A Voice from the Gallery
“Standing up for something even if it means standing alone…” (author unknown)
Mayor Glas called the November 5, 2015, regular Alcester City Council meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with all council members present. The agenda and minutes of the October 5th and 29th meetings were approved unanimously.
There was no public input but the Mayor was slotted time on the agenda to respond to my formal complaint of August 3, 2015, regarding public admissions of statute violations and lease agreement by Theresa Deem in front of the Mayor, the city council and myself with the rest of the gallery on July 6th, 2015. Needless to say the Mayor was unhappy with my persistence action be taken. Mayor Glas rambled on about the cost incurred by my complaint, legal fees, the whopping (my term, not his) $1200.00 per month income from the bar and the fact he visited the bar on October 16, 2015, and smelled no smoke. So Mayor Glas did you let them know you were coming? Mayor Glas failed to take into account the debit side of the bar lease per month, Theresa Deem has repeatedly come to the council for money to fix routine maintenance costs attributed to the lessee outlined in the operating agreement as her responsibility and wonder-of-wonders another line item further down the agenda was a beer cooler for the bar. Not to be confused with a previous demand for a new Keg cooler. A used beer cooler is running about $1200.00+, so there goes the profit for the month. Tell me again about the vast income the city is getting off of the bar, Mayor? Really? Add to that, the CDBG loan that was awarded to Madam Deem on a building she didn’t own, a primary loan that didn’t exist ( which is part of the criteria) and I believe the council gave her $10K with which she bought inventory. Other applicants for CDBG loans have been turned down due to the same criteria Theresa Deem was approved. Really! We lose money on the lease, we lose money in property tax, it is time to sell the property to someone who wants to own and operate a bar and by which we will recover property tax. Right now, it appears the city is running a five and dime charity that serves alcohol using property owners tax dollars to fund the operation.
As the Mayor pin-balled his way through the agenda, the next item dealt with on the agenda was acceptance of Ryan Knutson’s resignation. Interesting procedural blunder by Mayor Glas, a motion was made by Lance Johnson, a second received by Mike Burke and the Mayor Glas called for the vote without asking for further discussion. This is a procedural error I had previously pointed out to him, h-m-m. So without a call for further discussion David Larsen, Audri Carlson, Lance Johnson, Mike Burke and Kama Johnson voted for acceptance of Ryan Knutson’s resignation with Mark Dykstra voting not to accept the resignation. Then a couple council members asked questions and wanted to discuss the issue. TOO LATE! Mr. Mayor the time for discussion, was before the vote.
Police Officer Jesse asked permission to create a Facebook page for the police department to report “positive” items only. H-m-m With an almost imperceptible jab in the side by Councilman Mark Dykstra who was once again channeling Jeff Dunham, Mike Burke moved to approve the creation of a Facebook page with a second coming from Kama Johnson. Talk about a pure definition of irony concerning the motion and second here. It would be kinda nice to include a police call blotter log on the Facebook page for ‘positive’ law enforcement. Once again without a call for further discussion, the council voted unanimously for a Police Facebook page creation.
Bam, out-of-the-blue Mike Burke jumped, groped for the proper statute number, finally making a motion to go into executive session to discuss personnel with the aid of Kama Johnson reading the statute numbers for him. David L seconded the motion and the council went into executive session to discuss personnel with Officer Jesse.
Next up was the vacancy of the Police chief position. Evidently there has already been an advertisement for police chief. Now folks, the city doesn’t need a police chief. Why pay a salary of $40K+ for a police chief plus $31K officer pay, when two police officers work just as well for approximately $62K? As chief law enforcement officer, the mayor can handle the scheduling.
2016 Liquor license and Operating agreement staying at the 2015 price level, motion was made by Lance Johnson with a second coming from David Larsen. Again no discussion prior to vote, council voted unanimously. So my question is, why are we no longer advertising the bar lease to get the best price for the bar?
Community Building remodel committee has been developing a survey for the public. Perhaps the committee should review the findings of the previous hardworking committee led by Mark Doty and which committee was blown off by the then seated council and nothing happened on a community building project.
The council entertained a motion by David Larsen to adjourn, second from Audri Carlson and unanimously approved and the council was adjourned.
After the council members exited the meeting room, I approached the Mayor since I did not have the opportunity to address his response in council meeting to discuss why it was my right as a resident and property owner in Alcester to file a complaint and my obligation to insist action be taken on a properly filed complaint.