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The Lobster Tank

Live from the County: Nov. 14

9:35 a.m. The Human Services committee starts by talking about the Office For the Aging going out to meet with different meal sites about the possibility of cuts to the program.

9:42 a.m. Patty Bashaw said that she was going out to meet with seniors, which had County Chair Randall "Randy" Douglas concerned that they might be running a fear campaign. Other supervisors said they felt it the meetings were appropriate to let people know what may be happening.

9:46 a.m. The tentative budget for Essex County will come out tomorrow. Some supervisors have said that this discussion in mute until they have the budget in hand.

9:48 a.m. Newcomb Supervisor George Canon and Douglas asked that Bashaw not come to their towns to hold the meeting.

9:49 a.m. By the way, in case you are wondering, continuing to hit the refresh button on your browser will give you the most updated post from this blog.

9:59 a.m. The discussion has turned more to the budgeting process, with the tentative budget coming out tomorrow and the budget committee at the county starting to go over it.

10:01 a.m. Mental Health Director Steve Valley is now addressing the board with the appointment of Lauren Polvere to the community services board and to report that the department received $5,000 in a Systems of Care Grant.

10:07 a.m. Valley is talking about the Project Hope program with the supervisors.

10:09 a.m. Horace Nye Director Deborah Gifford now takes the podium, with three items on the agenda. Two deal with increasing revenues and appropriations in two accounts.

10:10 a.m. The other raises private care aid from $290 to $295 per day. Scozzafava questioned the amount of the raise, to which Gifford said that she had used a number of factors to determine the amount.

10:11 a.m. John O'Neill of the Department of Social Services had a budget amendment request to get an annual grant of $40,000 into revenues and appropriations.

10:16 a.m. Linda Beers of the Public Health Department is next, with a resolution adopting policies and procedures.

10:18 a.m. Beers also gave an update on a domestic farm animal being tested positive for rabies, and also that the footbridge project is nearing completion and that the tobacco free policy will go into effect this Thursday, Nov. 17.

10:20 a.m. Beers said that flu shots have been down, but also pointed out that other organizations and businesses have also been offering them.

10:21 a.m. Nancy Dougal of Public transportation is talking about putting the funding for a bus into the budget from state aid.

10:22 a.m. Dougal said that ridership is up on, and there were over 200 riders on the Cascade Express in its first month of operation.

10:23 a.m. Committee meeting adjourned, Public Safety to start in five minutes.

10:32 a.m. The Public Safety meeting started with Elizabethtown Supervisor Noel Merrihew III talking about the Veterans Day Ceremony in the Essex County Memorial Cemetery.

10:34 a.m. Board of Elections' Derinda Sherman said that the election was a successful one, but some supervisors (Douglas, Scozzafava) said that results were not reported fast enough.

10:41 a.m. The majority of supervisors are basically saying that there needs to be a better way to report results so that they are posted before 11 p.m. at night.

10:28 a.m. Sherman said that the inspectors are still learning the system and that it will take time to master it.

10:56 a.m. Don Jaquish is now reporting for the Department of Emergency Services.

10:57 a.m. Sheriff Cutting has presented his monthly report and resolutions pertaining to the jail and department.

10:59 a.m. Daniel Connell of Westport said that they should take a look at the amount of money on the criminal justice system. He said that the amount seems dis-proportionate to the size of the county and thinks that it looks strange to be not looking at jail funding while looking at other areas like the Horace Nye Nursing Home.

11:03 a.m. During her time, Sherman also announced the schedule for the Wednesday, Nov. 16, absentee counts in close elections. The Essex ballots will be counted at 9 a.m., the Elizabethtown ballots will be counted at 11 a.m. and the North Hudson ballots will be counted at 2 p.m.

11:16 a.m. Talk now centers on covering overtime and sick time pay.

11:21 a.m. The committee stands adjourned. I have to head back to the office, so I will not be at the final committee meeting of the day. Good day.

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