03/11/2016 A Voice from the Gallery

 “Your ignorance is their power”

Riley Villiers-Furz,  PAW PRINT,   09/06/13

      The March 7, 2016, council meeting convened at 6.00 p.m. with Mayor Glas and full council present. Approximately 10 minutes into the meeting, after Agenda approval as amended, the minutes of the February 1st and 15th meetings were approved and public input was received, the council went on to the Resolution of Intent to Annex. Councilman David Larsen brought the question that the Union County Commissioners amended Alcester Resolution 2016-01, a Resolution of Annexation:

Alcester City Annexation Motion by Karpen, second by Headid to approve the resolution provided by the city of Alcester with the amendment “including all adjoining roads”. Motion carried. Resolution #UCC 2016-001 A RESOLUTION APPROVING ANNEXATION OF TERRITORY BY THE CITY OF ALCESTER WHEREAS, the City of Alcester desires to annex the following described property, to wit: Lot D-SE 28-95-49 was is 307.5 x 300 ft as occupied west of Iowa Street and north of South Street. WHEREAS,    pursuant to SDCL 9-4-5, such annexation may be subject to review by the Board of     County Commissioners. THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Union County Board of  County Commissioners, that the annexation of the above described territory by the City   of Alcester be and the same is hereby approved. **to include all adjoining roads. Motion    carried.”

(Unapproved minutes of the Union County Commissioners meeting on February 4, 2016, published in the Alcester Union-Hudsonite on February 11, 2016.)

After input from city attorney Chuck Haugland, Mayor Glas called the motion, received the motion from Councilman Lance Johnson who failed to specify the council was considering their initial motion and not the amended motion from the Union County Commissioners, Councilman Mike Burke called second, Mayor Glas failed to call for discussion and the council voted unanimously to approve Councilman Lance Johnson’s motion. It is my opinion, the residents of Alcester may be on the hook for the maintenance of South Street, South Iowa with the twin culverts which need to be replaced. WOW!

At approximately 6:15 p.m. Mayor Glas called for executive session to discuss I believe 1.25.2-3 ( Executive meeting, #3, “Consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters…”, it was hard to decipher the mumbling groping for the correct statute. Usually a specific explanation is made, but with Mayor Glas it is the exception unless he is prompted to follow the rule.

Legal update on the status of 202 Broad street which apparently is in foreclosure with a pending bankruptcy which slows the foreclosure process. Mayor Glas told Alcester City Attorney Haugland to handle this issue a.s.a.p. presumably the next day, to which Mr. Haugland told Mayor Glas he was in the middle of tax season and would get to it as soon as he could. Mayor Glas got seven shades of Phizzy, replying, “… the city is paying you as city attorney…” to which Mr. Haugland replied, “I am also under retainer with my tax clients…” Mr. Haugland was dismissed from the meeting. It is to be noted here that Mr. Haugland is giving the city a generous discount for his services but it seems the Mayor wants ‘fire sale’ prices for city attorney and police department.

We have a new police chief, Chris Doty. Congratulations Chris.

It appears the Alcester Industrial Park Board is off and running.   By Golly, they want to get things done! Finance Officer Jurrens asked for permission to plat and plan roads. Mayor Glas called the motion, Councilman Lance Johnson made the motion, Councilman David Larsen provided the second with unanimous approval. Ward I has been waiting patiently for years to have their utilities upgraded to current standards, they have had to watch as East side Anderson Street, Lee Drive got the street upgrades with Beck Drive being developed with utilities, East Clark developed and meanwhile the folks living on the West side are still waiting. So do we have a Flint, Michigan, situation in progress?

SRTS or Safe Routes to School update. In 2013 a grant was awarded for non-infrastructure use. News is the powers that be, failed to read the reimbursement grant and understand that it had an expiration date and the $5K (I believe) was not used so the grant folks figured Alcester did not need the grant. Wh-o-e-e Three month extension?

Executive session was called 1-25-2.1 to discuss personnel which I understand is, “to discuss the qualifications, competence, performance, character of fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee. ” H-m-m I can see why they might not want to explain this one and just refer to it by number.  Given the legal history of two of the council members, I find it curious they are suddenly concerned with fitness of character for prospective public officers. While I have taken no oath, the council has and are bound by that oath, but at least one councilman seems to have violated the precepts of executive session.

In 2000 Alcester Mayor Kim Shefte padlocked the doors to city hall, now it seems we are still being locked out but by executive session and coffee klatch-type conversations.

Photo of Alcester City Offices Padlocked

Alcester citizens locked out of city hall when Mayor Shefte padlocked the doors!