02/04/2016 A Voice from the Gallery

A Voice from the Gallery

02/04/2016

                                                        “Think is not illegal… “

                                                                                                       public awareness message, author unknown

After running through the February 1, 2016, meeting agenda and past meeting minutes approvals, once again Mayor Glas failed to ask if there was further discussion between the second to the motion and the vote.   I find it interesting that Alcester City Council met on January 4th, 2016, then again on January 11th ( police hire-what happened to a committee meeting?) and January 20th (discussion purchase of CAT 930G), 2016, yet no action was taken in these ’emergency’ meetings excepting the hire of a police officer which could have been accomplished in the February 1st meeting. Mayor Glas phizzed and moaned about my complaint costing the city legal fees, so what about these non-emergency, emergency council meetings?

In the February 1st meeting, the council gave permission to negotiate a trade plus $1,000 on an Allis D14 or Allis D17, contingent on successful negotiations, purchase and financing of a wheel loader and a wheel loader blade was considered. While the council was discussing the financing offer from Caterpillar-Butler Machinery, a side out-of-order conversation was held between Councilman Dykstra and the street department resulting in an impromptu offer from Councilman Dykstra State Bank of Alcester would match the Cat-Butler offer. So was Mr. Dykstra acting as a council person or an employee of the bank? Two motions were made, one contingent upon the Loader Purchase with the second placing the financing with State Bank of Alcester. Vote on the financing motion was four yes with an abstention coming from Mark Dykstra. Upon the vacant look on the face of Mayor Glas, the term conflict-of-interest had to be defined for the Mayor to explain why Councilman Dykstra abstained from the vote. I find it troubling that Caterpillar-Butler was not advised they were dealing with an in-house money lender in Councilman Dykstra and they were not given an opportunity to amend their offer.

Ken from FCS appeared at the Public hearing regarding the Resolution of Intent to Annex presenting questions:

1) Why was the city annexing now, was it because of the taxing ability on the new bins?

                 Answer. Increased FCS heavy truck traffic on First Street in Alcester was causing   abnormal wear and tear on a street not engineered for the extreme loads FSC bound trucks are subjecting to the street.

2) Which is it, county or township?

                 Answer. The proposed annexed parcel has always been in the township.

3) Why the increase in tax rate because in 2011-2015 the taxes were $11,000.00, why did it bump to $18,000+/-.

                 Answer. A study by SECOG in December 2015placed the property valuation at $1.6 million on Non Ag.

Executive session was called at 6:45 p.m. for legal counsel and returning to open meeting at 6:58 p.m.  No action taken in open meeting.

It seems the police car former Mayor Rick Johnson found wasn’t such a good deal after all. According to the diagnosis, the bearings went out in the motor and that a $6500.00 squad car now needs $5500.00 worth of motor rebuild .   Sadly according to Finance officer Jurrens, she did not feel the $3000.00 formerly budgeted per year safety net to purchase future police cars was necessary. Now we are down one police squad with the remaining squad questionable and because of the budget fudge, apparently the city does not have ready funds to repair or replace the squad.

FCS has proposed a grain storage building along East Clark Street which was tabled due to local resistance to putting a grain storage building on the fair grounds and to wait for annexation approval.

Executive session was called again at 7:38 p.m. for personnel, returning to open meeting at 8:28 p.m. and once again no action was taken in open meeting. Why is it that the city of Alcester has so many personnel issues?

Several months ago the HRC and Finance Officer lobbied the council to allow people living outside the city limits of Alcester to serve on the HRC arm of Alcester City. When the council approved this, I wondered do we not have qualified Alcester property tax payers to serve on the HRC??   Then I found some of these non-municipal residents wanting to be on Alcester HRC were realtors. Nicole Hurlburt recently appointed to the Alcester HRC is a non municipal resident but that is okay she is qualified ’cause apparently she is a loan processor at the State Bank of Alcester.

Special item of significance 202 Broad Street Mayor Glas proposed erecting a Menards-type steel shed for city offices at 202 Broad with a garage door for police car or city owned vehicle for the use of city employees to ‘go to meetings’. In addition to the city offices shed it was suggested another shed would be erected at 202 Broad so at-large-dogs could be caged rather than send them to Hawarden. Evidently Mayor Glas is above his own zoning rules, the same Mayor who wants grass measured, weeds euthanized and yard decor approved by he and his poesy posse wants to erect a steel shed in a residential area of Alcester. So much for protecting property values in Alcester.

Alcester apparently is working on their version of Flint, MI by ignoring the antediluvian infrastructure in west Alcester in favor of a multi-million dollar remodel of the auditorium. Naming rights? Those are so short lived, ’cause the commemorative plaque dedicated to those who financially supported the original community building has been relegated to the basement. In addition a lift station ($100K =/-) has been proposed for the North Industrial Park which would dump black water into the sewer lines on the west side of town. Wish list tenants of the North Industrial Park mentioned include a spec building, a storage building and a used car lot.

So folks,

 

Think is not illegal…Yet!”

                                                                                                        public awareness message, author unknown