Penobscot County Commissioners' Meeting from July 2, 2019
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Penobscot County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes July 2, 2019 2245
9:02 AM Commissioners Peter Baldacci and Laura Sanborn 70°
Commissioner Andre Cushing (9:10 AM)
Approval of Minutes -
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve June 18, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Baldacci seconded the motion. Vote to approve passed 2-0.
Sheriff’s Update –
Sheriff reported that today’s jail population is 175 (127 males, 48 females) with 36 boarded out to other county jails and 63 inmates in Maine Pre-Trial Services. In the last 72 hours we had 43 new arrests and 17 of those bailed out.
Sheriff stated that Maine Pre-Trial has hired a second caseworker.
The Jail Supervisors Meeting will be held July 18th.
Sheriff and his staff met with Orrington officials and conducted an assessment of their capital equipment. We offered $ 60K for all the equipment (3 cars, radar, MTV’s, radios, portables, and guns). The Town accepted. We will reduce their cost by $ 20K for three years. Purchasing this equipment adds value since everything is ready to go.
We are finishing up on interviews for the final floater deputy position. We are hopeful this will be completed this week.
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve the Town of Clifton supplemental law enforcement $7 K contract and the Town of Levant supplemental law enforcement $ 12 K. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0. Signed.
Patrol deputies have been incredibly busy with their regular workload as well as responding to four deaths in the last couple days.
Sheriff participated for the tenth year at Camp Post Card in Poland, ME. This event is organized by Donna Downing, sponsored by Volunteers of America and mentored by all law enforcement.
Sheriff reported that MSA held their monthly meeting at Agassiz Village during Camp Post Card. MSA was educated on a new program being rolled out to law enforcement. “OD Live” (Overdose Live) keeps track of drug deaths in live time anonymously so that agencies can be alerted of these activities.
Sheriff reports he is encouraged and excited with progress being made moving towards a day reporting 1st and 2nd offender program. Sheriff is working with his staff, DA Lynch and Judge Anderson to come up with ideas including utilizing the furlough process and therapeutic/educational classes. This program will use less correctional staff but more resource personnel. Sheriff believes we would need a full time person to be on staff to organize and produce the program. Sheriff feels this could be held monthly if we offer the use of this program to other counties.We are looking for a location with room for classrooms, restrooms and a small area for food services for lunches.
UT Update –
Barbara Veilleux contacted Don Dudley on the Matagamon Dam Project. Don reports there was a heavy spring runoff of water which has caused unpredictable water conditions. The unfinished work is not scheduled for completion until September.Don will keep us posted on their progress.
Barb spoke with the Town of Alton last week.They want us to move forward with an agreement that if there is any damage to the salt/sand shed that we share the insurance funds if their part of the building was damaged. Alton doesn’t have an attorney and they asked if they would have to share in the cost of having an agreement written by the county’s attorney. The Commissioners felt that the cost should be shared. Barb will get an estimate to Alton.
Barb received a call that Greg Smallwood, the snow plow contractor for Grand Lake Road, does not wish to exercise the two option years. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion for Barbara to put the Matagamon snow plow contract out to bid for three years, with two option years. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved 3-0.
Barb reports that Argyle Township was awarded a grant from ConnectME broadband expansion. Barb will be working with Tracy Scheckel from OTELCO on the next steps.
Rod Carr from PERC (Penobscot Energy Recovery Company) reached out to Barb and would like to set up a date to sign the partnership agreement with PERC. Barb will get a copy of the agreement so that our attorneys can review it.
Commissioner Cushing mentioned to Barb and George the new program that PRCC will be incorporating “I AM RESPONDING” app for cell phones. This may be worthwhile for some of your contacts to know about.
NWDB Update –
Joanna Russell reported on the State Workforce Board (SWB) meeting that occurred last Friday, June 28th in Augusta. This special meeting was scheduled to specifically discuss the SWB’s 70/30 training fund policy. The meeting opened with Commissioner Andre Cushing discussing the need to consider the current needs of the workforce system, how to maintain accountability and at the same time allow the providers to do their jobs. Commissioner Cushing’s comments moved the meeting in a positive direction. From that point - the board members had a robust conversation regarding the need to fill open jobs with educated and trained job seekers. They also recognized that they as an oversight board wished to maintain the 70/30 policy as written adding a very important revision.
The SWB’s 70/30 revised policy now allows for the service provider to include all staff salaries and benefits into the 70% training allocation. The revision only includes staff who provide direct activities centered on the career services mandated in WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). Meaning if EMDC and or ACAP (Aroostook County Action Program) has 5 employees that serve the adult and dislocated workers to provide career services then their salaries and benefits can count as part of the 70%. This decision goes a long way to removing the impossible barrier we faced with the original wording. The vote was unanimous, and I believe everyone left the room satisfied that their concerns had been addressed. SWB members seemed to understand the implications of the original policy followed by the revised policy.
The Bureau of Employment Services, (BES), the Northeastern Workforce Development Board and its service providers have a bit of logistical work to do around developing our budgets and implementation plans for our PY18 and PY19 modifications. Once we have accomplished this task, we will complete the mods and move onto completing the work to finalize our One Stop Partner MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) and cost sharing plan.
The SWB’s next meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 20th in Augusta.
Joanna reported that Ashley Smith has given her notice and will be ending her job with the NWDB the last week of September. Ashley has been a quick learner in her new role has been able to accomplish a lot here. Ashley has decided to enlist into the Army Guard striving to become a member of the military police.
The MDOL and the three local boards are preparing to submit a proposal for a National Emergency Grant titled: National Health Emergency Phase Two: Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grants to Address the Opioid Crisis. If awarded the grant Maine will focus efforts on individuals affected by substance use disorder, long term unemployed, under-employed and affected others. The project will focus additional support service to individuals who may need counseling and or other supports to assist them in getting back to work and maintain employment. The grant proposal will be submitted sometime in mid-August.
Discussion on the Hermon Multi-Modal Terminal –
Commissioner Sanborn reported on a meeting she and Finance Director Judy Alexander attended last Wednesday sponsored by Vicki Rusbult at EMDC.
The purpose of the multi-modal terminal located in Hermon is for railroads to assist in transporting foods, wares, recycling expeditiously. Penobscot County had partnered with EMDC a few years back on the Tiger Grant. This application is for a federal grant for railroads. EMDC is asking Penobscot County to be the lead applicant/fiscal agent. This grant will be replacing the ties and rails throughout Penobscot County.
The application is due July 15th. Commissioner Cushing moved for Bill Collins on behalf of Penobscot County to be the signature on this application. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Motion approved. 3-0
HR Update -
Erika Honey reported on a workshop she attended last week with Rudman and Winchell regarding new Maine Legislation.
Act Authorization for Earned Employee Leave. Starting January 2021, this Act is for 40 hours of leave for any reason. Our leave times are designated “sick” or “vacation”. Currently this does extend to part-time employees, as we do not offer benefits to them right now. We need to re-look at our policies. If we do have an active agreement this affects we can wait until the agreement expires, then introduce it. We are looking at our accounting system too in accommodating the staff. Commissioner Baldacci feels that we should revisit talk of non-segregated sick/vacation time.
Act for Pay Equality. Starting September 17th the question we ask applicants during interviews in regards to historic salaries is eliminated. Erika has pulled out our old application and revising it to meet the new standards.
Act to Protect Job Applicants from Identity Theft. We will be taking off the social security number on applications and the only time it can be disclosed is if we make a conditional offer of employment.
Act To Prohibit Employer Disciplinary Action against Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Persons Responding to an Emergency. This has always extended to Firefighters and now has extended to EMT’s. We will need to look at our current policies to make sure we are in compliance. We can mandate using paid leave time, but we cannot discipline them for responding.
Erika reported the following:
Public building restrooms that are single stall, need to be gender neutral to comply with new language with ADA.
Department of Homeland Security will be here Monday, July 8th.
Disability and ADA Compliance training will occur on July 17th and July 18th. It is encouraged that all employees attend one of these training sessions.
Erika is working with Cliff Warren on a job description for an IT technician.
Our part time maintenance worker started yesterday.
Our Workplace site tour with the jail and our occupation health medical partner is on July 10th.
There have been eight new part time correction officers hired getting ready for orientations.
Still conducting exit interviews.
Workers Comp currently only has one on restricted duty and three currently out for surgeries.They should be back by end of summer.
We do have some grievance hearings that we will coordinate a time/date in August to hear.
Erika will be traveling to York to attend the Maine Local Government Human Resource Association meeting. There will be training for addressing complaints of discrimination, harassment, and workplace misconduct. On her way back to Bangor, Erika will meet in Scarborough with our new AFLAC representative.
Erika is requesting the Commissioners approve a special open enrollment period for AFLAC starting August 1. Erika wants to make sure that people who have questions or changes that need to be made to their policies are answered. Commissioner Sanborn made a motion for AFLAC to hold a special open enrollment in August. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Motion approved. 3-0
Commissioner Baldacci discussed closing the County on Friday, July 5th as the State is closing on this date.
Public Comment –
Larry Dansinger provided an editorial from the Portland Press Herald on Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Sheriff spoke at length on the RISE program in our jail for the last three years. Sheriff is the Chair of a Committee for a model policy for the use of Suboxone for the State under the director of Dr. Gordon Smith. There is work to be done in order for all county and State jail to use the same MAT program. Commissioner Baldacci injected that we are committed and support MAT in the jail system. Hopefully inmates won’t reoffend. We can set them up in the jail but once they get out there we are concerned there is not enough services to keep them in recovery.
Larry is asking that MAT information be included on the snapshot he is requesting of the
Inmates currently in custody. Sheriff told Larry he would share data, but it would be broad since there are so many variables involved.
Executive Session---Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to go into Executive Session at 10:40 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (D) Contract Matter. Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, John Hiatt, Sheriff Morton, and Rob Frank of WBRC. Session ended at 11:25 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:26 a.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins, Erika Honey and Linda Orlando. Session ended at 11:52 a.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 11:53 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 and Erika Honey. Session ended at 12:10 p.m. NO votes taken.
Executive Session---Commissioner Cushing made a motion to go into Executive Session at 12:11 p.m., under 1 M.R.S.A. § 405 (6) (A) Personnel Matter. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Vote to approve 3-0. Present were: Bill Collins and Erika Honey. Session ended at 12:29 p.m. NO votes taken.
Administration Update –
Manager’s & Administrators met yesterday in Augusta.We propose keeping MCCA intact as is with an Office Manager and Executive Director.
Next Monday July 8th the Bangor City Council would like to meet with Commissioner Baldacci and Sheriff Morton to discuss Correctional Facility Building Plans.
Governor Mills is making this coming Friday a day off for State workers.
Registrar of Deeds Susan Bulay reports the Governor did sign the bill making changes effective 01/01/2020 to not require the use of Mylar at the Registry.
We are going out to Bid next week on our Campus Snowplow Plowing contract.
Commissioner do not want to move the Granite that is down back, but yes to securing a dumpster for old trash.
The Corrections Line unit is voting on their Contract on July 18 and 19th.
The Commissioners approve moving forward on repaving at the Post Office.
Payroll Change Notices signed for:Adam Prosser – Resignation; Blake Miller and Alexis Smith – Comp time.
Payroll Warrant to be approved for:$ 234,270.14
Accounts Payable Warrant to be approved for: $ 319,981.49
UT A/P Warrant to be approved for: -NONE-
UT TIF Warrant to be approved for: -NONE-
Commissioner Sanborn made a motion to approve Friday, July 5th as a day off for all County employees with pay as the State has done. This includes an extra days wage for Union employees too.Commissioner Cushing seconded the motion.Vote to approve passed 3 – 0.
Commissioner Cushing moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:39 p.m. with no further business on the agenda. Commissioner Sanborn seconded the motion. Moved to approve 3-0
Administrator, Bill Collins
Peter K. Baldacci, Chairman
Laura J. Sanborn, Commissioner
Andre E. Cushing, III, Commissioner