Minutes of the Chebeague Transition Committee March 21, 2007 at 7:00pm at the Parish House. (Accepted 3/28/07)
The meeting was called to order by Steve Moriarty at 7:07.
Members present: Donna Damon, Mark Dyer, David Hill, John Martin (Chair), Jim Phipps and Doug Ross. Steve Moriarty served as invited chair. Beth Howe served as secretary.
Absent: Leon Hamilton, Stephen Todd and Carol White
Minutes: Jim Phipps moved, seconded by David Hill to approve the minutes of March 14. The minutes were tabled because not enough members had read them for a vote to pass.
Comments from the Public: none.
Recommendations for action from subcommittees:
Public Safety: Doug Ross handed out a recommendation to adopt the payroll scale for rescue personnel that Cumberland has now [PS Rescue payroll] (attached). He said he had met with the rescue members last night about the budget. They had recommended adding a reserve to the budget of $5000 to cover the per-diem of having rescue personnel come out from the mainland in case there was no coverage on Chebeague. David Hill said that Bill Shane is concerned about the day-time coverage being low so it is good to have such a reserve. Jim Phipps asked how many days $5000 would cover. Doug said that the rescue team expect to meet the need; this is just for emergencies. David Hill said that Nancy had told him that arranging for substitute rescue personnel is not difficult. They have a list and work down till someone can come. Mark asked if this was the major difference from the original Rescue budget. Doug said it was, though the rest is a bit more as well. John Martin asked how the rescue is managed. Doug said that there will be a Rescue Chief who will be supervised by the Administrator. The Chief would schedule the personnel. Someone asked how the stipends were estimated. Doug said each run is assumed to average 2 hours. Donna said that the Rescue Chief should talk to the Administrator when extra personnel are needed. Jim Phipps said that the Administrator would have to talk with the Selectmen if the reserve ran out. Could they use the contingency and how is that authorized? Donna said that a warrant article has the Town Meeting authorize the Selectmen to use the contingency fund. In the first year the authorization will need to be pretty broad. If there are problems then the next authorization will not be so broad. John Martin moved, seconded by Mark Dyer to approve the recommendation. Approved unanimously.
Doug Ross recommended that the present Deputy Rescue Chief become the Interim Chief until the Selectmen and Administrator chose a permanent Chief [PS Interim Rescue Chief]. (attached) David Hill asked if he should recuse himself because his wife Nancy would become the Deputy Chief. Steve Moriarty said if the others saw this as an issue then they should vote on it. David said he did not feel he had a conflict. Jim Phipps moved that the TC approve the recommendation on the Interim Rescue Chief. Seconded by Mark Dyer. John Ash asked whether a single person could be the Rescue, Fire and Police Chief. Jim said it could happen, but this recommendation just covers what will happen on July 1.
Doug Ross handed out a recommendation that the Town enter into an agreement with the Town of Yarmouth for emergency rescue services on the mainland [PS mainland rescue from Yarmouth]. (attached) Doug said he got 4 responses to his RFP on mainland rescue. Northeast Ambulance said they would do the billing and take the revenue from that plus $1000 per year. But their ambulances are located in Topsham and South Portland. Freeport made an impressive proposal with three alternatives. Cumberland said they would charge $400-$500 for each call and Chebeague would do its own billing. Yarmouth says they will provide the service at no charge to the Town of Chebeague except the cost for rental of oxygen tanks. Yarmouth will bill for the rescue on their side and keep the revenue. It was a brief proposal but did involve a face-to-face meeting followed by an email. Yarmouth is the closest town and that makes sense for the patients. It is not clear whether Chebeague can bill for ambulance service on the island. There are no other cases with two sets of ambulance services like ours. Jim asked whether Doug was proposing that Chebeague charge for rescue. Doug said no. Mark Dyer moved to accept the recommendation on Yarmouth providing mainland rescue service. Seconded by David Hill. Ken Hamilton said that given the problematic history with Yarmouth it would be good to work closely with them. Doug said that if things do not work out with Yarmouth during the first year, they could go back to Freeport. Doug said that Yarmouth seems excited about doing it. Donna Damon said that there will be a memorandum of understanding for it. Would it go to the Yarmouth Council? Doug said that Nat Tupper had approved the offer of service to Chebeague, and he probably had told the Council. The motion was approved unanimously.
Doug put forward a recommendation that the Town of Chebeague Island adopt the Life Safety Code which would be implemented by the Fire Department [PS Life and Safety Code]. (attached) This is a fat code that Cumberland adopts. It requires inspection of public places like stores, hotels and nursing homes twice a year. The inspector would be a local fireman. Chief Small does it now – often at the same time as the inspection for the victuallers¹ licenses. John Martin said that having and inspecting under this code improves a town¹s Insurance Service Organization rating, reducing fire insurance costs for people on the island. Other aspects of the ISO rating include the performance and equipment of the fire department. David Hill moved, seconded by Jim Phipps to accept the recommendation on the Life Safety Code. Wayne Dyer said that requirements for hotels and B&Bs to have sprinkler systems were increasing. It would be difficult to order something like that. Donna asked how it is enforced. Doug said he was not sure. The motion was passed unanimously.
David Hill reported on Bill Shane¹s meeting on Sunday about the budget. Overall Bill is pleased by the process and the result. He said in an email ³your Team certainly now understands ALL of the municipal issues better than a lot of Managers1² . He thought that the budgets for Rescue, Police and Fire might not be realistic and suggested considering stipends rather than pay per call. Peaks Island has a good model – a Police Officer who is an EMT and a Firefighter I.
On the County tax, Chebeague will get a free ride for 6 months – Cumberland will pay for calendar year 2007, Chebeague will pay Cumberland for half the year. Then it would not get its first tax bill until April 2008 for payment in October, saving about $60,000.
The handicapped voting machine in the Hall is Chebeague¹s.
Arrangements will be made for copying building files and deeds. With help from Vision Appraisal, the property tax files will be translated into Excel format files for use by Chebeague. The property cards may be exported to a PDF file.
Memorandums of Understanding, like the one about the fork lift should be developed by the TC and not by subcommittees.
Bill Shane will talk with Nadeen Daniels about what kinds of postings would meet the requirements for official notice.
Donna Damon said that she had copied the applications for Administrator. All the TC members should read the applications and chose the top 5 people to talk with. Rating them is not necessary. The results can be assembled at the meeting this Sunday morning and she will call the candidates about interviews on April 1. John Martin asked whether Bill Shane might be involved in the interviews. Donna said that he might have conflicts with some candidates.
Ken Hamilton said it would be good to hire someone who has a civil engineering background. Wayne Dyer agreed. Donna said that the TC hopes to hire a generalist. There will be an arrangement with an engineering firm for regular support. Wayne asked if Long Island had indicated interest in sharing an administrator. They seem to be discussing it. Donna said she had heard both support and opposition to this from people on Long Island. They have to decide on it themselves.
Donna said that the questions for the candidates, and the people who will ask them need to be finalized before April 1.
Donna said that she had reviewed the state law about conflicts of interest in interviewing job candidates because of family relationships. Anyone within six degrees of consanguinity of the candidate cannot be involved in the hiring process for any of the candidates for that job. She has prepared a table of consanguinity (model attached) for each member of the Tc showing which jobs s/he cannot be involved in. In addition each interviewer needs to consider whether s/he would be biased for or against any candidate because of non-familial relationships. If s/he thinks s/he would be biased s/he should recuse him or herself from interviewing any candidates for that job. Donna has asked Peter Lowe about whether the six degrees of consanguinity includes in-laws. He said it would unless that meant that no interviews could be done at all. There should be no perception of bias in the hiring process.
Update on School Consolidation:
Carol White could not attend this meeting because she was held up in Augusta. Donna Damon reported that it might be up to the Commissioner of education to make decisions about whether islands could be exempt from consolidation. Some bridged islands like Deer Isle might be included. Karl Turner has suggested exempting all islands except for the ³commuter Islands² of Casco Bay. There is a proposal for a Maine Island Collaborative for educational cooperation. The Taxation Committee is working on the issue of savings from consolidation. Hanna Pingree, Carol White and Peter Lowe are all working hard on this issue from an island perspective.
Insurance: David Hill said he is trying to reach the insurance person at Norton to arrange for a meeting with the TC about insurance options.
Warrant Articles: John Martin asked whether the TC should create a work plan for creating the warrant articles. Mark Dyer asked when they should be ready for legal review. Donna said they have to be at the printer by mid-May, which would put the final budget at the end of April. Jim Phipps said he thought this was allowing too much time for printing. Each subcommittee is charged with preparing its warrant articles and they will need time. Donna said she thought the warrant has to be published 10 days before the Town Meeting. David Hill suggested meeting with Peter Lowe for direction on this; Herb Maine¹s tracking list of recommendations and motions will be useful in this process. Donna said it would be possible to ask Peter Lowe how much items could be combined in a single article. Steve Moriarty asked whether there was any consideration being given to having a second Town Meeting, and whether the articles might be prioritized. Donna said the idea was to do everything at the first Town Meeting. She said that some articles may need public hearings. Beth Howe said that Shoreland Zoning will. Bette Tellinghuisen said that once the articles are published there will be many public questions. Maybe it would make sense to have one or two public hearings before the Town Meeting. Steve Moriarty asked whether it would be possible to change the wording of articles after such a hearing? It is important to talk with Peter Lowe about these things soon.
Ken Hamilton asked whether the public could bring things up that are not on the Town Meeting agenda. David said that budget items can be reduced but not increased. Several other people had ideas about this. Jim Phipps moved that the TC authorize John Martin to talk with Peter Lowe about such a meeting. It was agreed that no motion was needed and John should do it.
There was a general discussion about meetings on insurance and warrant articles that should occur in the next week and whether it would make sense to hold some on the mainland.
Bette Tellinghuisen asked whether a salary range would be given to job candidates at the time they are called for interview. This might save time and trouble by weeding out candidates who want more than Chebeague can offer.
Steve Moriarty left.
At 9:05David Hill moved, seconded by Jim Phipps that the TC go into executive session to discuss personnel matters pursuant to MRSA 405.6.A.1 – Title 1, Chapter 13, Section 405. Approved unanimously.
At 9:50 David Hill moved, seconded by Jim Phipps that the TC come out of executive session.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:52.