DPW - COMMITTEE
Monday, April 17, 2023 - 9:30 AM
Robin DeLoria, Chairperson
Clayton Barber, Vice-Chairperson
Chairman DeLoria called this DPW Meeting to order at 9:35 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Stephanie DeZalia, Derek Doty, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Ken Hughes, Steve McNally, Noel Merrihew, James Monty, Tom Scozzafava, Matt Stanley, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson, Davina Winemiller, Margaret Wood and Mark Wright.†† †Shaun Gillilland was excused.†††
Department Heads present: Jim Dougan, Judy Garrison and Michael Mascarenas.
Also present: Alice Halloran and Holly Aquino.
News media:† Sun News Ė Alana Penny
DELORIA: Okay weíll call the DPW meeting to order.† Stand for the pledge please.
DOUGAN:† Good morning.†
DELORIA:† Did you want to start with resolutions and get them out of the way?
DOUGAN:† I was going to let Mr. Hughes start because Iím sure he will ask me a question he always asks.
HUGHES:† Iím not on this committee.
MASCARENAS:† That usually donít stop you.
DELORIA:† That threw me for a loop, I wasnít sure where we were headed with that.
DOUGAN: Iíd like to start with vacancies.† Iíd like to just give the board that information because thatís going to lead into my first three resolutions that I have.
Mr. Hughes tends to ask that every month so Highway specifically Iím down 8 of 23 positions, 8 of 23 are currently vacant.† All of those require CDLís and for my mechanics, Iím down 2 of 8. Buildings & Grounds Iím down 2 of 12, Iím down 1 cleaner out of 10. Transportation weíre down 1 out of 9 full time and 6 out of 19 part time, still missing 1 at the Fish Hatchery out of 3 and 1 out of 6 in Engineering so weíre down quite a bit but youíre going to see my first three resolutions today are about specifically highway where 8 out of 23 is what Iím dealing with right now.†
If you want to jump to the very first resolution, my first request is requesting an authorization to create an educational assistance program. This is to help get some CDL drivers. This would be for us to pay for that class that they have to take at CVTech or one of those places and then they have to sign that they are going to stay with us for three years or else pay back a prorated share for that class.† The Town of Willsboro just recently did this. Mr. Manning helped prepare that language and so I believe I can hire some Motor Equipment Operator trainees and then send them to class and then that would help us to get more truck drivers moving forward. Thatís my first request.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CREATION OF AN EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IN ESSEX COUNTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING MOTOR EQUIPMENT OPERATOR TRAINEES WITH COSTS OF TUITION FOR THE ENTRY LEVEL DRIVER TRAINING COURSE.† DeZalia, Winemiller
DELORIA:† Any questions?
WINEMILLER:† I was just wondering if we could get Dan to send that language to all of us?
MASCARENAS:† Yeah, we have it.
MASCARENAS:† Itís very well done.† He did a really nice job on it.
WINEMILLER:† Thank you.
McNALLY:††† I donít know the legality of that?
BARBER: Yeah, I would question that too.† How are you hiring somebody and then forcing them to pay back if they were to leave early?
DOUGAN:† Weíll let the Attorney answer that question.
McNALLY:† Trucking companies are doing this program, large trucking companies where employees that had worked for them for years were leaving and there was a lot of, they are employees they are not a contractor so setting the term is very difficult.
DELORIA:† Did Dan discuss that with Willsboro work that he did for them, do you know?
MASCARENAS: All I can tell you itís in the language provided in the signed agreement with the person thatís receiving a benefit that frankly, no other employee is receiving so if you come here fully trained and have your CDL and youíve taken advantage of that on your own and youíve paid that cost up front I think the stance weíre taking on it is weíre willing to get you that training, we donít want that to be a barrier for your professional growth all we ask is that you stay on for a period of three years in order to take advantage of that full benefit.† I donít know specifically with CDLís weíll ask Mr. Manning but I know itís not unusual in several other professions that do that.† Medicine is one that you see people get their financial aid paid off by working in rural areas things of that nature, thereís incentives to do that work so Iím not sure why CDLís would be any different but we can certainly ask that question.† Mr. Manning felt like it was fine or I donít believe he would have done it so we can certainly get him to answer those questions.
DELORIA:† Anything required from negotiations with any unionized groups?
MONTY:† I think they call that conditions of employment Mike and I think youíre exactly right, thereís places that will take people on and the condition of that employment is you continue to get your degree we will pay for the rest of that education and if you come in with that theyíll hire you and weíll pay the debt off but youíve got to give us x number of years with the company so again, get a legal opinion but I donít see thereís an issue with conditions of employment.
MASCARENAS:† Yeah, I donít think so either.
DELORIA:† Okay so being that C&D have now come into question where we going to go with this creation of the educational assistance program?† I say that we pass a motion and take a vote on it and in between now and our full board meeting we can touch base with Mr. Manning, does that sound like a plan?† Okay Iíve got a first and a second.† Any other questions from the committee members?
McNALLY:† Do you know the cost of what that program is?
DOUGAN: Iíve heard numbers as low as $2500 and then if you want your Class A it might go as high as $6,000, but most of the CVTech Iím told is just over $3,000 for your Class B and a little over $4,000 for your Class A.
McNALLY:† And they would be, you would transport them up there or they would come down here?
DOUGAN:† Weíd hire them.† Most of the time though the workers have been scheduling their time outside of work hours to go up there.
DELORIA: Not to throw a monkey wrench in here but what does the Class entail and is that something that we could possibly teach in house to our employees?
DOUGAN:† As of right now no I donít think we can teach it in house.† Keep in mind, until February 8 of last year they would come here with just their permit or their license and may not have a lot of experience with their permit, excuse me and we would put them behind the wheel. We would get them their but this entry level driver training requirement that came down from Federal Highway Administration is partly why weíre here. This is the Feds at work again when we are all struggling for drivers they make it even harder to get them so part of the reason to do this is you know, somebody that wants a truck driver job probably doesnít have three to six thousand dollars hanging around in their back pocket to go take this class.
MASCARENAS:† And just so the board understands weíve been talking about this for several months.† I feel like we need action on this item.† Iím comfortable doing this.† Itís going to start an employee at a lower level in return they are going to get training they need to get to a higher level so I donít see it as an added cost to the county because we typically would have started that person as a MEO not an MEO trainee so that extra $2500 to $6,000 is going to be made up on the front end in terms of not paying that salary to them but paying for them to be trained and Jim told that in the beginning and just so everybody understands heís down 8 guys in Highway alone thatís more than a crew so, at this point inaction is not really something we can consider unless weíre not going to be able to pave roads this summer or prep roads or at some point struggle to plow and those types of things.† Thatís a large amount in just one area that heís dealing with so we need to try something and I donít think kicking the can down the road is a good option at this point.
DELORIA:† Weíll kick it to our Attorney.
McNALLY:† Itís a great program.† Iím on board with it the only question I have is, do we need a lot of Class A drivers?† Can we get along with just Class B drivers?† The reason is, Class A drivers the opportunities out there are just crazy.† You know, you can get a Class A today and be working and be making $1500 a week and I can see where people get their Class A and take one of those jobs. Class B is a smaller field of positions with less pay, you can be more competitive with B.
DOUGAN:† I have four pieces of equipment that have a trailer behind them that require Class A, thatís how we move the paver, thatís how we move the roller, thatís how we move every excavator and loaders when we go anyplace.† Typically, one of those trucks and trailers is with each of the three crews when I can outfit three crews so I need at least three if not six, Class A drivers.† Part of what youíll see in this next thing I donít have a single job description that requires a Class A if today my workers that have a Class A were to come to me and say, Iím not going to drive for you anymore because I donít have a job description that requires it how long and basically what Iím proposing in the next couple of resolutions ends up being a $2,000 raise for somebody that has that Class A and is willing to use it, if I hire a contractor to move that tractor trailer, to move those pieces of equipment I would easily up those dollars in a month.† So, yeah, I need Class A drivers sorry.
STANLEY:† Iím not on this committee but I think it just goes with any professional group no matter where you are, you start to hire people at an entry level position, you hopefully are going to keep them and because of the atmosphere and work environment we need to, are we going to lose some?† Absolutely, but I think itís a tool for Jim to be able to create a staff that he needs and youíre not going to go out and hire all Class A drivers you need to go out and you need to start somewhere and I think this is a great approach.
DELORIA:† Very good.† I agree.
HOLZER:† Well, before we vote on it, itís two-fold too.† Itís setting the expectation for any employees that come to work for us that weíre investing x number of dollars in you and itís our expectation that youíre going to stay for three years.† So I like that idea and I also like the tuition type assistance because every town in this county is going through the same thing.† Weíre all thinking outside the box as far as how we can keep our current employees and attract others without playing a game of scarfing them from other communities.
DELORIA: I agree.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Yes, Iíll support this because I understand that the county will include the towns and pick up that cost also, correct?
MASCARENAS: No, thatís not correct but after three years you are likely to steal the employees so itís all one in the same, right?
DELORIA:† Letís discuss it in January Tom.
DOUGAN: I lost three of those eight positions to towns in the last six months.
MASCARENAS:† Yeah, I do think at some point down the road our goal is to be able to provide our own training locally my concern is we donít have the time to wait that out as we continue to witness that domino effect of people aging out of the workforce and/or just job hunting and jumping from position to position.
DELORIA:† And this is all a result of this Federal Highway Administration mandate thatís unfunded and it hurts counties, towns, cities, it hurts everybody.† Itís stupid.
DOUGAN:† The state is trying what they are calling a PILOT program where once youíve gone through this training, through a registered school and then youíre with an employer like the state or the county or a town where they would allow that municipality to then do the training but they are in the middle of their PILOT, if they get through that and can get it past and acceptable by the Feds then they will hand it down and allow us to do it. Weíre just not there right now.
DELORIA:† No, no the regulations keep changing and all it does is mess us up.† I will tell you one thing when I got my CDL, it was an open book test now, these kids have to pay $6,000 and the book isnít in front of them to pick out the answers that you already know, the questions to the answers and stuff.† It is what it is.† Alright, so letís move on creating the educational assistance program in Essex County from the committee.† All in favor, any opposed?† Any other questions?† If not, carried.
DOUGAN:† So number two and number three are really along the same track so if you take a look at the hand out that I provided we kind of made that diagonal line to look a little bit like a highway on purpose with little dashed yellow lines in the middle of it.† The front page is what I currently offer for positions okay?† And if you look then in the middle of the page thereís a motor equipment operator, heavy equipment operator and construction equipment operator for years those have been our core three positions and of those 23 positions most of our workers, thatís probably as far as they ever got at the most, is the construction equipment operator.† So, if you go to the next page youíll see two titles in red okay?† Iíd like to re class the grade of the motor equipment operator trainee which we only created a few years ago from a Grade 6 to a Grade 7, you know they are going out there and now itís no longer that open book test and any of those things. In order to be a motor equipment operator trainee you actually have to have their license okay?† To be a motor equipment operator they have to have a yearís worth of experience so Iíd like to move from a Grade 6 to a Grade 7 with the motor equipment operator trainee in hopes of again, bringing in a few more people in along with helping them possibly get that.
DELORIA:† And that in itself is an incentive for people to say, yeah, I want you to train me right?
DOUGAN:† And then the way the motor equipment operator trainee is currently set up, after one year of working with us having that, one year experience youíre now eligible to be a full MEO which is a full grade change.† For those of you who drive Lincoln Pond, would you want somebody plowing Lincoln Pond without at least a yearís worth of experience behind that truck?† I donít think so, so thatís part of the requirement why we get to that.
MASCARENAS: Just for clarity, only the board in this resolution that Jim has, has the authority to re class positions so those two positions that he speaks about were previously classified, they were put into a pay scale, only the board has the authority to re class the position so thatís what he is asking for in that resolution.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Where is the union on this?
MASCARENAS:† We hadnít had discussion on the union on this particular thing.† I canít imagine that they would be upset about it.† They are increases to the grade, they are not decreases to the grade and the union doesnít get to set pay scale thatís really the job of the management but I donít see a couple of people getting a small increase of one grade being an issue in terms of the union.
SCOZZAFAVA: How many trainees do we currently have?
SCOZZAFAVA: This is more of an incentive to become a trainee?
MASCARENAS:† Itís basically, this whole plan Tom youíve got to understand it in the concept of the entire plan and there are several different resolutions based on what we have authority to do and what we donít have authority to do but Jimís whole plan really is about creating logical increases for people to work toward long term.† So, putting those at those grades allow that person to go from a six to a seven and in a couple more years as they get more experience or invest in themselves in training and opportunities maybe they go to an eight and really have a career path where they donít hit a ceiling because right now what happens is they hit an MEO, they hit an HEO or CEO and thatís it for the rest of your life, thereís no incentive to move regardless of what your training skill set is so thatís what all this is about.
SCOZZAFAVA: I understand that and I understand the need for the pay one concern I have is of course as you know, youíve been around, once you open that door, what happens with all the other employees in the departments that we have when you start changing grades?† When they come through and say, well, you did here, you did here, because thatís going to happen.
MASCARENAS:† Yeah Tom and I understand that. What I think is and we have honored that in the last couple of years, the caseworkers we dealt with a couple of years ago and we did the comparison and we found that they were underpaid compared to their counter parts and we adjusted that grade and I can tell you we somewhat stabilized that department and people are feeling better about the work that they are doing and they are not so overwhelmed because theyíve got help.† Itís not always about the pay you get sometimes itís just about the amount of work youíre having to do and the pay somehow stabilized that.† We did that same thing over at Mental Health at budget time with those individuals the therapists where we were struggling to attract and retain individuals it seems like they are pretty much fully staffed right now over there so I think it did some good. But what I would say is youíre absolutely correct people are going to make that argument what I deal with is fact and not emotion so if you come to me and you have a legitimate issue and youíre struggling to attract people and you can show me that youíre struggling to attract people and show me a comparison of skills and qualifications that could allow us to justify a grade change then weíll look at that on case by case scenario like we always do.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Iím thinking primarily on the trainee I mean maybe thatís something we need to look at for all the other departments where we canít hold positions, maybe we need to look at that.
MASCARENAS:† Yeah, I think on some you can and some you canít.† Youíve got to understand that a lot of departments Ė
MASCARENAS: Thatís it.† Social Services right, for example Mental Health those are garnered by statue by regulation by statue so thereís only a certain amount we can do to assist them. We try to do trainees in those positions but they couldnít do the work unless they were accompanied by a trained worker in Social Services. That didnít really help us, it didnít add people into the workforce that could take on the workload.† Jimís situation is different.
DELORIA:† In fact with DPW these people are, they donít have the skill set and once we get them the skill set then we know we can send somebody down Lincoln Pond Road.† So itís an important aspect.† Jimmy I will just throw this out to you, we are reclassifying current positions but does is the board also authorized to create positions and if this is going to be a problem like Tom is saying down the road could you make it a creation and call it MEO trainee one or whatever and then get beyond that with negotiations and worrying about somebody saying hey, they got it, I want that same too.† I just throw that out there.† I donít know the answer to it.
DOUGAN:† The Personnel Officer can actually create positions as long as she looks at the grade, she looks at the qualifications and make sure that they fit where they should fit amongst the rest of the graded positions.
DELORIA:† And you would apply to them for that if necessary?
DOUGAN:† So we go to the next page and maybe we should, that is really what Iím doing.† Iíve got two resolutions here for you one is to re class the trainee motor equipment operator trainee and the other is to re class the construction equipment operator.† Now if we go back to where I started, MEO, the HEO and the CEO we are going to call those core positions that have always been here okay?† Iím trying to have two grades in between each one those that allows me just below a grade to have a trainee and just above a grade to have somebody who isnít quite ready to go to the next grade but has proven their worth, proven their experience, proven other knowledge okay?† So thatís overall what Iím trying to do with this plan because Iíve got some people who have worked here for 15 or 20 years who might not be ready to be a full CEO but they sure are a very, very good operator on our plan so Iím trying to have two grades in between each one so again, when I see a difference, when I see somebody taking on a touch more responsibility instead of them just being chastised by their cohorts for taking on a little more responsibility I can give them a slight grade change and they will keep working towards the next job.† Thatís what the overall crux of this plan is.† If you go to that third page youíll see all the positions that I have in between thereís trainees and then thereís a senior person and thereís a couple of different tracks here so I think the qualifications that we will require for each one of those things will show how a trainees is a little less than the full and senior, they are taking on some other responsibility.†
DEZALIA:† Would part of the trainee, you said something about after one year they automatically move up to?
DOUGAN: Thatís just an MEO right now.
DEZALIA:† So just for the MEO trainee and then move up to a motor equipment operator after one year?
DOUGAN:† For example like an MEO operator, we have people who can operate a roller or they can operate a loader but one of the base requirements of our job is an excavator and be able to dig a ditch and keep it at grade.† Now I can start the excavator, I can dig in the ground probably everybody here can do that in a short period of time but to run grade from here to the other side of the building and not have it constantly increase by an inch every ten feet or a tenth of an inch every ten feet okay, takes somebody with a lot of experience okay?† Now if the only grade change from a Motor equipment operator is to be that actually operator itís hard for me to promote somebody to that spot but if I get somebody in a trainee position because they are showing the effort I can reward them for showing the effort otherwise if they are not the full thing, after a while they give up okay.
DELORIA:† Any other questions?
STANLEY:† Having worked in corrections Iím sure many people can relate to the same thing, when you donít have a chance or itís hard to promote to the next level, when you do your job well all you get to do is somebody elseís job too for the same pay and being able to promote people up through the system at little increments gives them incentive to keep people and I think our goal is to try and keep people here for their entire career and if there is incentive to move up and I can better myself by working hard, Iím not going to sit here and just do the bear minimum so I get my pay and I think a way to attract, keep and encourage people to grow within their job you need incentives and you need a reason to say, hey, I want to stay here, I want to work.† I think more State agencies need to look at plans like this and promote and encourage growth and reward people for working hard.
DOTY:† Iíd like to just add that just recently of course we all know retention is the most used word in the English language these last couple of years in the case of our highway union weíve instituted a provision called, itís an infrequent designation called foreman. In Jimís case where he has four different jobs going on, heís got four different crews out there we find the need that there are always those people whether they are an MEO or an HEO that show leadership qualities and they actually can rise above where they are classified to run a job and weíve instituted a dollar and a half an hour when the deputy supervisor or the supervisor canít be on the job.† It might be an idea the county would like to look at.† The union was ecstatic over the idea.† It gives promotion almost on every level where a person shows leadership qualities and itís not a permanent designation, itís a very infrequent thing but it allows you on different jobs to award somebody or recognize someone for bigger skills just wanted to add that.
DELORIA: Okay are we ready to move on resolution #2 as written?
McNALLY: I just had a question so if that were to pass and you had those two categories we are going to be changing people immediately to those new positions?
DOUGAN: I probably in my mind, if we put this in place of those twenty-three minus eight, of those 16, 17 people that I have right now thereís probably four or five right now that would see a potential for one grade change.† And then Iím hoping that many of the others that have been here for a while will see that opportunity okay?† I think a lot of the workers that I have know how to do the job and I think they are stuck in what Mr. Stanley said and sometimes they donít see incentive to, you know they get called Brown Nosier if they say yes to me okay?† Iím sorry but that is what happens here and so I think like I said I will probably have three or four that would immediately, they have always said yes, they are always taking on a touch more responsibility but then I have some other who I think will see this instituted and would step up.
DELORIA:† That was my middle name when I worked for the Highway Department for 32 years.† I just want people to realize where Iím sitting today because of it.† I know how to do it, letís put it that way.
McNALLY:† I ran a business for years, a trucking business and thereís employees that max out their abilities.† They work hard, they do their job and they are never going to make that next step.† Iíve had those employees work for me that you know, they were comfortable doing and they did a great job but they are comfortable at that position and they didnít want any more responsibility.† Thatís why the longevity pay, as low as it is, is a key thing too.† Say you top out in your qualifications of what you can and canít do and thereís people that canít do anything more than that some people are going to be left behind unless we address the longevity and they can be great employees but they are capped out their ability.
DELORIA: I think youíre correct Steve, we all have those and again another reason for providing the incentive for those people that want to take that step.
McNALLY:† But not leaving people behind.
DELORIA:† Exactly.† Okay do you want to move on resolution #2, as written?
DOUGAN:† Thatís what I would like.
DELORIA:† Did I get a first and second?
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE RECLASSIFICATION OF THE MOTOR EQUIPMENT OPERATOR TRAINEE POSITION FROM A GRADE 6 TO A GRADE 7, AT THE RATE OF $21.66 PER HOUR HIRED PRIOR TO 2009 AND A RATE OF $19.51 PER HOUR HIRED AFTER 2009.† Barber, Winemiller
DELORIA:† Any other questions on resolution two?† If not, all in favor, any opposed Ė carried.† Resolution three.
DOUGAN: Resolution three is authorizing the reclassification of the construction equipment operator again, same thought process a grade below and a grade above.† I have one person in that position right now and as you asked if I have anybody that would be worth a bump right now this gentlemen absolutely is.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE RECLASSIFICATION OF THE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT OPERATOR TRAINEE POSITION FROM A GRADE 11 TO A GRADE 12, AT THE RATE OF $27.29 PER HOUR HIRED PRIOR TO 2009 AND A RATE OF $24.55 PER HOUR HIRED AFTER 2009.† Scozzafava, Harrington
DELORIA:† Tom, question?
SCOZZAFAVA:† Yeah whatís the current wage for that position?
DOUGAN: The current wage is about a dollar an hour less in both situations almost every grade that you see here thatís, if you look at our labor management agreement it is about a dollar or two.
MASCARENAS: Can you explain what the responsibility of that job is Jim?
SCOZZAFAVA:† Yeah, Iím concerned about this because of the impact it can have at the town level.
MASCARENAS:† Yup, Iím not sure you have people but thatís why Ė
SCOZZAFAVA: I mean we donít pay anywhere near, like twenty-two something but this twenty-seven.
MASCARENAS:† Right this is one person.† How many positions that you have that are construction equipment operators?
DOUGAN:† We have three.† Weíve had two that have been vacant for eight months, they are also right now they are considered to be assistant foreman on the job.
SCOZZAFAVA: So what classifies Heavy Equipment Operator?† Is he out running the grade all, using the backhoe?
DOUGAN:† The base responsibility to be a real, okay heavy equipment operator is running that excavator that we talked about. We think that that is an integral part to so many things that we do so that is really the key that we base it on.† Now they could be excellent at running the paver okay?† They could be excellent at running a paving roller okay?† Generally speaking, the construction equipment operator runs the grader and can run grade for long distances at a time with a grader, big difference we talk about the excavator that being hard, try to run the grader and run grade for a long distance.
SCOZZAFAVA:† So this wage is the current wage in this position and was negotiated and in the contract, correct?†
DOUGAN:† That is correct.
SCOZZAFAVA:† So, again, my concern is you open that door itís going to be tough to close because I know at budget time we had other employees come to us and ask us for more money so Iím just, here we are not even six months into the budget and weíre talking about giving increases to specific positions.† This isnít a grade change, well, it is a grade change but still Iím looking for justification you know, I had to vote for that because I can justify it.† How do I justify this?
MASCARENAS:† For me itís those positions have remained vacant an awful long time and I think the obvious reason is that we simply donít have the workforce thatís going to do that job for the price we are paying.
SCOZZAFAVA: So, how many HEOís vacancies that we have right now?
DOUGAN:† HEO vacancies?
SCOZZAFAVA:† Heavy equipment operators.
DOUGAN:† Heavy equipment operators?
SCOZZAFAVA: Yeah, isnít that what weíre talking about here?
DOUGAN: We are talking about construction equipment operators.
SCOZZAFAVA: Alright construction equipment operators.
MASCARENAS: Thatís what Iím trying to tell you thereís Ė
DOUGAN:† Two out of three.
MASCARENAS: If you were to look at our highway crew for those of you that understand that this is laymenís terms you have a foreman that runs the crew, you have an assistant foreman which is your CEO which is not only do they have to run the grader but thereís a significant level of planning they are doing and oversight of lower personnel in their responsibilities so they have not only a leadership role but they have even though they are union they still are a boss per say.
SCOZZAFAVA: So they are actually out there laying the job out?
DOUGAN: Yeah, letís talk about it for a little bit okay? So, with the amount of time that we give up to people okay?† So many vacation days a year, so many sick days a year, so many personal time and then the opportunity to earn comp. time okay in order to give everybody the time that they are owed just scheduled time off, if I need a minimum crew of five on a job which I absolutely need a minimum of five on every job I have to have eight people on a crew because thatís the only way I can get anywhere close to having five all the time and thatís if everybody schedules around everything else okay so that CEO is acting as foreman an awful lot of the time. Thatís my justification Tom.
SCOZZAFAVA: Okay thatís why Iím asking, heís not just jumping on a piece of machinery heís got other responsibilities?
MASCARENAS: No they are not, they have increased responsibilities other than being an HEO and that becomes evident when they are dealing with crews, they are dealing with jobs, they are dealing with input into projects, they are dealing with employees, time off all that stuff.
SCOZZAFAVA:† So this says, you know construction equipment operator and obviously you would assume thatís what they are doing operating a piece of construction equipment but itís much more involved in that.
DOUGAN:† It really is because right now the way we are operating I think years ago when these jobs were so coveted and everybody wanted a job with the county it was easier to fill some of those things and they just started taking on those rolls.
SCOZZAFAVA:† So to get to that position is it usually through promotion?† Is it a tested position?
DOUGAN:† The CEO is the last position that is still in the labor class everything above that becomes as part of the competitive class.
SCOZZAFAVA:† It is competitive?
BARBER: Are you recommending that they get a Class A license also?
DOUGAN:† Not requiring that.
BARBER:† Youíre not requiring that?
DOUGAN: Iím not requiring that, no itís not required right now.
MERRIHEW:† This is part of the overall, as you mentioned the necessity of the legality of people that do have Class A are basically out of title right now?
DOUGAN: That is correct.
MERRIHEW: Is that part of this address today to reclassify those positions?
DOUGAN:† Yeah, part of the plan, I only have to reclassify two positions with the board okay, the rest would be creating new positions in between that the Personnel Officer can do okay. I tried to give you the whole plan so you can see it even though you donít, I mean, Iíd like your approval of it that this plan makes sense but itís not required that you do a resolution for every new position itís just when we reclassify.† So, Iíd like to where we are talking MEO Iíd like to, an MEO right now requires a Class B license the description Iíve given to a number of people if one of you and I were the only people at DPW this afternoon and you got hurt and the only way for me to get you to Elizabethtown Hospital not having a license I could drive that Class B dump truck and get you here to the hospital and I wouldnít kill anybody, I wouldnít take out any telephone poles or any of those other things but if the only vehicle I had to drive was one of those tractor trailers with the trailer still on the end of it, Iíd get† you here, Iíd save your life but Iíd take that telephone pole thatís right here on the corner, Iíd guarantee Iíd take it out along with two or three parked cars getting here so I think the Class A is worth a little bit more than a Class B so I would have one level higher of an MEO if you have a Class A and you are willing to use it for DPW.
MERRIHEW:† I support your position on that, the question really is are there people ready to hire now that you mentioned that are basically working out of title either we are not compensating properly is that part of the actual action today that can rectify that?
DOUGAN:†† Yup there will, as I said, there will be at least three or four who right away some of them are operating a piece of equipment or operating that Class A tractor trailer all the time.† There are some who have Class Aís that they donít ever want to be in it, they happen to have a license so if they happen to have a license but donít want to perform those duties Iím not necessarily going to but if they all of sudden say no, I want to be part of that, okay, great show me for a little while okay and when I see that thatís consistent yup.
WINEMILLER:† Iím all for this Jim.† I think itís really good.† I just still need to give you a little bit of caution in making sure those job descriptions are very, very clear and detailed so you know, I think one of the things what Tom was saying you know, what if someone says well, I do that too you know, so you want to make sure that in the job description what youíre asking for in that position is clear and can be established.
DOUGAN: I want this to also be an opportunity when we sit with somebody and we do an evaluation okay, you know, everybody says evaluation and evaluation is a bad thing.† Evaluation doesnít have to be a bad thing.† It could be an evaluation is sometimes an employee telling me where they want to go in their career and then me working with their foreman or the general foreman saying give them an opportunity okay so I agree, they have got to be list but I hope that it opens up the line of communications with some of these workers a little bit better to say I do believe in what youíre doing and I see how you feel a little stagnant here and Iím trying to give you a few steps although I donít like the old step system that was here because it always rewarded people with more years of experience whether they did more work or not.
McNALLY:† Your current employee with a Class B, are they going to be available to take the Class A? Are we going to pay them?
DOUGAN: We could.
McNALLY:† Iím just saying, in all fairness if there be an incentive to have a Class A, what about our current employees?† How many of those are going to want to get a Class A license? And are we going to pay for it?
DOUGAN: I have two mechanics right now who arenít on my snowplow crew in the winter time because mechanics arenít required to be on it but we offer it to them if theyíd like to be and they are both interested in getting their Class B or Class A license.† You know Mr. Monty was trying to help with some stuff from ACAP to help them with that funding and it just hasnít come through but so yeah, I think that program would help people as well.
McNALLY:† That should be made available to those people.
SCOZZAFAVA: So back to the construction equipment operator, is that a competitive position?† Do you have to take a written exam to get that?
MASCARENAS:† The answer is no but you have to meet a minimum qualification just like you do for any civil service job so if you were to look at a spec you have to have x amount of years of service, you likely I donít have it in front of me but you likely have to have what Jim for license?† Grade B or C?
DOUGAN:† For the construction equipment operator?
DOUGAN: I believe the requirements are six years with the county.
SCOZZAFAVA: We have three positions, two which are open right now?
SCOZZAFAVA: So do we have people in house that we could promote if we wanted to with this increase that would qualify for that position?
DOUGAN:† We have two people who actually have already taken the foremanís exam who were hoping will move into that position. They have shied away from it because for the dollars that are being offered they donít want the supervisor responsibilities.
SCOZZAFAVA: And itís a union position?
SCOZZAFAVA: Thank you.
DELORIA:† Alright, very good. So, if there is no other questions can I have a motion to move on resolution #3 reclassification of construction equipment operator.
GARRISON:† You have a mover and second.
DELORIA: Oh, I do. Who made the motion?
GARRISON: Mr. Scozzafava, second by Mr. Harrington.
DELORIA: All in favor, any opposed, any other questions Ė carried.
DEZALIA: I see also they do have the labor going from three up to six on page three?
DOUGAN:† We have a laborer, we donít have a highway laborer right now. We have a laborer position that could actually be somebody under 18 years old but the highway laborer position will have requirements. They are going to have to go through my training to be a flag person and some of those kinds of things to meet that requirement.† So it is a new position.
DEZALIA:† Okay and you wonít have a laborer?
DOUGAN: Laborer may still be in house for buildings and grounds and some of those kinds of locations okay but they wonít be able to be a flag person out on the road if they are doing straight labor.
DELORIA:† Okay that motion was approved, carried.
SCOZZAFAVA:† On those last two motions, can I, is it possible, Iíd like to see something from the union prior to full board on these two positions.
MASCARENAS:† We could Tom.† I donít feel itís prudent to do that. I think that youíre giving up your right to set the pay scale in terms of that and to direct and deploy the work force in terms of managementís rules and responsibility that really is on us so I donít know what youíre looking for in particular?
SCOZZAFAVA:† I can tell you what I feel is going to happen and hopefully Iím wrong.† I think we are going to open the door up and we are going to be getting this from every department, from here on down.† I hope Iím wrong on that but thatís what I feel is going to happen.
MONTY:† Then we answer it.† We canít keep sticking our head in the sand and avoiding difficult things because weíre afraid we are going to upset another department.† Well, you know what Ė
SCOZZAFAVA: Iím not afraid Iím going to upset another department but thereís such thing as fairness also.
MONTY:† Well, you know what? Let them bring that to us.
DELORIA:† Let me just interject a little bit we have department heads and these gents do a remarkable job in putting this package together and we have other department heads and if they so feel necessary weíll bring it into committee and we can deal with it on a case by case basis.
MASCARENAS:† I agree and Tom you know you and I personally worked with Terri Morse on her package.† We just did this not that long ago and it impacted fifteen and we didnít talk to the union. We did this the department of social services two years ago.† We didnít talk to the union.† We look at facts.† We look at what makes sense and I think we do the best we can with the information we have in front of us. I absolutely understand your concern.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Well, it didnít take the union long to beat us up with this big, 30% raise we received in the Adirondack Daily Record.
MASCARENAS: Yeah, and that wasnít fair either.
DELORIA: Okay letís move to number 4 Jim.† Do you want to lead us in that?
DOUGAN:† Yeah, number 4 is hopefully a little similar.† Iím requesting authorization to issue a permit to Lake Placid Marathon/LPM Events for the use of county roads for the 2023 Lake Placid Marathon. That will take place on Sunday, June 11, the only county road they will be using is River Road, County Route 21 in North Elba.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A PERMIT TO LAKE PLACID MARATHON/LPM EVENTS LLC FOR THE USE OF THE COUNTY ROADWAYS FOR THE 2023 LAKE PLACID MARATHON EVENT TO TAKE PLACE ON SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2023.† Holzer, Wright
DELORIA:† Any questions?† If not, being none, all in favor, any opposed Ė carried.
DOUGAN:† Next one is another permit. This is a permit to the Minerva Central School for the use of county roadways for a 5K race.† It will take place on Sunday, June 11, and it is utilizing county routes 29, 30 and 34.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A PERMIT TO MINERVA CENTRAL SCHOOL FOR THE USE OF THE COUNTY ROADWAYS FOR A 5K RACE TO TAKE PLACE ON SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2023. Harrington, Winemiller
DELORIA:† Any questions?† If not, being none, all in favor, any opposed Ė carried.
DOUGAN:† Number six, another permit.† This one is to Ironman Lake Placid for the use of county roadways. Itís Sunday, July 23.† They will be using county road 21, River Road and county route 19, Haselton Road.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF A PERMIT TO IRONMAN LAKE PLACID FOR THE USE OF THE COUNTY ROADWAYS FOR THE 2023 IRONMAN TRIATHALON EVENT TO TAKE PLACE ON SUNDAY, JULY 23, 2023.† Holzer, Wright
DELORIA:† Any questions?† If not, being none, all in favor, any opposed Ė carried.
DOUGAN:† Number seven is a contract amendment with Reale Construction. This is our civil term contract.† This would be for work on Lake Shore Road and the Town of Westport.† Itís in the amount not to exceed $27,650.00.† The location of this is about .3 miles south of the Clark Road intersection.† Itís 400 feet long, both lanes, 24Ē of new Item 4 gravel and weíre providing the materials.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT AMENDMENT WITH REALE CONSTRUCTION IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEEED $27,650.00 FOR LABOR AND EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR LIMITED ROAD RECONSTRUCTION OF A SECTION OF COUNTY ROUTE 80, LAKE SHORE ROAD, LOCATED IN THE TOWN OF WESTPORT WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM BUDGETED FUNDS.† Barber, Scozzafava
DELORIA:† Any questions?† If not, being none, all in favor, any opposed Ė carried.
DOUGAN:† Number eight is a contract amendment with AES.† In an amount not to exceed $7,500, for mechanical engineering services at the public safety building. This is looking at the building management HVAC, as we discussed in the facilities committee that building HVAC was extremely proprietary in nature. We tried to put out to bid a bid for integration services.† We got nobody to bid on it so we would like to bring AES to develop that bid along so that it can be a lot more specific and see with a more specific bid if we will eventually need an integrator and move away from that very proprietary equipment.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT AMENDMENT WITH AES NORTHEAST PLLC, IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $7,500.00 FOR PROFESSIONAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SERVICES INCLUDING HVAC/BUILDING MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEM EVALUATION AND ASSISTANCE AT THE PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM BUDGETED FUNDS.† Winemiller, DeZalia
DELORIA:† Any questions?† If not, being none, all in favor, any opposed Ė carried.
DOUGAN:† And number nine is a resolution authorizing the purchasing agent to go out to bid for the rehabilitation of the Pine Street Bridge over the Saranac located in the Town of St. Armand.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO GO OUT TO BID THE SARANAC RIVER BRIDGE REHABILIATION PROJECT LOCATED WITHIN THE TOWN OF ST. ARMAND.† Harrington, Barber
DELORIA:† Any questions?
WINEMILLER:† I have a question.† Tell me about the sewer line.
DOUGAN:† The sewer line?
WINEMILLER: In regards to this bridge?
DOUGAN:† We coordinated with the Village of Saranac Lake on the sewer that goes through there.† They feel the sewer line is okay.† What we are doing with this project is weíre going to rehabilitating the whole deck and removing, you drive that Iím sure so youíll notice as you go onto the concrete bridge deck itself itís in really bad shape so we are adding drainage. Weíre replacing the baringís that hold that back, itís no longer moving like it should and then redoing the asphalt on each side.
WINEMILLER:† So you will not be doing any alterations to that sewer line?
DELORIA: Any other questions?† All in favor, any opposed Ė carried.† I believe youíre done Mr. Dougan.
DOUGAN: Any questions on my report?
HUGHES: Iím not on the committee but Jim, I just want to say I think you show excellent leadership in your department to improve the culture. In recruitment and retention we have been talking about thinking outside of the box for a long time and this is a great opportunity to show leadership in thinking outside of the box and if other department heads take your lead weíll take it as a comes so thank you very much.
WINEMILLER: I concur and I have a question.† It says update on the Fish Hatchery.
DOUGAN: Update on the Fish Hatchery. Weíre stocking right now.† Thatís mostly what weíre in.† We did put some money aside in ARPA plans potentially for the Fish Hatchery.† Iím currently working with CVTech to see if their pre engineering students will take on the design of some new things there that will be friendly to the public as part of a class project for next year.† Mr. Hughes met with me and one of the representatives a month or so ago so weíre hoping we can move forward with the bid with that.
WINEMILLER: And whatís going on with DEC in regards to the Fish Hatchery?
DOUGAN: †We submitted our report to them. We submitted a draft report with no recommendation. We gave them three options and we submitted just a report so weíre waiting to hear back from them on that report right now.† We continue to monitor our SPEDES both in flow and out flow.
WINEMILLER: Thank you.
DELORIA:† Very good.
HUGHES:† Jim did you heard back from that CVTech on fish hatchery?
DOUGAN: I did not.† They were on break last week as well so Iím hopefully that early this week I hear from them.
HUGHES: Okay me too.
DELORIA:† Ms. Halloran, good morning.
HALLORAN:† Hello everyone.† So weíre packing for our tree sale this Friday.† Also if you ordered or know anybody thatís our day of distribution.
The Ag grants that we typically apply for have opened up so we are putting together what we are going to apply for this year.† Weíre definitely going to have some agricultural projects happening. We didnít have a lot last year but there are a bunch that are going to be underway.
We found out that the DEC soil disturbance construction permit, agriculture is not exempt from that one acre of disturbances or more so thatís going to add more to our work, our engineering costs and some of our time on those projects.
And weíve already started getting hydro seeding requests so it wonít be for another month before we are doing that but we are still looking for an intern so we hopefully can get all our work done this year so if you know of anyone send them our way.† Any questions?
WILSON:† The live edge plow grants I talked to our Highway Super and heís really excited about that so thank you for getting that going and helping towns experiment with live edge plow.
DELORIA:† Thank you Mr. Wilson.
WINEMILLER:† I just have a question regarding the Lake Champlain Basin Program, it states stream study data analysis underway, can you please tell me what exactly they are studying, what data they are studying?
HALLORAN:† So we took samples of some streams in Port Henry, just looking at upstream and downstream what some of the nutrients and things that we might find in there. We did that for the past two years so now they are just comparing that data, looking at that data and seeing what it is going to show us and that is funded by the Basin Program.
WINEMILLER: And that is done on the Vermont side as well?
HALLORAN:† There is a lot of different stuff happening and the basin program has a lot of stream monitor happening but it hasnít been happening in the Port Henry area and they have been having some harmful algae blooms there so we just wanted to see what it will show us.
WINEMILLER:† I would be really interested to see that data and I think you all know where Iím going with that.
HALLORAN:† Yeah, we are going to do a report so that will be available to everyone when itís done.
WINEMILLER:† Perfect, thank you so much.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Mill Brook and Kenzie are a few major outlets into Lake Champlain and I think Irene and Leigh both have tremendous impact.† In Vermont we only hear them after they dump a couple million gallons of raw sewage into Lake Champlain every three or four weeks, then they are on the news briefly.† Other than that, we get an algae bloom in one of our regions and itís national news.† They dump millions of gallons of sewage in Burlington and you donít hear anything about it.
WINEMILLER:† Canada was doing that too.
SCOZZAFAVA:† They probably are.
MASCARENAS:† We can tell you are getting ready to retire.
DELORIA:† Anything else for Alice?† Being none, Alice, thank you.† We stand adjourned.
††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this DPW committee it was adjourned at 9:28 a.m.
Judith Garrison, Clerk
Board of Supervisors