FARMINGTON – The Franklin County Commissioners hired Tiffany Baker as the Deputy County Administrator, Unorganized Territories Manager, and Human Resources Director during their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Baker has been responsible for general HR in the county since the summer of 2021. County Administrator Amy Bernard recommended that the commissioners appoint a deputy county administrator and UT manager in the event that Bernard is absent for any reason, to help ensure smooth operations in the county. This will put Baker on the salary scale at $75,812.35, an increase from approximately $55,000, but roughly $25,000 will come from the UT budget instead of the County budget.
The commissioners unanimously approved the hire and appointment.
In addition, Luke DiSilvestro was hired as a permanent full-time deputy. In a previous meeting he was hired as a temporary full-time deputy and, per contractual agreements, the position had to be posted internally for ten days. Once hired as a temporary deputy, DiSilvestro had the opportunity to apply internally; he was the only applicant for the permanent full-time position, Lt. David Rackliffe told the commissioners.
DiSilvestro will start on Monday, Rackliffe said.
The commissioners agreed, two to one, to enter into a contract with the Maine County Commissioners Risk Pool for a cyber coverage policy for the next six months. There was not an exact cost for the proposal but it would not exceed $87,500. This had to be resolved by December 1 to ensure the county had coverage.
On a tangent, Rackliffe raised a concern, saying that the MCCA Risk Pool would not cover liability for officers to perform blood draws for suspected instances of operating under the influence. Currently the sheriff’s office has one supervisor trained and certified to perform a blood draw in the field. Law enforcement agencies are encountering issues with hospitals and EMS providers denying requests to draw a blood draw for people in custody, Rackliffe said, so there is no way to gather evidence for a suspected OUI case unless a trained officer can do so. Without liability coverage through the risk pool, that further restricts options even though the county does have a trained officer. In addition the MCCA Risk Pool does not offer liability insurance for at-home canine care in the event that an incident occurs at the canine handler’s home.
Bernard noted that the blood draw issue is separate from the cyber coverage policy. Commissioner Bob Carlton said that they would continue looking into the issue.
In addition the county commissioners approved the purchase of a new 2022 pickup truck for the road commissioner for around $39,000, and created a UT vehicle reserve account with $50,000 from undesignated funds. The purchase will come from the new reserve account.
This meeting was recorded by Mt. Blue TV and is available for viewing online at mtbluetv.org