06/07/2016 A Voice from the Gallery

There is a tired old saw quoted by Mayor Tom Glas last night during the council meeting,

“if you cannot say something good about somebody, then don’t say anything at all.”

Well folks, we have signs on the road warning of danger, we have signs on medicine vials warning of danger, we have signs on electrical devices warning of danger and we have signs on water warning of danger, so we most assuredly, absolutely need to be warned of those two-legged millstones whose mediocre job performance grinds taxpayer wallets to a fine powder which fluffs and stuffs their own consequence.

Mayor Tom Glas opened the Alcester City Council meeting at 6:00 pm with four council members present. Absent were council members Mike Burke and Kama Johnson. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Note: Mayor Glas is responsible for setting the agenda.

Council member Lance Johnson moved the June 6, 2016, meeting agenda be approved as printed, a second from councilwoman Audri Carlson and discussion concerning the Ward Map Update began. In the May 2, 2016, meeting Councilman David Larsen moved to update the Alcester Ward Boundary Map to agree with the 2014 Revised Alcester Municipal Ordinances with a second from Councilman Lance Johnson. Alcester City Attorney Chuck Haugland began the discussion by indicating the need for a resolution to update the Ward Boundary Map to agree with the 2014 Revised Alcester Municipal Ordinances. Acting on this advice, the council agreed unanimously (Dykstra, Larsen, L. Johnson, K. Johnson and Carlson) to table the question until the next regular meeting to allow the city attorney time to draft the resolution document. This tabled old business did not appear on the June 6, 2016, agenda nor was it discussed in the motion to accept the June 6, 2016, agenda. The motion to accept the June 6, 2016, agenda initiated by Councilman Lance Johnson and seconded by Councilwoman Audri Carlson made no mention of the exclusion of the agenda item of the updated ward boundary map until discussion began. I do believe the amendment motion which is a secondary motion must be dealt with 1) a motion to amend, 2) a second, 3) discussion on the amendment and 4) a majority vote on the amendment and then the amended primary motion is made, seconded, discussed and voted on. This did not happen on the motion to approve the June 6, 2016, agenda. Also missing from the June 6, 2016, agenda was a report on the discussion with FCS and Union County disposition of the May 2, 2016, agenda item involving the Fairgrounds property cleanup and grass re-seed of this City of Alcester asset. Mayor Glas?

Technically there is no approved agenda and a tabled resolution is missing from the proposed June 6, 2016, agenda.

The next bootleg agenda item is the Approval of the minutes of the May 2, 2016, city council meeting. Councilman David Larsen moved to approve the minutes with a second coming from Councilman Mark Dykstra. On discussion, an error was discovered in the May 2, 2016, minutes that involved the reporting of $16.00 per hour wage for Landon Nygaard instead of the $16,000 salary for his position at the Alcester Golf Course. Once again there was no secondary motion to amend, second, discussion and vote to amend the record and then the primary motion. In addition, there was no correction to the published record which inaccurately reported the postponement of the Ward Boundary Map Resolution to the next regular Alcester city council meeting. It is important to note apparently the council had not received packet of information prior to the council meeting. At 5:40 PM when I sat down in the gallery, I watched the collating of pages for the council to ‘peruse’ before they voted on those issues.

Next bootleg agenda item was Alcester Fire Chief Pat Kast advising Mayor Glas and the Council of dispatch problems sending Alcester Fire and Ambulance crews to wrong locations. Fire Chief Kast frustrated with the lack of response from Union county in curing this defect asked for assistance. I called point of information to share my experience of bringing 911 addressing errors to the county’s attention early on the 911 addressing process. Mayor Glas got smarmy about the information I shared culminating in a sharp discussion of Robert’s Rules of Order and my receipt once again of the proverbial, “pat on the head and rap on the knuckles” ideology.

Loren Fischer was present to discuss providing 95 gallon garbage containers at a cost of $1.25 per month to each resident in Alcester. In retrospect it ‘appears’ Mr. Fischer was there in response to a request from the city administration? Wanda Halverson offered up an opinion and amazingly Mayor Glas had no problem with her interaction. It was suggested the question be opened to those residents present seeking their opinions on the issue. Opinions received dealt with storing the larger size container, smaller households do not generate that much garbage per week and pick-up procedure. Mr. Fischer expressed a down-the-road plan to use automated pick up to collect the 95 gallon containers but it would require two passes on each street. Then a suggestion was made, residents could tote those ol’ 95 gallon containers to one side of the street. Folks, I would not tolerate having 95 gallon containers lined up on my property like a legion of 95 gallon garbage troops. Glory! The weed picking, grass measuring property maintenance dictators apparently are OK with picket lines of 95 gallon plastic garbage containers.

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2016-04-13 10.37.24

Alcester Bar South Exterior Wall

Bootleg agenda item Knutson Masonry Bid on the south ‘wall’ of what-else? the Alcester Bar. Mayor Glas’ ‘opinion’ go for option #1 which is parging south wall of liquor store and replacing loose and bad brick. Minimum of 1 control joint to be cut in to prevent cracking in the future and WOW colored mud of owner’s choice.

According to past insurance-prompted engineering opinion, these are facing brick on a concrete block wall and not structural. Since this is an exterior wall tucked away in an alley, aesthetics is not worth the $10K+ price tag. Parging is a process best compared to trying to cover age wrinkles with a highly expensive and largely ineffective cream. Comforting to the eye only. Parging is multiple applications of mortar or sand mix depending on function by trowel, but over large areas such as the south exterior bar wall even coats cannot be achieved without attaching sheets of galvanized mesh to the wall to help hold the mortar in place. (www.ehow.com/way_5900975_way-parge-brick-walls_.html) Since there was only one bid, the council is going to secure a second bid. Let Mayor Glas and the Council know how you feel about this. Best remedy, sell the bar, get it back on the tax rolls, get the brick monkey off the taxpayers backs and stop throwing good tax dollars after bad. Oh by-the-bye, this $10K plus is NOT in the budget!  Councilman Mike Burke presented himself at 7:34 pm for council duty.

Oh yes one last item on the agenda worth mentioning. Mayor Glas’ comments! Glory, venting of his spleen no less! Seems I touched a nerve. Ranting on about falsehoods and half-truths, really? I was right about the Ward Boundary Map and pointed this error out not once but twice to the council and proved it. Mayor Glas got caught with his Union suit unbuttoned with the flap down around his ankles.

Folks when liberties are taken with procedure, not only can the city be legally exposed, each and every action can be referred and council members can be held accountable jointly and severally if the error was previously identified and they ignored it.