Minutes of the Chebeague Transition Committee February 21, 2007 at 7:00 at the Parish House.  (Accepted 2/28/07)


Members present: Donna Damon, Mark Dyer, Leon Hamilton, David Hill, John Martin (Chair), Jim Phipps, Doug Ross, Stephen Todd and Carol White.  Steve Moriarty served as invited Chair.


Visitors: 28


1. David Hill moved, seconded by Mark Dyer to approve the February 7 minutes with amendments.  Passed unanimously.


2. Public comments: none


3. Community Services Subcommittee Recommendations:

John Martin presented the recommendations for co-chairs, Pommy Hatfield and Mary Cushman.  Other members of the committee are Beth Wiles, Bob Earnest, Sarah McKinnon, Deb Bowman, Ester Knight, Carley Knight, Marjorie Munroe and Cathy McNeil.


Chebeague Library: The Subcommittee recommends an appropriation of $45,100 for the Chebeague Library to support library operations and the cost of utilities and maintenance for the Community Centerıs building.  This is the same as Cumberland provided this year. They also recommended $4500 for a capital improvement fund for building maintenance and repairs [CS Library Budget](attached).  Donna Damon asked what fund the maintenance money would go into.  Deb Bowman said that the fund created for replacing the roof would become a maintenance fund for the entire building.  Deb said that an additional $2900 will be requested in the school budget for the library.  Donna said she would like to see the two budget items consolidated, since the budget will now be for both the school and the Town.  Carol White said it is useful for her to have it show in the school budget because school libraries are required in the state EPS budget.  David Hill said that initially the Finance Committee will keep the two items separate, but later they will be merged.  Steve Moriarty asked whether the library would be a Town library.  Deb said no, it would remain a non-profit.

            Jim Phipps asked who would determine when the capital improvement fund was used.  Had Cumberland paid into such a capital fund?  Deb said that in 1987 when the library part of the building was built an agreement was made between Cumberland and the three tenants: the Library, the Hall and the Chebeague Island Council to make the Library responsible for maintenance of the joint infrastructure such as the furnace.   Cumberland had contributed to the maintenance of the furnace.  When the agreement was later signed, Cumberland was not a signer but is still referenced.  The CIP would be a fund for all three tenants of the building to use to replace equipment, paint and other things like that.  The  $1500 would be used for painting this summer.  Jim said that the Town could create such a reserve fund, but he did not think that voters would support a reserve fund controlled by the Library.  In any case, if the money is to be spent this year for painting and the well, it is not really a reserve fund.  Deb said the Town benefits from the Library and Hall for use for meetings, Rec Center plays and many other things.  Jim said that the agreement among the three tenants would need to be changed to refer to the Town of Chebeague Island rather than the Town of Cumberland.  

            Mark Dyer moved to accept the recommendation with three amendments.  One would strike the language ³to be deposited in the Capital Improvements Fund²; the second would add to the key points of rationale that this is a continuation of a 1987 agreement between the Library, the Hall and the Council.  Under Major Advantages, point 3 the language would read ²Assure continued access at no charge to both meeting space in the Library and Hall and the use of Library-owned audio-visual equipment.²  This motion was seconded by Stephen Todd.  Leon Hamilton said he supports the Library and Hall but he sees that there is a similar request from the Rec Center and he wants to see what the whole budget is like before adding money to either one.  Stephen agreed.  John Martin said that he had included the extra $4500 in his initial budget submission.  Steve Moriarty called for the vote.  The motion passed unanimously.


Health Officer: John Martin said that the state requires the Town to have a health officer [CS Health Officer] (attached).  Ester Knight said that it is a very part-time job – costing $5000 for all of Cumberland last year, including all the health inspections that relate to the Cumberland Fair.  The Subcommittee estimates that this might cost $2000-$3000 for Chebeague for monitoring the swimming pool, inspecting food-service outlets and reporting diseases. Donna Damon, seconded by Carol White moved that the recommendation for the health officer be approved.  Approved unanimously.


General Assistance:  The first recommendation on general assistance was to adopt each year the most recent General Assistance ordinance prepared by MMA [CS General Assistance Ordinance].  The second is to recommend to the Town Meeting appropriating $7000 for the GA direct assistance budget [CS General Assistance budget]. Donna Damon moved, seconded by David Hill that both recommendations be accepted.  The state reimburses half of the cost.  $7000 would be both the Town and the state shares.  It might not all be spent, depending on how many people applied for assistance.  Jim Phipps asked how the $7000 was arrived at; it seemed like a large number when all of Cumberland only allocates $9000.  Pommy Hatfield said that Bill Shane had suggested this figure last year for the CICA budget.  It is difficult to estimate what will be needed – Long Island allows $15,000 and some other towns only have $1000 in their GA budget.  Grant Lee at PROP thought $7000 was a reasonable amount.  The information about how much of Cumberlandıs GA expenditure is on Chebeague is confidential.   Jim said he would vote for this as a carefully researched,  good faith estimate but if the budget is tight he might favor cutting it.  The vote on the motion was unanimous.

            John Martin presented another recommendation on General Assistance, to have PROP, Cumberland Countyıs Community Action Program, administer the GA program for the Town [CS Contract with PROP for GA](attached).  The cost for this administration would be $4,000 for the year.  That is in addition to the $7000 for direct assistance.  If there are no GA applications, then PROP would get no administrative money.  But once there are applications then the program has detailed quarterly state reporting requirements so most of the administrative money would be used.  Donna Damon said that the Governmental Structure Subcommittee had given the responsibility for receiving GA applications and reporting to the state to the Town Administrator.  Mary Cushman said that there is a lot of work for GA, including having to have someone available 24/7 for emergencies.  Having PROP do the administration might encourage people to apply because their neighbors would not all know.  Also PROP provides other services and could refer clients to them if they were needed.  Donna said she thought it would be better if people could apply to someone on the island.  Carol White moved, seconded by Jim Phipps, that the contract with PROP be recommended to the first Town Meeting.  Donna said she would vote against because the administrator could do this.  David Hill said he would support it to see how it works for the first year.  Leon said that lots of small communities use PROP and he is for it.  The vote was 8 in favor of the motion and one (Donna Damon) opposed.

            John Martin presented a recommendation that the Town of Chebeague donate $500 to PROP [CS Donation to PROP](attached).  Towns that use PROPıs services usually give some money.  Cumberland gives $2100.  PROP is funded with Federal, state and private money.  Donna Damon moved that the amount be increased to $1000.  Seconded by David Hill. She said how useful PROP services had been to her parents.  This needs to be more widely known.  Jim Phipps said he does not want to be taxed to donate to a non-profit.  He would rather donate as an individual.  Jim moved, seconded by Leon, that the money be scaled back to $500.  David Hill asked what does the Town get from PROP.  Pommy Hatfield said they have many programs such as Headstart, WIC and weatherization of houses.  People have to have low incomes to qualify for the services.  David asked whether PROP might arrange transportation on Chebeague for the elderly and disabled.  Pommy said it would be possible to ask.  Steve Moriarty asked for a vote on Jimıs amendment.  It passed with 6 in favor and three against (Stephen Todd, David Hill and Donna Damon.  Then Steve Moriarty asked for a vote on the main motion to make a $500 donation.  It passed unanimously.


Health Committee:  The Community Services Subcommittee recommended that the Town Meeting call for the creation of a Town Health Committee to coordinate fragmented island health services and work toward filling service gaps [CS Health Committee](attached). It would be made up of volunteers and would have no impact on the Town budget.  Mark Dyer moved, seconded by Carol White to accept the recommendation.  Donna Damon said that the Town of Chebeague will have many committees.  They will be advisory to the selectmen and the Town Meeting and recommendations for them should develop a charge that would guide them.  Steve Moriarty called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.


Cemetery:  John Martin said that the CS Subcommittee recommends that they continue to gather information about what kind of organization should run the cemetery [CS Cemetery Budget].  They recommend a budget of $5000 for the cemetery; this is the present level of Town support.  Mark Dyer asked whether this figure was close to the CICA budget.  David Hill said it was.  Mark Dyer asked whether, when the cemetery became independent of the Cumberland Cemetery Association, would the CCA provide any of its financial resources to the Chebeague Cemetery?  Donna said that there had been contributions to the CCA over the years and that it is necessary to negotiate how much will come to Chebeague.  Doug Ross asked who would conduct the negotiations.  Donna said the TC would.  Leon moved, seconded by Doug to accept the recommendations about the cemetery.  Passed unanimously.


Chebeague Recreation Center:  John Martin recommended that the Town appropriate $50,000 for the Recreation Center [CS Recreation Center Budget](attached).  The present Town allocation is $40,000 and SAD 51 allocated $8,000.  This $50,000 is only the Town part, representing a $10,000 increase.  There is $8,000 in the school budget as well.  Like the Library, the Rec will remain an independent non-profit.  David Hill moved, seconded by Stephen Todd to recommend the allocation to the first Town Meeting.  Bob Earnest said that though the Cumberland Recreation program nearly breaks even from revenues, it does not have a building to maintain.  The Rec Centerıs building is getting old enough to need maintenance.  And as the amount of money they must raise from private donations increases each year, their ability to raise it has gone down.  Money from the Town not a gift but a payment for services provided.  The gym will be used for Town Meeting and the Rec has taken the place on Chebeague of a Town recreation program.  Leon said that, like the Library, he supports the Rec Center but this is a substantial increase.  The figures are starting to worry him.  Jim Phipps said that presently Chebeague people pay taxes for the Town recreation program as well as the money that Cumberland has allocated to the Chebeague Recreation Center.  He asked if there would be a municipal recreation program on Chebeague other than the Rec Center.  John Martin said that the Community Services subcommittee has not considered any.  Carol White said that taxpayers on Chebeague contribute to adult education through SAD 51 in the same manner.  The $8,000 in the school budget is a bargain compared to having to provide and maintain a gym.  She supports an increase for the Rec, but if it required an increase in taxes she would not.   Leon said he could remember a time when there was no gym at all.  Steve Moriarty called for a vote.  The motion was passed unanimously.


Education Subcommittee:

Carol White passed out the recommendations of the Education Subcommittee and asked that they be discussed in detail next week.  She said her Subcommittee wants to simply provide some context for reading the recommendations.  She explained that secession from SAD 51 had required the approval of the state Department of Education and the devlopment of a separation agreement that was reflected in the secession law.  In making their recommendations the ES has had help from superintendents in Vinalhaven, Long Island and Pownal.

            Jerry Wiles reported on administration and hiring.  They have to hire a superintendent.  The ad has run and they are getting applications.  They are recommending a new position – an administrative secretary at 24 hours per week to free up teacher time by helping with paperwork and other office tasks.  There will be two teachers: K-2 and 3-5.  They have encouraged the current teachers to apply.

            Donna Colbeth talked about instructional support and materials.  The Town will need to make some capital investment in teaching materials and the teachers have been helping to identify needs. 

            Sally Ballard reported on special education.  They are working with the state and other districts to cover this area.  They must have a special ed director who works with teachers and parents and arranges for testing.  She emphasized the importance of helping students in early grades.  Presently 8 students K-12 on Chebeague are getting special ed services.  The cost will be substantial but the money is reimbursed by the state.

            Jen Belesca reported on the food and custodial services excellently provided by Ann Long.  There is lunch 4 days per week and a snack every day.  She has been working on having healthy food.  She keeps the school immaculate.

            Ken Pelton talked about maintenance of the building.  The building was built in 1953 and needs work.  He passed out a bid for maintaining all the Town boilers on the island from Siemens.  There are external problems and a lack of storage room.  The kitchen needs upgrading, as does the electrical capacity. 

            Sue Campbell said she has been working on transportation on the island and mainland.  This includes hiring a bus driver, bus maintenance on the island, the CTC contract for children and teachers, the contract with Veteranıs Taxi and arrangements with SAD 51 for buses on the mainland.

            Phil Jordan reported that the Subcommittee was exploring having inter-local agreements that would save money, particularly with Long Island.


Leon Hamilton and Steve Moriarty left.


            Sam Birkett reported on the curriculum and said that the administrative secretary would be a great help in giving teachers more time with students. 

            Carol White summarized: there is a detailed budget in the packed.  They compared their budget to last yearıs CICA budget, North Havenıs and Long Islandıs. The salaries are high because they used salary levels of the present teachers.    It will come to about 40 percent of the whole Town budget, including the debt service.  The budget is still being reviewed by Vinalhaven, Pownal and Long Island.  The people in other districts they talked with recommended having a combined superintendent/principal to be a supervisor to the teachers.


Old Business

Budget:  David hill said most of it had been submitted.  They are still working on personnel benefits.  He will go though the draft with Bill Shane again.  He would like to see the initial draft presented in an all-day meeting, to be able to get into the detail.  He has also developed a website where the job descriptions can be posted.  The meeting on Sunday will finalize the descriptions.  Donna said that Nadeen Daniels has been helpful in commenting on the job descriptions.  Doug Ross said he was having problems with Public Safety revenues from things like fines.  David and Donna Damon said that the CICA budget was probably a reasonable estimate. 


Hiring: Donna Damon passed out the ad that will appear in next Sundayıs Telegram. {GS Town Hiring Ad](attached).  It will run for one day in the paper and be posted on line for two weeks.  Cost $1690.  She asked whether she should not advertise in the Forecaster.  The others agreed with this.  Jobs will be posted by Maine Municipal, on Chebeague.org, in the Calendar, there will be an article in Working Waterfront and ads will be posted on the island.  She has application forms.  There will be more discussion of this at the Sunday meeting.  Someone has to be in charge of responding to requests for information and applications. Carol White moved, seconded by David Hill, to approve the ad.  The vote was unanimous.

            The Education Subcommitteeıs ad for superintendent was in last Sundayıs Telegram.  The rest of the education job descriptions will be considered on Sunday.

School Consolidation Proposals:  Carol reported that she had been at a meeting the Island Institute had with Education Commissioner, Susan Gendron, and Hannah Pingree.  They have agreed to try to have the islands exempt from being consolidated into either mainland or a single island district.  They will probably have to agree to have some kind of collaborative arrangement.  The way the legislation looks now, there may be a longer time period for consolidation to take place and communities will be able to decide who they want to be consolidated with.  The bill has to be reported by March 15 and the budget deadline is April 1.  It may be necessary for us to lobby for being exempt, though it would be better not to draw the attention of rural mainland districts to being exempt.  The islands may be lumped with Indian schools and other isolated schools in the process, though Carol argued against this.  The Island Institute has hired Peter Lowe to represent it and Meredith Burgess is on the Education Committee.  It may not be easy to keep the other islands on board. 


Tracking Recommendations:  Beth Howe and Herb Maine reported that they have created a data base in which TC recommendations are linked to motions and can be followed through the transition process.  Herb handed out a sample printout.  Beth said that some data still needs to be entered.


Memoranda of Understanding:  no report.  Cumberland has sent some MOUs that relate to services Cumberland will provide to Chebeague.  They should be referred to subcommittees to be looked at.


Non-Reporting Subcommittees

Governmental Structure:  Donna Damon passed out a sheet showing the hours that the Town Clerk would be at the Town office and the hours the office would be open to the public [GS Town Office Hours] (attached).  Jim Phipps said he thought the TC had already voted on Town office hours.  Donna didnıt remember any vote.  She said the schedule could be adjusted.  Carol White suggested voting on this at the Sunday meeting. 

            Mark Dyer said he needs a key to the Town office to go in to measure for work.  He has been given a laminated counter-top that may be used there.  He suggested getting a building permit from Cumberland.


Mainland Access: Jim Phipps would like to have time on the TC agenda to discuss whether it would make sense to package together all the ferry/barging service needs of the Town and then negotiate with CTC to see if a win-win deal cold be arranged.  Donna Damon said she thought this should be done in executive session and suggested Sunday.  Jim said he just wanted to see if the various subcommittees were interested in doing this and that could be done in open meeting.  They are not at the point about talking about contract negotiation strategy yet.  Mark Dyer and Stephen Todd said that they were already getting bids from various barging companies for the Transfer Station and Public Works. But Mark said he had no problem with a group package.  Donna asked if the Mainland Access Subcommittee would do the negotiation or the TC.  Jim said he thought it was an issue of whether the subcommittees negotiated individually or together.  Any contract would have to be submitted to the TC.  John Martin said he thought an executive session on this might be useful and suggested March 4.  Carol White said there will be an island-wide meeting on March 4 on education.  John suggested that the Mainland Access Subcommittee report at the regular Wednesday meeting on March 7.  Jim agreed.


Donna Damon asked that the issue of telephone service for the Town be added to that agenda.


Respectfully submitted,



Beth Howe