12/08/2015 A Voice from the Gallery

A Voice from the Gallery

12/08/2015

 

“Be careful that what you write does not offend anybody or cause     problems within the company. The safest approach is to remove all useful   information”       Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert comic strip.

 

Mayor Glas opened the December 7th meeting of the Alcester City Council at 6:00 pm. with four council members present: Lance Johnson, Audri Carlson, Kama Johnson, Mark Dykstra and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens.

The council approved the agenda and the minutes from council meetings on November 5th and November 30th despite written notification to Mayor Glas on November 30, 2015, with courtesy copies sent to Alcester city attorney and Shane Hill, publisher of the Alcester Union-Hudsonite of an error. Contained within the published and now approved minutes of November 5, 2015, Mayor Glas alleged via his mayoral rebuttal that I accused him of “tapping me on the head”.

During public input I gave the council the page in my complaint which referred to an expression, simile if you will about a pat-on-the-head:

          “…During my discussion of the complaint, Mayor Glas remarked, “…Police Chief Ryan Knutson has been instructed to follow the law…” which in effect was an insulting pat on my head and run along dismissal…” (full text of complaint will be provided soon)

I asked the minutes of November 5, 2015, be corrected and a public retraction be made to reflect the truth. Nothing, nada, zip.

A group of Alcester-Hudson students with their advisor, Mrs. Marissa Kleinhans and with the aid of Mr. Jeff Sebern made an impressive recycling presentation to the city council. After the student group left; a couple of items down the agenda, after a council member or two had time to ‘process’ the presentation, and a brief discussion, the council reached a consensus to pursue recycling in Alcester. Bravo students for you perseverance! Keep up the good work.

The 911 update dealing with the lawsuit between the city and Union County Commissioners moved into Executive session to strategize. This Executive session involved just the mayor, the council and the city attorney, yet Mayor Glas included city employee, Finance officer Jurrens in Executive session. Why? Finance officer Jurrens is not a member of the council nor a strategist. Former Finance Officer Kezar was not included in Executive sessions unless he had specific, official knowledge of a finance office issue. This is not the first time Mayor Glas has included Finance Officer Jurrens in Executive session. She was included in the Executive session when I applied for the open Ward III council position, she was not a council person nor did she have the right to question me as a candidate for Ward III council person which she did. So why was she there? She no longer had a vote, did she? As councilmember she voted to terminate Alcester City Finance Officer Mike Kezar and upon his removal she applied for his position as Finance Officer at an immediate wage equal to his ending wages which included his years experience along with his cost-of-living, merit and longevity raises. Finance Officer Jurrens gave up her council privileges and position to become an employee of the city and now serves at the pleasure of the mayor.

Hard on the heels of coming out of Executive session regarding legal strategizing, the council voted immediately to go back into Executive session to discuss ‘legal matters’! O-o-h my ‘spidey senses’ are tingling as they did on a long ago September 19th!   Again Mayor Glas allowed Finance Officer Jurrens in Executive session. So what Alcester Finance Office expertise does she have on these ‘legal matters’?

Now the council is now considering two officers, rather than a police chief and one officer. O-o-kay.

The 2016 city fees discussion caught my interest, Councilman Dykstra wants to remove the $500.00 fee for demolition. Apparently he knows of ‘someone’ interested in a property within the city that needs to be demolished. Potential Loan? Kama Johnson made the motion to remove the fee, a second by Lance Johnson and the vote was unanimous approval. So what is the definition of Cronyism? Hard on the heels of this vote came a vote to increase late water fees. Lance Johnson moved to raise late water fees from $5.00 to $10.00 per incident, second coming from Kama Johnson and unanimous approval. Really? Remove a $500.00 fee per incident, then raise a $5.00 fee to $10.00 per incident. Must be the new business math? However, the council did waive their fees for the three minute October 29, 2015, meeting!

A special meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, December 17, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is traditionally to take care of end-of-year expenses and matters. The council gave Mayor Glas permission to sign end-of-year warrants by unanimous vote.

The council adjourned at 8:36 p.m.