05/11/2016 A Voice from the Gallery

Dykstra's rope

(above cartoon did not appear with the letter-to-the-editor on June 20, 2013)

Councilman Mark Dykstra made the above offer on June 20, 2013, in response to a letter-to-the-editor by me:

  • “…if you find ten households in our Ward that will call me, identify themselves and express their support for you…I will resign, I will resign with conditions…”

Answer: Councilman Dykstra, I accept your offer! I found more  than ten households in Ward III. My nominating petition for Ward III municipal election carried forty-one (41) signatures when I turned it in.  Those signatures were most definitely verified as legitimate.

  • “…First, all negative attacks on Alcester, its business owners and its residents end now…I want your word on that.”

Answer: Councilman Dykstra I’ve not made any negative attacks on Alcester, its business owners nor its residents. I criticized the  Alcester mayor and the Alcester city council for its actions, inactions and pathetic failure to perform their duty. When I was personally attacked for disseminating these facts, I rebutted the wild-eyed allegations. I criticized lessee  Theresa Deem for allowing minors in the Alcester Bar, for violating state liquor statute by  serving patrons to the point they were too drunk to find their way out of the bar without Madame Deem’s assistance who called the local police officer to help load a drunken patron into Madame’s car and again called the local police officer to unload the same drunken patron when she got him home. I criticized Madame Deem’s failure to pay her own operating expenses, her expectation that Alcester taxpayers fund her share of her ‘business expenses’ and the Alcester City Council’s abysmal failure to enforce the terms of  Theresa Deem’s lease and operating agreement with the city of Alcester.

  • “…Second, in addition to the volunteer work you already do, volunteer your time on the golf course, fairgrounds, community events, etc. doing whatever it takes to make the improvements this town needs. Lead by example.”

Answer: Been there, done that Councilman Dykstra.  “…doing whatever it takes…”, Councilman Dykstra?  Whatever it takes?  I took the classes in 1996 to become a nationally certified EMT and I didn’t see you there Councilman Dykstra! I didn’t see you Councilman Dykstra fundraising for the ambulance to get it going! Along with the rest of the crew of the Alcester ambulance I donated my time  24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for 16 years to the community of Alcester. I donated my time as Treasurer for the Alcester Ambulance.  As the Alcester Ambulance crew and I missed holidays, school programs of our children and family functions to be available to aid members of the community of Alcester, comforting and consoling them in their time of need, where were you Councilman Dykstra? Along with the other ambulance volunteers, I worked stand-by at county fair tractor pulls, county fair fireworks displays, stand-by at school football games, stand-by at wrestling tournaments and stand-by at baseball tournaments. I attended recertification classes for EMT, twice I attended and went through all of the classes training new EMT’s and even taught a class or two under the supervision of the certified instructor.   Where were you Councilman Dykstra on those cold dark nights when we treated victims of car crashes, farm accidents and industrial accidents. Where were you when we consoled family members of those who didn’t make it? I  volunteered and worked with Alcester Finance Officer Mike Kezar planning a municipal league district meeting hosted by the city of Alcester. As an officer in Alcester Commercial Club I worked to make a second ball field happen. I volunteer at the Alcester Food Pantry, I sat as a member of the Alcester City/School Library Board, I was a Girl Scout leader for three different troops of girls because we were short leaders, I was a Girl Scout council representative and Girl Scout cookie chair for the community. MY business has donated a ball-washer at the golf course, city Christmas decorations, money for scoreboards and numerous give-away items promoting Alcester.

  • “…Third, you become the positive leader on the council to encourage existing businesses to prosper here and new start-ups to get all available assistance this city can afford them.”

AnswerAs a member of Alcester Commercial Club and Alcester Chamber of Commerce  since 1986, I have encouraged local business and patronized local businesses where I could.

  • “…Fourth-you lead the charge to make Alcester a safer place to enjoy, providing them with safe walks, safe ball fields, and the park. Include in this the fairgrounds…”

Answer: I was a member of the initial safe routes to school with Police Chief Jim Morey. I was a member of CERT, citizens emergency response team. I supported Mayor Peter Larsen when he went after the Union County Commissioners for their failure to safeguard the land (carnival area) they leased from the City of Alcester by sub-leasing the land to the local elevator to allow grain to be stored on the land, killing the grass leaving a smelly mess and damaging a city asset. I remember you being very critical of Mayor Larsen for being mean to your client farmers. Where was your concern for the fairgrounds then, Councilman Dykstra? In fact it is my belief you asked to be appointed to the Alcester City Council with the agenda of “protecting the elevator”, right?

  • Lastly…writing a monthly newsletter to the paper, keeping us informed…but…be positive…”  

Answer: I have been writing letters-to-the-editor keeping Alcester residents  informed. Unfortunately what y’all have been doing has not been positive, ‘somebody’ didn’t like being called out for it and complained to the publisher. You cannot fix what is wrong, if it is not exposed to the light of discovery.


“What good is a man’s word, if it is conditional?”

author unknown

                                                           Vickie A. Larsen