
Deputy DA Devon DeMarco and Kristine Higgins reported that the City of Bangor has voted to approve four hour parking on Court Street.
Payroll Change Notices signed for: Alexis Rodriguez and Jeremiah Campbell – Hired Full-time; William Collins and Tyler Thompson – Payroll Change; Tyler Thompson – Comp time.
Payroll Warrant to be approved for pay date: $259,509.80 Accounts Payable to be approved for FY 19: $ 79,803.62 Accounts Payable to be approved for FY 20: $131,558.55 Unorganized Territory Warrant to be approved for: NONE Unorganized Territory TIF Warrant to be approved for: NONE
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:05 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Bill Collins, Ed Bearor, Judy Alexander, Rob Frank and John Hiatt. Session ended at 10:40 a.m. No votes taken. AFSCME Corrections Line Unit Contract Signing
Present Director of AFSCME Field Services Steve Lyons, AFSCME Local Rep. James Mackie and Corrections Officer Gary Huff. The contract includes retroactive pay and changes for the insurance payments. It is a three year contract.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:00 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Bill Collins, Erika Honey, Judy Alexander and John Hiatt. Session ended at 11:02 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:03 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Present were: Commissioners, Bill Collins and Erika Honey. 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 3-0
Certified By: Administrator, William Collins Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner