County warns the airport commission
This letter was sent to Jesse Law, chairman, Martha's Vineyard Airport Commission by E. Winn Davis, Dukes County manager, and Noreen Mavro Flanders, Dukes County treasurer, with the approval of the Dukes County commissioners:
We want to express concern over the [vote of the Airport Commission re: terms of employment for airport manager] taken by the Airport Commission at its January 4, 2006 meeting and to advise you that the county cannot endorse or become a party to any agreement based on the terms set out in the vote. Our issues are grounded principally on the facts that the terms of employment set out in the vote are not consistent with the County of Dukes County Personnel Bylaws plan duly adopted by the County on 25 September 1996 that is currently in effect, and that this action is inconsistent with the vote of the Airport Commission of 1 June 2005. Additionally, participation by any individual in the County Retirement Plan cannot be effective without approval of the County Retirement Board.
While we understand that the issue of the Airport Commission's powers with respect to the Airport Manager is the subject of ongoing litigation in another factual context, we are aware of no statute or confirmatory binding, or final judicial holding by a court of competent jurisdiction that authorizes the Airport Commission to require the County to recognize any Airport Manager appointed by the Commission as a County employee or participant in the County retirement system, or to assume any financial or administrative obligations without confirming or ratifying action by the County and the County Retirement Board.
We understand the desire of the Airport Commission to fill the position of Airport Manager as quickly as possible. This letter does not seek to negate your process, but is intended as an advisory of substantial concerns. By making you aware of our unease, we hope to avoid irreconcilable conflict that may lead to adversarial relations between the Commission and County and to ensure that the employment relationship is structured properly. We are prepared to work with you to resolve these issues. In furtherance of this goal, we will place the new Airport Manager on the established Grade 19, Step 8, at $88,685.89, which Grade and Step most closely approximates the stated salary. However, please be advised that step increases on the County system do not meet your expectations of 5 percent increases, so you should submit your request for changes to the Personnel Committee in a timely fashion to avoid problems in the future.