Dukes County commissioners will treat employees to lunch


The Dukes County commissioners will sponsor a buffet lunch for county employees and invited Island officials, at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School cafeteria Tuesday. The purpose, county commissioner Melinda Loberg of Tisbury said, is to recognize county workers and the programs they provide. The event invitation says April is county government month.

The invited guests include county employees, associate commissioners, members of the county advisory board, regional officials, town managers, and tribal representatives. Ms. Loberg said the county commissioners, not taxpayers, will pay for the lunch, prepared by the high school culinary arts students.

Taxpayers will be asked to pay for county government when the commissioners and members of the finance advisory board, which includes one selectman from each town, meet Wednesday, April 27 to discuss the $5,574,278, FY 2012 budget.

That figure includes the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, Registry of Deeds, treasurer’s department and sheriff’s department, entities not under the control or supervision of the county manager.

In terms of day-to-day supervision and responsibilities, the county manager manages three people in three departments: the assistant county manager, veterans affairs agent, and the integrated pest management worker.

Next year, Dukes County taxpayers will be asked to fund county pay hikes, although county-funded services directly under the control of the county manager continue to shrink.

Nearly all the county budget increases are attributable to salary increases resulting from a reorganization of the employee pay scale and a two-percent cost of living allowance (COLA) granted to county employees.

Town-meeting voters have no direct say in the assessment they must pay. The assessment cannot be amended on the town meeting floor and does not show up on the operating budget.

Next year’s county assessments by town are: Chilmark, $128,024; Edgartown, $305,423; Aquinnah, $31,459; Gosnold, $11,360; Oak Bluffs, $126,276; Tisbury, $126,276; West Tisbury, $120,596.

The members of the county advisory board are: Art Smadbeck of Edgartown; Ron DiOrio of Oak Bluffs; Jeff Kristal of Tisbury; Jeffrey Manter of West Tisbury; Frank Fenner of Chilmark; Jim Newman of Aquinnah; and Kris Lombard of Gosnold.

The seven elected Dukes County commissioners are Carlene Gatting of Edgartown, chairman; Tristan Israel of Tisbury, vice-chairman; Leslie Leland of West Tisbury, Lenny Jason of Chilmark, John Alley of West Tisbury, Thomas Hallahan of Oak Bluffs, and Melinda Loberg of Tisbury.

The budget meeting begins at 5 pm in the Vineyard Transit Authority in the Airport Business Park.