Chebeague Island Transition Committee
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Attendance: John Martin (Chair), Mark Dyer, Stephen Todd, Jim Phipps, Donna Damon.
Absent: Leon Hamilton, Doug Ross, Carol White, David Hill. Visitors: 7.
Next meeting will be November 29h, 7:15 PM at the Parish House.
1. A motion was made, seconded and voted 3-0 (Donna and Jim abstained) to approve the minutes of the November 8 meeting as corrected.
2. Questions and comments from the public
With regard to the public meeting scheduled for December 3rd at 1 PM at the C.I.H.C.C., Susan Campbell said posters need to go up as soon as possible. The committee is looking for community feed back at this information meeting. It is not planned to be a mock town meeting.
3. Old Business
Mark reported that Edmund and Julie agreed to allow the Transition Committee to use one of the storešs outside bulletin boards. A thank you note will be published in the Calendar on behalf of the committee.
Donna reported that the Cumberland Town Council meeting on November 12th went into executive session regarding the Town Council transfer of town property to Chebeague Island. Any action taken after executive session will be in the minutes of that meeting. Cheryl Buxbaum reported that the Finance Committee had met with a couple of banks. The meetings went well, especially the one with TD North.
5. Review of subcommittee budget assignments: tabled until the next meeting.
6. Report from the Public Works Subcommittee
Steve reported that the subcommittee was gathering information and learning a lot as they go. Dicky Clark came over from Long Island and gave his recommendations on how a public works department should be set up. He recommended a maintenance department with town employees rather than hiring contractors, except for big jobs like paving. Steve said that many in the Chebeague Island community favor hiring contractors. They also discussed inter-island sharing of equipment depending on the season, also sharing barges for materials and trash. Mark said he will encourage communications regarding barge sharing with contractors. Jim suggested collaborating with the City of Portland regarding barging at Cliff Island.
Bill Shane provided a budget breakdown of actual figures from last year. The numbers came out pretty close to the CICAšs estimate. Benefits and insurance were not part of the Public Works budget. The Finance Committee will develop an employee benefit package depending on the total number of town employees. Donna said subcommittees could make salary and benefit recommendations to the Finance Committee. Bill Shanešs numbers also did not include paving, which Dick Clark recommended be put on a 20-year cycle. Jim Phipps asked if school bus maintenance will be included under public works. Susan said that Cumberland Public Works employees cannot touch SAD 51 buses. This led to a discussion about combining some services now handled by different entities. Susan said that as part of the School Subcommittee she will get gas numbers from Town of Cumberland records and also school bus maintenance costs from SAD 51.
Steve also reported on a discussion with Phil Curtis, a drainage specialist who does free inspections of roads for state of Maine. Once wešre a town, he will come down and do an inspection. Donna said that in 2001, the Town of Cumberland did a study of roads. Steve will obtain a copy of the Chebeague part of the study from Adam Ogden. Steve also reported that during the discussion with Phil, Phil leaned toward a maintenance department rather than hiring contractors. All the town equipment on the island is in good shape except for the bulldozer.
Jeff Putnam asked what kind of input is the subcommittee looking for at the public meeting. The subcommittee will give a short report of its activity so far and ask questions of the attendees. There was discussion regarding peoplesš expectations for clear roads, that until now they didnšt care about costs and that there would be issues between the road commissioner and employees or subcontractors. Donna said we need to have a plan to do so many feet on such and such a road this year, and so on; or, wešre going to put so many dollars toward ditching. One benefit of having a road commissioner on the island is that he or she will be driving around and noticing things like spots where puddles always form.
Steve also said that other subcommittee members are investigating Vinal Haven, Islesboro and other islands to see how they deal with public works. Donna mentioned online access to the MMA manual which has a separate road maintenance manual.
Another point covered by the subcommittee is a source of sand on the island. Cumberland has done some research and found sand on the left side of the Division Point Road which would mean re-routing the road, digging out the sand and putting the road back. This process would be very expensive and take about 1 ½ years. Donna suggested there may be other sources on the island. However, a new gravel pit could not be started due to long setback requirements, making it a better idea to extend the existing gravel pit. Jim suggested that a warrant be written to authorize the new town selectmen to investigate and work on finding a sand source. Donna said itšs a timing issue; if there is going to be another town meeting in the first 3 or 4 months, it would be better not to deal with this issue at the first town meeting.
Donna asked if the Transition Committee has permission to meet with current town employees. Steve had asked Bill Shane, but he put Steve off. Bill Shane wants to be the central contract. Donna says we need direct contact. John will speak to Bill for permission for informal discussion with current employees. Susan suggested that the subcommittee meet with Adam, Bill, David and Med altogether in one place regarding issues such as OSHA, Dig Safe, 72 hours or more for permission to put up a sign, certification every year for forklift, chain saw, etc.
Mark asked when the subcommittee can approach existing employees about whether they plan to apply for a job under the new town. Donna, an advocate for process, said that any job created for this town would have to be advertised. We donšt want to give people the idea that they will automatically get a job. Jim said wešre mixing discussion about what their jobs are, which they can tell us about on the townšs time, versus what employees would be willing to do for the town as employees, which would have to be on their own time. We need job descriptions before advertising positions. Mark asked if the subcommittees will be part of the hiring process. Donna said we need memoranda of understanding for road crew, teachers, treasurer, administrator passed on whether or not the town meeting will approve the positions. Herb Maine said we need to get past this roadblock and soon. Jim said we can get the job descriptions from the town; theyšre public records. Steve said Dicky Clark had said that without a job description, hešs asked to do other things he didnšt sign on to do. Susan asked Steve how public works ties in with public safety. Will public works fix public safety vehicles? Will public works sand and salt go with the rescue unit in bad weather? Others said that in the past the rescue has called for public works to come and get them back out. Steve said the town has to come up with a FEMA plan, too. Donna said people on the island will let you know if roads need to be treated.
7. Governmental Structure
Donna had prepared a packet of recommendations using the template Carol White had devised. The committee went through the recommendations and discussed them. The following items were discussed:
These items were approved by the Transition Committee.
Donna said her next step is to work on a flow chart showing who will work for whom.
Herb asked about the form, especially about the section space for a one or two sentence rationale.
If everything is on track as of the January 13th meeting, then in February we should start advertising for applicants and set up a time line for memoranda of understanding so they are all lined up before July 1st.
Jim said we need to have a broader discussion regarding hiring. Mark asked who will be doing the hiring; we need a human relations resource person.
8. New Business: none
The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:50 PM.