12/01/2015 A Voice from the Gallery

By now many of you have read or heard of Mayor Glas’ rebuttal and allegation that my attentiveness to city business is costing the city money in the minutes of the November 5, 2015 regular city council meeting.

Mayor Glas laid out a unsubstantiated figure of $1120.84, I want a line-item, detailed accounting of that figure. Mayor Glas went on to moan about the cost in time and money to the finance office to research my request for Freedom of Information and that it was putting a strain on the finance office. Perhaps less decorating, extraneous work time social business would free up finance office time. Perhaps Mayor Glas you might free up some of that time by setting your own agenda and actually familiarize yourself with the items on the agenda before the meetings rather than always looking to the finance officer during the meeting for information or explanation. In school they call that coming to class prepared!

The city had an emergency meeting at 7:30 a.m. on October 29, 2015, to change the regular November council meeting from November 2, 2015, to November 5, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. with the Mayor Glas and four council members present: Lance Johnson, Kama Johnson, Mark Dykstra and Audri Carlson.   Items on the quickie agenda included: Open meeting, Approve agenda, Change from November 2 to November 5 and the all inclusive “Any other Business”. “Any other business” can cover a multitude of sins almost quite literally because this is where important interesting stuff can be backdoored.   Emergency? I think not and certainly not by municipal definition. So Mayor what did that little emergency cost the property owners in Alcester? I did not see where the council members waived their meeting fee, so Mayor Glas that would be $40 per meeting for you and $30.00 per meeting times four council members for a grand total of $160 and of course you must add time for the finance officer, right? So what exactly was the emergency, football finals? The meeting was called to order at 7:30 a.m. and according to the published minutes the meeting was adjourned at 7:33 a.m.  WOW

Going on to the November 30, 2015, special meeting for police chief (?) with Mayor Glas present with all the council members present: Lance Johnson, Mike Burke, Mark Dykstra, Kama Johnson, Audri Carlson, David Larsen and finance officer Jurrens. While the city police officer was present, the city attorney was not invited to this little soiree! On the agenda of this ‘special’ meeting was : Open Meeting (5:00 p.m.), Approve Agenda, Executive session pursuant to SDCL 1-25-2-1-Personnel interviews and Adjournment. So let’s do the tally: Mayor $40 and $30 times six council members and of course cost of the finance officer brings the cost to $240+/- ! So, between the October 29 and the November 30 special meetings the Mayor spent $400+/- of city dollars. H-m-m

The emergency or ‘specialness’ of last night’s meeting? OMG, we are down a police chief and we gotta hurry up and hire one, no matter what. So you couldn’t wait for the next regular meeting on December 7th? Really? Are ya worried about yet another fight at Madame Woolworth’s Jiggle Joint and ya’ll have just one officer an’ he’s just a youngin’?

Now folks I was at the meeting. One has to admire the time management involved in this meeting. The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. with the following agenda: Open meeting, Approve agenda, Executive session and adjourn. Kama Johnson moved to approve the agenda, with the second coming from Lance Johnson and approval was unanimous. Lance Johnson moved to go into executive session for the reason listed with the second coming from Kama Johnson and approval was unanimous. Executive session at 5:03 p.m. The Mayor, the council, the finance officer and Officer Jesse McLaughlin were cloistered alone for about 20 minutes before they called the only applicant present into the executive session at 5:25 p.m. At 6:07 p.m. applicant Brian came out of the executive session and left. Executive session carried on with occasional bursts of laughter echoing into the hallway. H-m-m? At 6:37 p.m. the executive session was ended and council declared themselves in open session. David Larsen moved to adjourn with the second coming from Lance Johnson and approval was unanimous.

Barring telephonic interviews of which I would have no knowledge, the interview of the lone applicant present could have been compressed and handled in the regular city council meeting. The council was presented with what appeared to be a resume by Officer Jesse McLaughlin. Any resumes of applicants should have been reviewed by the committee that handles law enforcement with final recommendations accompanied by resumes made to the council in advance. There is no reason the council could not have handled this matter at the regular city council meeting.